Hey hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby …. As most of you know, I’m here in the USA writing to you every month here as my band travels around the globe, makes records and also letting you in a bit on my personal life and my relationship with Japan and Japanese culture. My wife Miyoko came here to the US after we met on my first tour of Japan in 1995 and we have been living between Los Angeles and Buffalo, NY since 1999. It’s been over 10 years of columns here in In Rock magazine and we’ve seen some pretty crazy things happen through our time together, I think we may be having another one.
In the US we’ve had 3 Presidents since our column began; George Bush Jr, 2 terms of Obama and as I’m sure you are all aware as of a few days ago Donald Trump has been elected to the highest office of our government. There has always been criticism of our leaders from within, but Trump’s presidency has been met with many, many large protests here in the US since his inauguration, and probably the largest immediate social movement since the 1960s, most of these protests have been driven by women’s groups offended by repeated dangerous off the cuff comments on twitter and a history of perceived sexist behavior by the new President … GIRL POWER RIGHT?
So, here’s why I bring this all up, I’ve been watching these moments through the eyes of my wife and daughter, I feel a need to try to explain the nastiness and outrageous behavior we’re beginning to see broadcast all over the world in the media and also felt a need to try to explain this all to you as well …. Not sure how this is going to go in 600 words, but I’ll give it a try because I’d like to try to explain why the country is acting this way.
This was a very divisive Presidential election cycle, with Donald Trump facing off against Hillary Clinton in our General Presidential Election. Trump, (a Reality TV star / Real Estate Developer) used his media savvy to generate excitement with a very frustrated portion of America who felt their best interests have been lost in an attempt by Obama’s administration to make a “more inclusive” culture with social safety nets to help those who are not in a position to help themselves.
The way I see it the people Trump speaks for felt like their best their interests should be cared for before the interests of other nations and immigrants new to this country, disregarding the delicate balance of power that exists in our now truly global society. Trump came into power using the power the media and his fame within the mainstream of television minded America to deliver these messages, generating momentum with unorthodox and controversial statements that resounded with his crowd, and his boisterous tone and callousness infuriated the more liberal and socially minded people here in the US.
The elections were held and Trump lost the popular vote in the US by nearly 3,000,000 votes, but through a process used in elections here called the Electoral College, Trump gained enough votes within the official voting body representing the voters in each district to become the President Elect and soon thereafter on January 20th The President (which also happens to be my daughter Hana chan’s birthday!).
After the election results were released women’s groups harnessed those same social media outlets used by Trump here in the US and began to organize a march to promote their belief in love, inclusiveness and equality in Washington DC on Trump’s first day in office. That march occurred and shattered the expectations of the organizers, even before the DC march started they saw the movement going worldwide (Thank u Japan!) and within hours they began to see growth beyond the women’s groups (although the pink hats representing the original march always made for a joyous and colorful mood at the marches). That movement and the energy it has generated has now made it’s way across the globe and it has become a peaceful International cry to the USA’s leaders for love, compassion and reason. That doesn’t really sound like a bad thing.
This is a wild and exciting time here in the US, kind of scary, but kind of inspiring as well. When I see people’s efforts organized to make sure the best interest of their brothers and sisters are paid attention to even in the face of adversity.
OK. I think I did it in a (long) 600 words (or so)… thanks for listening, at least it made me feel better, hope it cleared things up a bit for you. We’ll be back next month to cover GGDS trips to Manila and Bankok and I’ll be writing you next from Tokyo, filling u in on our adventures as we visit friends and family in Japan!
Peace and talk soon!