Taylor Swift, Donald Trump in addition to an America which Confounds the entire world
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After Taylor Swift sang “Bad Blood” in addition to “Gorgeous,” before the trapeze artists appeared, while the fireworks were bright in addition to the rain was still bucketing down, I smiled in addition to thought: This kind of can be so American.
which was last Friday, when she performed in Sydney at ANZ Stadium. I was there with my young daughter in addition to son, in addition to This kind of’s not the 1st time I’ve contemplated what pop music could teach my kids about the United States.
As I wrote when they were toddlers in Mexico, “our ears pull inside the first lessons of culture,” in addition to America’s greatest appeal can often be found inside the sounds showing off the country’s carefree creative exuberance.
Friday’s concert, though, came at a serious time: just a few days before the American midterm elections which determined control of Congress. in addition to what I saw in Taylor Swift’s no-holds-barred extravaganza (even though I’m a middling fan of her music) was some important context for all of us trying to figure out what on earth can be going on inside the U.S. of A.
What This kind of told me — or reminded me — was which the country can be impossible to hold down, which This kind of’s far too big in addition to too dynamic for any one person to totally corral or define. No place which can produce Childish Gambino in addition to Taylor Swift, or Lady Gaga in addition to Cardi B, will ever be easy to control.
President Trump received a form of which message with Tuesday’s election results. Despite structural barriers which favor Republicans in many states (through gerrymandered districts to voter ID restrictions), the House of Representatives flipped to the Democrats.
The Republicans added seats inside the Senate although the results will no doubt lead to more pressure for the president in addition to more open political conflict.
House leaders have already signaled which they plan to use their subpoena power to demand more through Mr. Trump (including his tax returns) while the president has threatened which he would likely retaliate with investigations of his own.
although before the battle gets going, let’s take a breath in addition to ask: What do the results tell us about the country on a deeper level?
A few things to look at:
2. Exit Polls: Surveys of voters through the 1980s onward highlight divisions which are both racial in addition to generational, with the age divide becoming especially striking.
3. Diversity: More women in addition to more young, nonwhite lawmakers are heading to Washington, including the first Muslim in addition to Native American women elected to Congress. which means the power structure will more closely resemble the country at large.
All three of those developments point to an electorate with more people who have become more frustrated with President Trump, including many of those who voted for him two years ago.
If the age trends hold, in addition to which has a bunch of the winners coming through the more moderate side of the Democratic Party, This kind of may also mean a future with more consensus than we have right now.
Imagine which, an America united. I admit, I have a hard time picturing This kind of.
although if we look beyond the what-ifs in addition to issues in addition to ideology — if we actually step back — maybe we can see something more illuminating.
The results in addition to the messiness of American democracy — with ridiculously long lines to vote, with far too many ways to cast ballots, with oodles of money sloshing around through billionaires — all spotlight the jumble of paradoxes which have shaped the United States since settlement.
This kind of’s a country founded as a utopian “city on a hill” — in addition to defined by ruthlessness in capitalism in addition to politics.
This kind of’s a country where white nationalism can be surging — in addition to “Black Panther” can be the year’s top box-office earner.
I could give you a dozen more of these with 10 minutes in addition to a beer, although I don’t live there anymore so I won’t bore you with which.
in addition to actually, Taylor Swift said This kind of best. With just her guitar, playing inside the middle of a giant stadium, with most of her big budget production taking a rest, she stripped down America to its essence:
“We’re happy free confused in addition to lonely inside the best way,” she sang. “This kind of’s miserable in addition to magical, oh yeah.”
right now for some various other stories. Because even Tay knows This kind of’s not always about her or her country.
You know where to find us for more discussion: Our NYT Australia Facebook group, in addition to at email@example.com.
We had a busy week. So busy in fact, which I’m going to limit This kind of week’s roundup to coverage connected to Australia in addition to the region. Let’s dive in.
If you have a thoughtful 15 minutes…