A Note on the Author’s Point of View
Trump and All the Rest.com is a running commentary on the last half-century of United States governments and their abuses and injustices at home and abroad. I’m sure some of the views I express here will sound like heresy to many American readers. In the interest of full disclosure, I feel obliged to tell you how I came by this atypical point of view.
In 1966 I was drafted into the Army. It was military service that changed me radically. Nearly everything in the Army seemed aberrant to me, above all the United States’ actions in Vietnam. I wanted no part of it, but I had no choice. I was an unwilling collaborator in their war crimes; I was “just following orders.”
It was cold when my Icelandic Airlines flight landed in Brussels so I started hitching south. I wound up in a village on Spain’s Mediterranean coast where I rented a little fisherman’s cottage, started freelancing travel articles, met an English girl, moved to Granada, bought an old stone house on a sunny hillside, filled it with kids and animals, and discovered a whole new human-centered way of life, laden with Spanish sincerity, solidarity, generosity, mutual respect and good humor; a place where poverty wasn’t a source of shame.
Fair enough, it was during the Franco dictatorship, but the people of our village were—and are—the salt of the earth. They welcomed us, helped us get started and provided a setting where our kids could run free. Besides learning to love the folks we quickly took to the land, the food and wine, the televised football matches at the bar with our neighbors, and the privilege of going to the doctor without having to worry about the bill. We saw the dictatorship give way to a new democracy that raised awareness, education and living standards. In April of 1983 I renounced my American citizenship before a judge in the old Granada courthouse and was granted Spanish nationality.
During all this time I have followed events in the United States from over here. The more books and articles I read about the United States, the more distressed I become. After my half-century European experience, it has become increasingly clear to me that the Americans have created for themselves a perfect storm of inequality, injustice, hypocrisy and permanent war. And it just keeps getting worse. Those Americans are my kith and kin. What can I do? Not much. Just write it up and post it on the web, from this atypical house, on this atypical hillside with this atypical point of view.