The Ugly American


Donald Trump caricature. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

He is ugly, loud and obnoxious. He makes a fetish of youth and wealth (the American Dream), a Blonde Beast with blow-dried, fake-colored hair. He trades in the base coinage of freedom and democracy; but his freedom is only slavery to his profitable schemes, and democracy means only unswerving affirmations of US imperial policy.

Donald Trump is the Ugly American that US Americans never see. We export him abroad to conduct enterprises that produce our wealth and leisure. But the rest of the world knows him well; for the rest of the world, Donald Trump is the face of America—the vile viceroy of its enterprises and nefarious purposes.

The Ugly American was the title of a 1958 novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer which popularized the term (echoes of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American). It told the story of the failed imposition by US diplomats of foreign structures and ideology on an imaginary southeastern Asian country—a veritable prophecy of the Vietnam venture. Marlon Brando starred in an intriguing film based on the novel in 1963.

The Ugly American is a colonialist. Donald Trump’s views of Mexicans, Muslims, China, Iran and the rest of the world are not those of a US nationalist; they are rather opinions that originate from a colonialist mentality. Frantz Fanon, in The Wretched of the Earth (1961), painted a precise picture of the colonialist in Africa:

Colonialism … has never ceased to maintain that the Negro is a savage; and for the colonist, the Negro was neither an Angolan nor a Nigerian, for he simply spoke of “the Negro.” For colonialism, this vast continent was the haunt of savages, a country riddled with superstition and fanaticism, destined for contempt, weighed down by the curse of God, a country of cannibals—in short, the Negro’s country.

According to Fanon, the slogan of the colonialist is always: “Kill yourself that I may become rich.”[1]


An image from 2012–2013 Slovenian protests, taken 9 March 2013 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. (Credit: DancingPhilosopher / Wikimedia Commons)

US Americans and clown politicians are often perplexed as to why the rest of the world hates us, to the point of attacking American cities and killing American citizens. When you read the ever-present graffiti (all over the world) “Yankee Go Home,” remember that the Yankee world citizens want to get rid of is Donald Trump.

To get rid of Trump—the Anti-Christ—the world may resort to an avatar which may evoke the name of Ché Guevara (“The United States is the enemy of the world!”), or may follow the lead of a rogue state, from a nation we invaded and destroyed.


[1] Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1963), 194 & 211.


Flag of Islamic State graffiti, St.-Romain-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhone-Alpes, France, 9 March 2015. (Credit: Thierry Ehrmann)



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