Dear America, please don’t panic, you got this

Adam Chinnery, Contributing Writer

America- don’t panic. 

It’s been a year since I found out I would be studying at Union for a year! So much has happened since then: little did I know that there would be a global pandemic that would plunge everyone’s plans into uncertainty and mean my entire fall semester was online. That is not to mention what the last year would bring for American politics. During this time, my family and friends at home in England have all been talking to me about their fascination and admiration of this great country and I’d thought I would share what they had to say and what I think that means. 

You may be surprised to know that despite the turbulent political year and bad news stories that have come out of America, almost everybody is jealous of the opportunity to spend time in the States. Everyone, regardless of views or backgrounds wants to visit at least one part of this country: whether that be the cosmopolitan metropolis that is New York City or spending time enjoying freedom and space road-tripping across the Rocky Mountains and heading to Mt. Rushmore. Everyone believes there is an America that is near-perfection and whilst sometimes those visions may seem diametrically opposed, especially in recent years, people across the world still cling onto that hope. Every weekend, I would visit my Grandparents and hear stories about how my Grandad especially liked travelling and working in America: from working with Americans whilst at Ford- praising their honesty and upfront nature, to how the ‘bootstrap’ mentality is the right approach. My Mum would go on about her visits to see my Aunt when they lived in Basking Ridge, New Jersey for a couple of years in the 90s and how everyone would say “have a nice day” all the time. Meanwhile, my friends go on about wanting to shop at Whole Foods, swan around Newport and are fascinated by the Constitution and how well it has preserved some fundamental rights. 

This may sound almost like propaganda to some of you, and some of you might be wondering why I am not focusing on some of America’s flaws: from serious things such as racial tension to more petty things such as the horrific drinking age limit. That is because if you look at the news right now, all of this is apparent, and everyone does know what is going on (a good thing as that means the state can’t be effective at suppression information). I understand that means some of you might feel slightly embarrassed or self-conscious to be patriotic or even American right now, but the point I’m trying to make is that America is more than just the last five years, people are still invested in the American promise and have been for decades: from travelling, to aspiring to be Elle Woods and crushing hard on Blaine Anderson. America has and always will be more than those who are in charge. It’s the people and it’s values and it’s cultural exports. Take a deep breath and get over the national hangover that will linger for the next year or two and America will hopefully be better than ever.