SUZANNE HARRINGTON: How dare America question my morals

Dear America, In a few hours, I’ll be heading off to the airport to visit you. Briefly, no strings. 

I’m not looking for commitment. I’m in a steady relationship with Europe, and its lovely, universal healthcare, paid maternity leave, secularity, and stringent gun laws.

Why would I want to exchange all that, for a country which lacks such fundamentals?

Don’t get me wrong, America. You were great once. Jazz, feminism, The Simpsons. But, these days, not so much. Anyone observing the G20 could see your isolation, your confusion, your fall not just from power, but from grace and relevance.

And yet, judging from the visa form you require visitors to fill in, your ego is yet to fall. You still believe your own hype. This is not a request for the long-term commitment of residency or anything so culturally monogamous, but a form that allows for a quickie weekend dalliance. God, it’s arrogant.

You’re asking me if I have physical or mental disorders, but don’t specify which, or state what would happen were I to tick ‘yes’. Isn’t that just a tiny bit eugenicist? No, I don’t have diphtheria, polio, TB, yellow fever, or smallpox.

You don’t mention which type of plague you don’t want (boils? frogs? locusts?), but I assume, if I have any, I’m not welcome. Same for viral haemorrhagic fevers, which, granted, would make a bit of a mess in the arrivals hall.

You don’t want any addicts, either, even though one of your finer moments was the invention of 12-Step recovery. No drug addicts, no alcohol addicts. How about gun addicts? Citizens addicted to burgers and high fructose corn syrup?

It gets worse. You ask, with a straight face, if I “seek to engage in, or have ever engaged in, terrorist activities, sabotage, or genocide?” Does a monthly direct debit to my local hunt saboteurs count? I used ant powder once — does that qualify as genocide?

And then, in a country where private prisons profit from locking up people for possession of a single joint, you ask “have you ever violated any law related to possessing, using, or distributing illegal drugs?” America, seriously — do you think I’d tell you?

And that’s before I ever get to the Islamophobic part of the form: any connection with Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, or Somalia would make me less welcome than Donald Trump on a cancelled state visit to London.

Tens of millions of people excluded from your borders, because — why? And where is Saudi Arabia, home of Wahhabism, exporter of extremists?

Here are some American statistics that make Europeans grimace. Each year in the US, nine people are killed by Islamic terrorists, 21 are killed by armed toddlers, 31 by lightning, 69 by lawnmowers, 264 by buses, and 737 by falling out of bed.

The biggest killer of Americans is other Americans — 11,737 shoot each other dead every year. Have a rethink, America. Re-evaluate. Sober up. Recover.


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