'We're Mourning the Death of an Idea Called America'

A view on Donald Trump and a declining America from Down Under
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2016 3:34 PM CST
President-elect Donald Trump departs after a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., Friday, Dec. 9, 2016.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(Newser) – "I was not raised in America, but I was raised in the American century," Lisa Pryor writes in the New York Times. "I am not yet ready to say goodbye." In a piece titled "Dear America, Why Did You Let Us Down?" the Australian doctor and author talks about how people around the world see the election of Donald Trump as a massive acceleration in the decline of the US—a decline they mourn. "I have embarrassment of grief for a government that is not mine and for a country that does not belong to me," writes Pryor, who says she's cried multiple times since the election. "It feels as if we're mourning the death of an idea called America."

That idea is one the rest of the world learned to appreciate from afar through pop culture, Pryor says. They learned about the West Wing from The West Wing, Air Force One from Air Force One, and the Pledge of Allegiance from Kindergarten Cop. "America gave us a poetry of democracy that was grand and uplifting, which we were too reserved and sarcastic to speak for ourselves," she writes. But that's been changing for a while now, and Trump—with his incitement of China, disregard for climate change, and friendship with Vladimir Putin—only cements that change. Now it might be time for places like Australia to take the lead. "Perhaps we could even offer you a different model of democracy, the way you once offered one to us," Pryor writes. Read the full piece here. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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