Being a selective TV watcher, I made sure I watched Andrew Neil’s Tea Party America programme, and darn good it was too.
The thing that struck me, much as it did Andrew Neil, was the anger and passion of the Tea Party activists, many men of whom seemed to have no problem in crying floods of tears on camera. Neil’s prescient summary was,
“This extraordinary eruption of anger is certainly changing the face of America.”
Well, that’s exactly what’s happened, with many Republican Tea Party candidates being elected in the mid-term elections.
I was lucky to work for an American software company, and to often get to go to the States. I learned then about the importance of the American dream – that you can rise from the lowest position in society to the highest through education, hard work and dedication.
I also learned about their ‘can do’ attitude, their love of freedom, and their love of breaking new ground – a frontier attitude. I always came home enlivened by such energy. But I also came away with a view of the inequalities in America, the headlong rush forward in everything, often left people and communities behind, and that was painful to see in such a wealthy society.
America is and remains a melting pot of races and attitudes, a democratic work in progress, if you will. And that, with all it’s faults, is enormously encouraging. Energy and renewal on view.