Batuhan: A letter to America

Allan S. Batuhan
·3 min read

DEAR America,

On the third of November 2020, your country will be making a choice of historically consequential implications. If ever there was a decision more important to the future of your country or your people, this has to be the one.

Since the end of the second World War, the world has looked to America as the model country, home to an immigrant people of all races and creeds living together in mutual cooperation and relative harmony.

At home, America was a thriving and bustling economy, turning out advances and discoveries in all fields of human endeavor. Your companies and organizations led the world in producing products that provided convenience and comfort and your scientific and educational institutions gave rise to technological advances that contributed to a better and more humane life for all mankind.

You led the world in global, multilateral governance. As the key founding member of the United Nations, you made sure the world was a more peaceful place, enabling a period of relative stability that ushered in an unprecedented era of prosperity for all.

Sure, there have been missteps. No one is perfect, countries included. And America certainly had its share of errors, as much as every other country in the world. But what was different was your honesty and candor, never shirking from responsibility, nor escaping from accountability. Your allies trusted you and your adversaries feared you. And the world was a better place for it.

But lately, things have not been the same. Since 2016, to be very precise. From being the de facto leader of the free world who always tried to act in the best interests of humanity, you have suddenly turned inward and insular, alienating your friends and emboldening your foes among nations. Rallying behind the motto of “America First” became your pretext of watching out for America only, the rest of the world be damned.

It didn’t take you long to retreat from global leadership. Abrogating the Iran Nuclear Deal that you spearheaded, you also withdrew from the Paris Accord on climate change. You antagonized your allies in Nato, even as you cosied up to Russia, North Korea and China, the latter at least until very recently when they became your president’s scapegoat for his failures.

As the most serious public health crisis of our time illustrates, America has clearly lost its way in so many ways. As the planet’s most medically advanced nation, you should not be leading the world in Covid cases and deaths, but you are. Not just by a little, but by a lot. A whole lot more.

You certainly have a dark underbelly America, but since 2016 this has become all too apparent. The racial tensions, xenophobia and all kinds of bigotry were hidden from view because the majority of the country had their hearts in the right place. 2016 changed all that. Today, your undesirable elements are in full voice, enabled by the wrong kind of leader who stokes their fears and fans their insecurities.

This is a sliding doors moment for you, America. This is a chance to heal your country’s soul and reclaim its rightful place as the de facto leader of the free world. Tragically, this may also be the time that you finally surrender to the darkness of your past and become an island unto yourself, surrendering your world leadership to the Europeans, or worse, to your adversaries in Russia and China.

Be brave, America. Your country is, after all, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Whichever path you choose from the 3rd of November determines whether you still have the resolve to harness your better angels, or if you shall finally succumb to the inner demons of your nation’s past.

Please make the right choice. The whole world is counting on you to do the right thing.

Good luck, and may God bless the United States of America.