Discussing Trump Abroad


My work takes me to countries all over the world.  But it’s not just work.  Since Trump’s ascendancy the need on my part for a kind of psychological decompression, every couple of months or so, outside the US has become almost imperative.

I’ve been an academic mercenary in the US since 1987, that is, someone in the immensely fortunate position of being able to work here legally without becoming citizen.  I’ve been given some grief for taking this position, but still believe it’s possible to contribute to the American “knowledge economy” while being a non-citizen who pays all his taxes (unlike so-and-so, beginning with the current US president, and in the country of my citizenship, the queen of England, the latter according to disclosures made recently in the Paradise Papers).  What is it that they say about the fish rotting from the head first?

The possession of citizenship, more often than not a matter of convenience for the 1% who can in many cases afford to buy multiple passports — Paul Manafort, the lobbyist who was Orange Swindler’s campaign manager, and now facing criminal charges, owns 3 passports–  is certainly not coextensive with being someone who works and pays their taxes!

Going abroad, however, whether it be in Malaysia or Greece or wherever, confronts the person living in America with the inevitable questions about Trumplandia.  Foreigners, at least those who are curious, are bewildered by Trumplandia, and its master of ceremonies,…

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