Travel warnings show US' closest friends have low confidence in US governance
Published: Nov 29, 2022 10:36 PM
People are seen at a memorial service for victims of a mass shooting in San Jose, California, the United States, May 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

People are seen at a memorial service for victims of a mass shooting in San Jose, California, the United States, May 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

As the conflict between Americans with different political demands becomes increasingly violent, some countries close to the US have expressed concerns about the safety of their citizens in the US, reflecting their growing lack of confidence in Washington's political system and governance capability.

A CNN report on Sunday observed the rare phenomenon that nine countries - Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Israel - have issued various levels of travel warnings against the US due to increasing violence in the country.

It is worth noting that these nations are all US neighbors or closest allies that know the country quite well and have relatively frequent and close exchanges with it. Therefore, it says a lot about how chaotic US society is when they warn their citizens about the risks of traveling to the US.

The fact that these countries worry about violence, especially gun violence, seriously put into question the stability of US society.

Data from the Gun Violence Archive shows that as of Sunday, more than 40,000 people have lost their lives to gun violence across the US for the third year in a row. The number of mass shootings also exceeds 600 every year since 2020. At the same time, the rise in crimes - one of the top concerns for US voters in the recently concluded midterm elections - is still plaguing Americans.

While the US is heading toward a recession, problems like high inflation and unemployment rate are anticipated to widen the disparity in economic distribution among different groups, which may further spawn more safety issues for US citizens.

The root cause behind such chaos is that Washington's political system, especially the electoral system - the core of the so-called US democratic framework - is no longer effective in alleviating the problems through governance. More and more people are starting to realize that no matter how many elections are held, almost no social issues in the US can be solved.

Elections have failed to improve the lives of US citizens, especially those who are already dissatisfied with society. With no confidence in elections, these people can easily seek to use violence to vent their anger and discontent in an indiscriminate way that threatens the lives of innocent people.

Meanwhile, US politicians, who are supposed to be actively involved in the country's governance, do not truly care about the actual demands of US citizens. Instead, they are trying to use people's concerns to climb up the political ladder.

Some of these politicians cater to the surging populist sentiment in the US that has an apparent tendency of violence usage. This has intensified the level of violence in the country to a degree that US' closest allies and partners have to stay vigilant.

The Democratic and Republican parties have also turned important issues, including gun control, abortion and immigration, into a matter of partisan struggle. Under the guidance of this principle, the views of the two parties on these issues sometimes are even treated as unshakable dogma, creating more hatred and antagonism in US politics.

Current US politics is full of uncertainties. With the rapid deterioration of the country's governance capacity, such uncertainties have constantly been amplified at the social level, dragging society off the rails. But as long as the current social and political soil in the US remains vicious, the country will have to deal with greater extremism and violence.

In that case, it should not be surprising if more of US' close friends upgrade warnings to their citizens about traveling to the US. Perhaps even helmets and bullet-proof vests will soon become suggested must-have items to those who want to visit the country.