The Marshall Plan has become synonymous for massive help, for bringing about a herculaneum task and having a country rise again from the ashes. Originally designed to help Europe get back on track after the devastations of World War II, it has a much broader meaning today. In discussions about how to rebuild Ukraine at some point in the future, there’s again talk of the need for a Marshall Plan. However, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and look at what the original Marshall Plan was all about.
What has most significantly affected your view of the U.S. within the last year? Black Lives Matter protests, maybe? Well, they might have changed, but the same fights are fought still. Disastrous ways to deal with Covid-19? Vaccination might have saved many lives, but 50,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 since October, and the rate of new infections is still at 70,000 new cases each day. But hey, one major change can’t be disputed even by the most cynical blogger: There’s a different POTUS (President of the United States)! And although he faces obstacles at home, a recent study suggests that Joe Biden’s presidency made America’s image abroad take off again after a Trump-induced dive.Read more »
Americans do not vote directly for their presidents. We vote for the people who will vote for our presidents. Each state is assigned electors, based partly on population, but each state is assigned an additional two electoral votes, regardless of its size. Consequently, a vote from a person in a rural state has more influence than a vote from an urbanized area. This system has given us five presidents who came in second in the people’s vote with mixed results. Three have made us question this system. With Rutherford Hayes, we got Jim Crow law that denied African Americans their civil rights for more than 100 years. With George W. Bush, we got the Iraq war. With Donald Trump, well, we got – Trump!
It is ironic that, as the world’s first secular democracy having scorned all state religion, we soon became and have remained, socially and politically, preoccupied with god. Campaign speeches end with “God bless you.” The song, “God Bless America,” which Irving Berlin wrote as a parody sung by a comically chauvinistic character, is now performed as a patriotic hymn.