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Column: Shootings, Trump crazies and political unrest | Roadtrip USA (16)

It will not have escaped anyone's attention, even in The Netherlands not that there has been another mass shooting at an elementary school in the United States† This time 19 children and 2 adults lost their lives. The previous mass shooting in America was just 1,5 weeks earlier in New York City, further emphasizing the painful problem of the politically extremely divided country. How is it possible that there are mass shootings almost every week in schools, in restaurants, at stations or elsewhere?


Plan your vacation to America here


Our journey through the United States and Canada

This article is part of a major one-year journey that we (Chris and Malou van Wereldreizigers.nl), are currently making by the United States en Canada† We started in New York City and are through Washington DC en Baltimore (where we shipped our RV), first traveled south (Florida) and then made a full round of the country.

Organizing this trip took a lot of time and energy. So we had to US B1/B2 visa of one year and we spent weeks working on it renovating our 4×4 camper† Then we got to work on the RV to America to ship and in hindsight it turned out to be a Dutch vehicle insurance in America to be one of the biggest challenges.

When that was all over, we could finally focus on the anticipation: figuring out and planning all the beautiful places we want to visit. I built the ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada of roughly 50.000 kilometers in Google maps and we are now making our dream come true! The interactive map can be viewed below.

More blogs from our trip through America and Canada

Another shooting

We have been traveling around America for a few months now and find this news terrible to hear every time. When we talk to the local people in this country we feel the unrest among both supporters and opponents of weapons.

To better understand where exactly the problem comes from, I recommend everyone to take a look at this short but very informative video from the NOS. Below the video I will continue with how I experience the political game (and especially the lack of dialogue), in the US.

Weapons Weapons Weapons

As you know, Malou and I (Chris) have been traveling through the US for a few months now. Until now we visited cities, parks and often camped deep in nature at many campgrounds in a dozen different states.

With the exception of New York, Georgia en Washington DC, where people are more left oriented, I have already spoken to several people who are only too happy to talk about their weapons. It often starts with small talk when you have just arrived at the campsite… ´Hey how are you?´

I've already answered a few questions about who we are and how we got our motorhome here on a number of occasions. But once I've answered those two questions, I sometimes quickly get a plea about them idiot President and that they have guns under their RV seat. just in case.

Weapons are for sale almost everywhere in America. In many states, they're even in Walmart, next to coolers and car tires.
Weapons are for sale almost everywhere in America. In many states, they're even in Walmart, next to coolers and car tires.

Let this be clear: I'm not asking for it. They tell me of themselves! A few times this was even the first what she wanted to share with me. Do they see me, the little man of 1.71 meters from the Netherlands as a threat? Why do people feel the need to tell me this right away? I really don't understand it and it's hard to get used to it.

More children die in shootings than in traffic

So proud, but oh so risky. All those weapons that everyone is so funny and proud about have a clear downside. The Washington Post released a shocking statistic this week: in America, more children now die in mass shootings than in traffic† Isn't that really unbelievable?

The following example is also incomprehensible to me! If you see a school bus stop, you should stop your car at all times, even if you are driving on the other side of the road, so that the children can get out and cross the road safely. You protect the children, well organized you would think.

An American school bus
An American school bus

But what if that child then has a greater chance of being shot dead at school? Even bigger than a traffic accident?

It sounds like a joke, like satire, yet with these statistics it is the terrible and very sad truth. Isn't that understandable?

This is how the average number of deaths from firearms in the US compares to other developed countries, per 100.000 inhabitants…

Photo via: Bernie Sanders Facebook Page
Photo via: Bernie Sanders Facebook Page

Political upheaval

It's not just the bizarre love of guns that amazes me. As the conversation progresses, a few things quickly become clear. Fuel prices in the United States have soared over the past year. even doubled† It's a hot topic that always comes up.

The petrol is still cheaper per liter than in The Netherlands, but it doesn't matter much anymore. The prices here have risen much faster than with us, something that many Dutch people do not realize at all.

Idiot President (Biden)

The high inflation, expensive fuel and soaring prices of groceries that the president (Biden) now has to deal with is mainly a legacy of his predecessor(s). But, we don't look that far back here. The problem is now ongoing and that is President Biden's fault. Short-term vision.

President Biden Is The Least Appreciated President In 50 Years

CNN.com

In fact, Biden is currently the record holder at the moment, in a negative sense. He is the least esteemed president in the past 50 years. Only 38% of the American people still support President Biden. That is even 2% less than Trump, who at his worst moment still received 40% support from the American people.

America is scared and divided

It is the short-term vision that amazes me so much. People don't seem to want to look further than their nose is long. They only think of today, of the now. And they take everything from TV just like that, without doing any research themselves. Like a bunch of parrots.

What you mainly see on TV here is really sad. Because this is no longer about the news, the progress or the improvement of the country. The news here is all about blackmailing each other. They really don't agree on anything.

Prices are rising, China is on a dangerous path, poverty is skyrocketing and it's all the fault of the other party† How are they going to solve that? Nobody talks about that. That's not important either, or so it seems.

It doesn't even matter if you're left (Democrat) or right (Republican), both sides are guilty of throwing mud.

The news on TV is like seeing two chimpanzees arguing. Both camps throw shit at each other 24/7.

Politics is hopelessly screwed up as a result – and it only seems to get worse in recent years.

