I’m not a regular subscriber to Australian publication Quarterly Essay, but issue number 63 is a real gem. It’s written by Don Watson and is titled: Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump
In Enemy Within, Don Watson takes a memorable journey into the heart of the United States in the year 2016 – and the strangest election campaign that country has seen.
“Travelling in the Midwest, Watson reflects on the rise of Donald Trump and the “thicket of unreality” that is the American media. Behind this he finds a deeply fearful and divided culture. Watson considers the irresistible pull – for Americans – of the Dream of exceptionalism, and asks whether this creed is reaching its limit. He explores alternate futures – from Trump-style fascism to Sanders-style civic renewal – and suggests that a Clinton presidency might see a new American blend of progressivism and militarism. Enemy Within is an eloquent, barbed look at the state.’
You can find more information about this issue, here.
I finally managed to catch up on a conversation with Don Watson (originally aired on the 3rd October 2016, but recorded on the 25th September 2016 at the Brisbane Powerhouse) , a week out from the 2016 US Presidential Elections. He articulated well so much of my own reading of the ‘state of play’, while at the same time adding layers and nuances I’d never have been able to articulate so well.
‘Don Watson ventured into the 'heartland' to take the pulse of America during the presidential election campaign. In this fascinating interview Watson reflects that ‘...so large and varied is America, it is really not one place at all. Watson is fond of America and what it represents. "A wonderland of invention, a marvel of freedom and tolerance, and by most measures the greatest country on earth", is how he describes the US. But he is no fan of Donald Trump and thinks his rival for the Presidency, Hilary Clinton, enhances Trump's chances of victory. The America Don Watson observes is a fractured and fearful place.’