The America I love

It’s not loud, but it exists.

Ben Werdmuller
4 min readJul 4, 2024

I’m a natural-born American citizen but never lived here until my early thirties. I have a complicated relationship with the country: I never thought I’d live here until I suddenly did. As it happened, my parents moved back to look after my grandmother, and ten years later, I came here to look after my mother. I was 21 when Bush became President, having been the state governor who had executed the most people; I marched against the Iraq War from Scotland. There was never a moment where I thought, “America is a place I want to live.” But I wound up here anywhere.

The America I had no intention of being a part of is still very much here. It’s the America where people love guns and the right own semi-automatic weapons is more important than the idea that we need to stop children from being slaughtered in their schools. It’s the America where the state murders prisoners by electrocuting them or injecting them with poison or by gassing them, and where the police can gun down a person of color and walk away. It’s the America that organizes coups in other countries to further its own interests and nobody sees anything wrong with it because it keeps gas prices down. It’s the America that won’t take the bus because that’s what poor people do (and the word “poor” is doing a lot of work here). It’s rugged individualism and wealth-hoarding over…

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Ben Werdmuller

Writer: of code, fiction, and strategy. Trying to work for social good.