Propaganda

Throwing mud and making each other black in 2022 is more like propaganda than politics. It is no longer about any plans, setting goals and making budgets. Here the news goes on 24/7 but almost exclusively about the missteps that the other party makes.

…and you will know it too.

In every restaurant you go to. In every bar, sports café and almost all public spaces in this country the TV is on with 'the news'. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This propaganda is consumed dozens of hours a week.

Similar to China and Russia

In my view, therefore, it is very similar to what we are in Russia en China to see. The only difference is that here big money rules instead a government that restricts what you can think, hear or see. Because behind those big news channels are big names who want to impose their political preferences, mainly for more economic gain.

Every political interest in the US has to do with money. The rich (multinationals) are pulling the strings here. They determine what you see on TV, what topics are discussed in the senate (through lobbying) and even who is in the senate. Because without money you can't get anywhere in this country. And certainly not in politics.

Two camps that oppose

So the propaganda in this country does not have one side as in Russia and China, but two sides. The two camps, the Democrats and the Republicans, the track to govern has even lost sight of so far that in 2022 it is mainly about what the other wants. And yes, the other party will then stand directly against that. People no longer want to collaborate. The dialogue is not there. I definitely don't want what you want. That's mainly the thought here.

Because that's how it is. SHE (the other party) wants to change something, so WE are going to get in the way. That works both ways and both sides are guilty of this.

The government is corrupt

This is taking extreme forms. Even for things that are so extremely obviously wrong. The Weapons Act is a good example of this. They do not deviate from the thinking of their party on this. No matter what.

That is strange, because even the Republicans want more control. At least, the citizens. Research shows that 90% of the American people wants stricter gun laws and yet nothing happens.

Example: to drive a car in the US you must take driving lessons, take an exam, register the car by name, be mentally and physically healthy, have insurance and have the car checked annually. This is not necessary with a weapon. If you were to simply take over the rules of a car for gun ownership, you'd come a long way…

Weapons and cars rules united states

But as much as the people would like to see this happen, a solution still seems a long way off. This has everything to do with the corrupt senators. The interests are too great. That the NRA (the National Rifle Association - where the big gun money is), half the Republican camp meanwhile continues to provide millions in bribes and lobby money does not help either. Those who can change the law simply make too much money. I think it's just corruption at the highest level.

extremism

As the propaganda machine on senators and on FOX and CNN continues to run at full capacity, more and more people in this country are sliding into extremism. Incidentally, these extremists are easy to recognize, because they are only too happy to show what they stand for and who they support.

Flags and bumper stickers

The many Trump bumper stickers, the Trump flags and yes, the countless signs in people's gardens that read: Trump 2024. The extremists are only too happy to push their political preference down your throat, something that is really unthinkable in the Netherlands, on a few FvD-Logos as profile pictures on Facebook after then…

And if you think that's it, the above attributes are still the neat variants. What I have also seen a lot are variants like FUCK BIDEN and LETS GO BRANDON (which has become a kind of neat translation / slogan for FUCK BIDEN, see background info here).

And then I haven't even mentioned the 'abortion is murder' signs along the road...

Imagine...

That you drive around in the Netherlands and see FUCK RUTTE on countless cars.

Or that your neighbor hangs up a giant flag with FUCK BAUDET or FUCK PVDA.

That's what you see here.

It is a bizarre custom in America, which hopefully will never spread to the Netherlands…

Chris – Wereldreizigers.nl

They hang those extreme flags in their garden, on their house, and even on pickup trucks. The bigger the better. Everyone must and will know that they are for Trump but above all against Biden.

Trump crazies

You probably don't want to hear it as a Trump supporter, but I'll say it anyway: The extreme crazies in this country seem to be mainly on the right side, the side of the Republicans. I've been traveling around America for months and have yet to encounter the first FUCK TRUMP flag. And that while I've already seen thousands of extreme right-wing flags, stickers and signs.

As far as I'm concerned, the statements that the Republicans make with this say a lot about the extremist forms that seem to be increasing in recent years. They are much more visible both on TV and online and yes, also in the cities and towns of the country.

How is America doing now?

I don't know. But just to get straight to the point… I think Trump will easily become president again in 2024. This man's cult-like followers are literally doing everything they can to pull the election back to them. I mean, they even storm the Capitol if it has to.

Here I (Chris) stand in front of the Capitol in Washington DC
Here I (Chris) stand in front of the Capitol in Washington DC

In addition, I still see thousands, especially in Florida and the interior confederate flags, Republican Trump and FUCK BIDEN flags, bumper stickers, caps, T-shirts and even giant billboards whenever I drive into a city or town. And that while the elections are still more than two years away.

Painful to watch

It pains me to see how this great country, because it still is, is slowly slipping into an increasingly extreme state. This is my third trip in America and you can see the sentiment change. Every time I come back, it seems to have gotten a little crazier and more extreme.

only losers

What I do know is that the ordinary American sitting in the middle, and especially the children and youth, are the victims of all the bickering. There is hardly any social security any more, that too is crumbling more and more. In addition, they are increasingly being shot almost weekly in schools and shopping centers as the senators and multinationals continue to enrich themselves in the name of God, freedom and 'capitalism'.

How many more deaths will there be before the gun law is finally changed? The emotional speech of Texas NBA coach Steve Kerr speaks volumes in that regard. enough is enough

…and I would like to end with that…


Plan your vacation to America here


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Chris – Wereldreizigers.nl

Chris

Owner of Wereldreizigers.nl † Discover the world!

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