America is not a nation. A nation has one history, one culture, one language, and one people. The U.S. is not just another Germany, home of the German language, German culture, German history and German people. It is not just another Russia, where the Russian language, Russian history, Russian culture and Russian people have dominated for centuries.
This country is a unique geopolitical entity made up of immigrants and descendants of immigrants who fled persecution and economic disenfranchisement. They came here and are still coming in search of a home free of violence and offering the opportunity to fulfill themselves and watch their children fulfill their potential of their capacities.
Many of the first immigrants were criminals from England and other countries. Many European criminals in the 17th and 18th centuries were given the choice of jail or a one-way trip to America. We know that Australia was originally a British criminal colony, but we often forget that originally America served that purpose, too. This fact may underlie the American fascination with criminality.
There is no doubt of this fascination. From the dime novels of the 19th century to the more detailed novels and biographies of the 20th century to the movies of today. Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with their Hole-in-the-Wall gang, Doc Holiday and the OK Corral, and many more have been romanticized in novel after novel, movie after movie.
Even Al Capone's St. Valentine's Day Massacre was romanticized in the hilarious comedy, "Some Like it Hot." The Mafia was and is being romanticized in many films, including "The Godfather." Americans just couln't get enough of the mayhem in "The Godfather", so a sequel was added. Bugsy Siegal, John Dillinger, Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and many other thugs have been canonized in American Movies.
So, America was well prepared for Donald Trump and his gang. We are fascinated by their shenanigans, as indicated by the heavy, heavy coverage by our media of every detail, every Tweet, every leak, every lie. Americans, those who worship Trump and those who despise him, are absolutely spellbound by him and the gang he surrounds himself with.
His supporters even romanticize him, seeing him as the savior of our country from the terrors of liberalism.
Of course, a major correction is currently underway, beginning with the "Blue Wave" of 2016. Americans understand that bad guys must get their just deserts. But we feel sorry for them, especially the successful ones.
We see some of that in the remarkably light four-year sentence Paul Manafort just received for the 18 felonies he was found guilty of or confessed to. The sentencing guidelines called for an 18 to 24-year sentence.
Our sympathy for them may arise from our own thoughts. We all at some point in our lives think about doing what they do: just taking what we want, running a con to get even with someone, knocking people out, or even knocking them off.
Thank goodness, most of us understand the difference between our dream worlds and reality.
But some of us apparently don't. That's why the fake reality TV show called "The Trump Presidency" gets such high ratings in the news.
(Sunbury Daily Item, May 18, 2019)