America: no country for old brand


The aftermath of the election brought in a branding crisis for America, far more obvious than the economic or the social one. And that is because branding deals with identity first and foremost and it is a matter of an answer to the disarmingly simplest question: “What do you stand for?”

So the answer to “What do you stand for, America? ” is much harder to provide, if not impossible now, as we speak, because a subsequent question immediately arises: “Which America, which side of it?” The top of mind representations related to America are now confuse, diluted, contradictory, dizzy, as it is the very heart of the country.

In this crisis of “belongings” America lost its belonging.

“The best of all the possible worlds” seems to have reached, symbolically and concretely, its final frontier. Democracy touched its limits in America and it made an implosion. If this is the end of the multiculturalism supported by political correctness, then what remains? Will checks and balances (still) function enough as to counterbalance the excesses of the new governance and the whims of its new president? What is left of the “American Dream”?

“The land of all possibilities” now unearthed its last self-destructive possibility, as the effervescent melting pot of cultures proved to be an (under) pressure cooking pot.

The end of an era is certainly uncomfortable and daunting for any living creature. The Planet quake happened because a cycle might have ended: the global cleavage between poverty and extreme richness became extreme and the desperate need for fairness and equality became much more stringent than the value of freedom to seize opportunities. A new – and still gloomily old – undercurrent shows up at the surface again with new lessons, certainly. Trump is a pretext – the perfect pretext that the history needed – to embody and carry out in the daylight the unspoken, long forgotten dreams of humanity.

What can we, the rest of the world, make of this?

Not much and everything, if we look from the right angle. We can involve more in our politics and policies of proximity instead of being passive-cynical. We can build and enlarge positive communities upon human values and nurture empathy in each of our decisions, as this is the best checks and balances universal system that we can create, with no bigger expectations. We can start to consider ourselves as the most reliable and responsible person for whatever happens to us.We can search for certitude pillars far closer to ourselves. It’s safer, saner and ultimately more ethical.

Mihaela Rădulescu

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