Roar writer and fresher Hanna Pham thought she escaped the crazy when she left her native US to study in the UK but found the opposite to be true.
One is a megalomaniac businessman disguised as a populist, the other is a hypocrite who has not been able to deliver on his promises. Both are blonde men whose politics are marked by controversy and scandal. I left one truly awful president, just to move into a country ruled by an equally unruly prime minister.
Growing up away from my homeland, the United States, it was expected of me to go back there for university. However, when it was actually time to decide—looking at how chaotic Donald Trump’s America had become, I thought it would be best to live away from all the strife. Naturally, I decided to move somewhere with its own political turmoil bubbling very close to the surface: the United Kingdom.
Fully aware that the whole idea of leaving the EU was terrible, I thought nothing could top the Trump presidency. I was very wrong.
The parallels in each of the respective governments are uncanny. In the United States, Trump’s presidency is beginning to be toppled by an impeachment inquiry, whereas Boris Johnson faced severe backlash against the suspension of Parliament, which was deemed as unlawful. Just as Trump had the audacity to joke about killing migrants, the United Kingdom has Johnson casually using derogatory terms for Muslims. Whenever conversations with my university friends turn political, it almost always centres around the ridiculous redundancy of Johnson’s failing Brexit deal. Whereas, whenever I call my family we talk about Trump’s outrageous actions concerning the Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria.
As the Trump administration somehow keeps finding more scandals to entangle itself in and Johnson’s inability to pass Brexit becomes apparent, I find myself caught in between two worlds. I feel the turbulence at home, but I can physically see how fed up the British are with their government through the Extinction Rebellion protests which took over London for weeks.
While historically, we as humans like to find meaning where there is none, these two demagogues have normalized inefficiency and unlawfulness in government at a rate that’s unheard of.
As each new controversy gets weighed down by another one, we tend to forget about the previous masking the total ugliness of each administration. We cannot forget about how in counties where Trump has held rallies there has been an observed 226% increase in hate crimes, while in the United Kingdom, following Johnson’s remarks comparing burqas to letterboxes anti-Muslim hate crime rose by 375%.
If there is any diamond to pull out of the dirt of American and British politics it is this: it has allowed me to view mayhem personified in two different ways. While I initially thought it would be good for myself to stay away from the turbulence of the United States, I guess in a way I am attracted to chaos. Being drawn into the chaos of American politics and following each ridiculous event after another is what makes me feel American, so naturally, the familiarity of chaotic politics is what has made London feel like home already.