Situational Patriots Abroad

This article in Sunday’s Washington Post illustrates just about every cliché among the Democrats Abroad crowd, from “I-have-to-pretend-I’m-Canadian” to “my-European-friends-ask-me-about” to getting hugged on the street by perfect strangers suddenly keen on America now that we’ve elected the kind of person who could never hold office in Europe or Asia.

Am I the only one perplexed by these anecdotes? I lived and worked in England for 18 months from 1983 to 1984, while America and the world were being ravaged by the terror reign of Ronald the Blood-Drinker, the previous Worst President of the United States. Not only wasn’t I attacked on the street by strangers who heard my non-Canadian accent, none of the people I worked with ever discussed American politics or the President with me, except for one occasion when one afternoon in a pub I replied to a thrust briefly, quietly and savagely. That was the end of that: whatever the political views of my colleagues were, the subject never came up again.

So how do we explain the social life of misery expatriates suffered under Chimpy McBushitler and the popularity they enjoy under our new President? I very much doubt that polite people, even the French, talk about America and its politics unless the Americans themselves talk about it. I’m speculating, of course, but I think that far from not identifying themselves as Americans, those interviewed in this story beat their breasts and lamented loud and long to their foreign friends about That Man In The White House.

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