What with the Donald and Hilary show in full swing, our American friends are getting something of a bad press internationally. "Surely, a country like American can produce better presidential candidates than these two clowns?' the cry goes up. To be fair, most Americans are asking the self same question and of course they will produce better candidates, eventually. As Winston Churchill famously observed, 'Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else.'
Despite the tub thumping political rhetoric, only an idiot would assume that the current candidates are a true and fair reflection of the American people. Of course they're not. It is easy to forget when watching the news that the United States is a country of small towns and villages rather than big cities. The cities catch the headlines but the beating heart and soul lies in the vast stretch of land between the east and west coasts. Small towns but big hearts.
Two recent examples of the true spirit of America touched me and I think they are worth sharing with anyone who may be losing confidence in what still remains the leader of the free world. First, the actor Tom Hanks recently appeared on Desert Island Discs in a 30 minute show which revealed his very ordinary start in life, his humility and compassion and an enduring optimism which is so characteristic of Americans. Then, I came across this clip of Florida farmer Johnny Georges appearing on a television programme called Shark Tank, (similar to Dragon's Den), on which he pitched a simple but effective water saving idea. If you could bottle decency, integrity and humility this is what it would look like. For as long as the United States produces men like Tom Hanks and Johnny Georges the world is going to be a better place and believe me, there are more gentlemen like these in the US than there are the muppets in Washington and media land.