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U.S. Topic -- What does it mean to be an American abroad in a time of a historically severe civil war like crisis back home?


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30 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

The first reply out of the gate ignoring the needed guidance that we cannot have a political debate here.

 

Not surprised but I did try.

 

Sigh.

Sure, but it's a tough remit and quite niche, not least in that it appears to be aimed at Americans.............................

 

1 hour ago, Jingthing said:

the question I'm posing here is, what are the implications of being an American abroad during such historically significant dark times for our home nation?

From outsiders there will be very little reaction/implications IMO, but from fellow Americans in Thailand, I would imagine that any potential friction between divided fellow citizen's opinions would be diluted due to promimity to home and 'Living in the Land of Smiles' attitude and lifestyle, makes most things far less conflicting.............................

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14 minutes ago, Airalee said:

I try not to even look in.  I moved here to get away from it all.  But I see so many people here that get their blood pressure up, for things they can’t control back in their respective countries, that it really defeats the purpose of moving to Thailand in the first place.

That's a very valid point but things can get to a point where it can't be ignored. For example if you were a Soviet abroad when their Union broke up.

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I will add something else here.

If you don’t agree with Ken Burns about the historical significance of this incredibly divided era in American history and that it is indeed akin to a civil war you're certainly entitled to that opinion but the PREMISE of this topic is really targeted to the people that DO see it that way.

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3 minutes ago, Airalee said:

I’m sure that if we were to look back at history, people have always thought that things were about to fall apart.  “The end is nigh” type of thinking.  Sure, I’m not completely free of stress, and I understand where you’re coming from, but I always try to remind myself of the quote by Mark Twain…

 

“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

I wasn't suggesting that the U.S. is likely to split up geographically as a result of this era although that isn't impossible. 

In any case we've already got great quotes from Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain on this topic. Not too shabby.

 

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50 minutes ago, bojo said:

...

 

From outsiders there will be very little reaction/implications IMO, but from fellow Americans in Thailand, I would imagine that any potential friction between divided fellow citizen's opinions would be diluted due to promimity to home and 'Living in the Land of Smiles' attitude and lifestyle, makes most things far less conflicting.............................

That's interesting.

I'm not sure you're correct about that but it's certainly fit to the topic.

Are Americans abroad less likely to be as severely divided amongst themselves as Americans back home?

Talking IRL, online definitely just as divided. 

Perhaps you're right.

However in my experience there is an awful lot of self segregation of sides going on here as well. 

I've noticed a certain feeling out process when two American strangers meet here. Not getting explicitly into it at first but dropping code words and phrases. Sometimes I've noticed other Americans misread the code and that can get weird.

I've even put out ambiguous code just to be a little naughty to see how it goes down. 

I had a strange experience at the U.S. embassy awhile back. 
There was something very dramatic historically divisive showing on the t.v. in the waiting room at the time. I noticed the Americans there watching it closely but they all seemed to be careful not to give away their side of the divide in that particular setting and definitely not in the mood to get into a political argument with strangers there. Of course an embassy is a very special and unusual setting.

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16 minutes ago, bojo said:

Most, who follow international news are acutely aware of that and just in comparison, but from different sides of the Atlantic..the UK has never been sooooh divided IMO since Brexit and it still lingers/brews as one can even see on this forum at times.......................Personally I blame it on the media and perhaps that's what I'm getting at when one is removed from one's home country.....................................................You can be and most I believe are, far removed from what is going on back home and IMO, with all the divison, that's gotta be a good thing................................

It's not just usual news sources. Probably for the majority of people these days social media, youtube, FB, etc. is much more important. This divide is way beyond traditional politics, it's cultural. We have our own feeds based on tailored algorithms. I think this remove by living abroad that you're talking about is less common than you think. 

Edited by Jingthing
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"Recently two major U.S. intellectuals have made this point very explicitly. The best documentarian in American history Ken Burns and one of the greatest journalists in American history Carl Bernstein. "

 

Bernstein, an intellectual and "one of the greatest journalist in American history"??? Ken Burns, because of his past work to me is an intellectual but Carl Bernstein?  Also, a podcast hosted by a comedian and two has been actors?  

 

Also, America is a nation that at times is barely united.  Americans have always been divided and in perpetual conflict amongst itself.  Peace, Harmony and Diversity are usually in conflict.  If you want to know the pulse of any American community just the street cops, firefighters, and anyone else works in public service.  

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12 minutes ago, cmarshall said:

because of migration from rural areas into the cities. 

Quite the opposite, people have been fleeing the high rents of the coastal states for the Midwest. Out there more businesses and factories have been built because of the tax breaks. They're also the ones pledging to take the most refugees, such as from Afghanistan. A lot of promising growth to be seen in these areas. They'll need someone to teach them ESL, so I'll be in a great position heh. My mom was lucky to have got her place out there 6 years ago, it's about tripled in value since. That's where my Thai wife and I will be headed back to in a few more years.

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“Americans wouldn't know an intellectual if they tripped over one.”

 

Ken Burns is an intellectual who like most people have a political filter. Like  most he picks and chooses what suits the project he works on.  Bernstein is a whole different animal.  He is political all the time.  

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As a citizen of the 51st state, I grew up watching the going on south of the 49th parallel.

When observing political goings-on I have often been reminded of Don Quixote.

Psychiatrist: It is easier not to take responsibility for one’s actions. This can be the result of uncertainty about the direction in which one’s life is heading.

Quixote: So I am not alone?

Psychiatrist: No, many men in this society undergo the same traumatic feelings as you have. Most, however, are not as freely able to express their feelings and act upon their wishes. Men reach the point where they wonder about the meaning in life. It becomes very important to have successfully accomplished something of importance. Thus, you tried to go out and live your fantasies.

https://prizedwriting.ucdavis.edu/psychological-assessment-don-quixote

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