America and The West has been sick for years. The fever had to break sooner or later.
Before I start this, let me make myself abundantly clear: I have not, am not, and never will or could be a supporter or fan of Donald John Trump Snr. This living breathing clown shoe represents everything that is wrong with America, and the world. His words and actions showing support for racism, bigotry, sexism, homophobia (to name but a few faults) are beyond my comprehension and barriers of taste and decency. That said, these do not appear to be beyond the boundaries of others.
We’ve been hearing more and more over the last few months, and especially after the election, of the surprise in Trump’s following. His pledges pandering to the basic fears of the ill informed American (banning Muslims, reversing Obamacare, punishing abortion, building “The Wall”) has drawn back a curtain on a country so utterly divided it no longer deserves the title of United States. I mean it must be bad if an entire state like California wants to remove itself from the union. Right now America is no more united than England can realistically be part of a United Kingdom after Brexit.
Given the frankly awful options America was forced to choose their next Commander-In-Chief from , I always saw Hillary Clinton as the least worst option out of her and Trump. But now, given this deep nationwide divide I do wonder if another President Clinton would have been a bigger mistake than Trump in the White House. Yes, you may say that’s crazy, nay impossible. But consider Clinton for a minute. Firstly, a female president, while very welcome by many and indeed needed, is clearly too big a step for a country, of which half its population simply couldn’t cope with something just as progressive and hopeful as a black US president. Hillary Clinton’s presidency would have been blocked at every turn by the Republicans, and achieved less than Mr. Obama’s time in office, because she would be another Democrat in a Republican house. And God forbid, a female Democrat in that house! At the end of the day, being the first serious female contender for President is not enough to qualify you for the highest office in the land.
Hillary Clinton is also part of the very system that Trump supporters and those oh so important swing voters feel has let them down. All those jobs going to “foreign lands”, being “taken by those immigrants” (just one of the staples of many a Republican campaign that horrendously simplifies a complex situation to dangerous racial bias, yet which Trump claims he can magically fix).
Ultimately, Clinton couldn’t be trusted because of her history, both in her career and personal life. Whether or not you believe the laundry list of corruption allegations going as far back as the Watergate scandal, to the perfectly timed FBI investigations in to (disproven) security breaching emails, whether proven false or not, mud like that sticks. And in a career spanning 40+ years, that amount of mud becomes a straightjacket, impossible to escape or convincingly hide from observers. For these (admittedly oversimplified) reasons, Clinton was the wrong choice for President, and for the Democratic nomination. The DNC failed to recognise that the people simply wanted someone they could trust and that a female candidate, while a great achievement, is pointless if she’s wearing one of those straightjackets. By pushing Clinton to the forefront, the Democrats failed the country they claimed they wanted to govern.
And if, in some alternate reality, Mrs Clinton did become president, of course there would be elation from her supporters, but I do believe the backlash (or “white-lash” may be more appropriate) from disgruntled Trump supporters would have been just as disappointed/heart-broken/frustrated/angry (and possibly more violent) as what we’ve been seeing from the millions of Clinton/anti-Trump supporters. But this is the nature of democracy, heck any contest; to have a winner there must be a loser. You may argue that (see above CNN graphic) Clinton should have won based on the popular vote and that the Electoral Votes don’t truly reflect the views of the people. There’s only one problem with that; a victory of 0.1% isn’t a mandate to go against the rule of the land, or change the wishes of 52.6% of the country that didn’t want Clinton. As a Brit who voted remain in our ridiculous EU referendum, I can say this from experience; all your protests, your petitions, while valid and even required to voice your concerns and fears, ultimately accomplishes nothing except to further highlight the chasm within America. You have already spoken with your vote. You live in a democracy, you champion it. This is it. Deal with it. Fight your corner, please fight, but recognise that this is not just a battle against the next president, but against the very system that gave him not just the opportunity to be considered a candidate, but also the keys to the White House.
The 45th President of this so called United States of America is a test. Half of Americans got what they wanted, which I believe will be a step back to the worst ideals of the 20th Century. The other half are now in absolute dread at the prospect of being dragged by there by their ankles. Like Brexit before him, Candidate Trump gave political validation to the worst aspects of modern society. But now he’s President Trump he claims he wants to unite the country, and in order to do that, the vile rhetoric of the last 18 months has to be dialled down. This inevitably means that some of his (often half baked, if not, raw) pledges that he has made to his baying rally crowds will have to be flipped. When 2017 starts let’s see what happens to that stupid wall of his that “Mexico will pay” an estimated $25bn for. Let’s see what really happens when he tries to deport an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants from US soil. All of America will be watching to see if he can deliver on these and other ridiculous, populist pledges; half hoping he can, the other half praying he can’t.
Even up to the beginning of November the idea of President Trump was always a joke. The reality of it just isn’t funny. What this clown shoe represents isn’t just a failure of America, but a failure of the so-called “Civilised Society”. Across the Westernised world, its people are rising up and rebelling against authority like a hot headed teenager screaming “you don’t tell me what to do”! With President Trump, Brexit, and the growing popularity of right wing politics across Europe, we face the mother of a globalised hormone charged tantrum. So maybe it’s time to let loose the reigns. Let these societies, these metaphorical spoilt brats go out and make their mistakes. Indulge in their ill advised and poorly thought out vices. Then hopefully, in time, they’ll wake up with their heads in the metaphorical gutter, vividly remembering and forever regretting the stupid mistakes they made. Because they clearly have not learnt from their elders, or paid attention in history class when being told about the catastrophic rise of the right wing across Europe just 80 years ago. Or worse, maybe they just don’t care.
There are two further outcomes from this election that I’d like to quickly share. The first is that we now have concrete proof that time travel does not and will never exist, because no one in the future would look back at the last year of this destructive freak show of an Democratic election campaign and say “no, I wouldn’t change a thing” and not do something about it! And secondly, amusingly, possibly childishly, here in England Trump means “fart”. Next year we will be witness to the Fart Presidency. “Ladies and gentlemen, President Fart”!! Purile I know, but if simple pathetic jokes like that can still make you laugh this week, then we’re in with a shot of cleaning up this mess. You could say let’s wait for Trump’s follow-through.