I’m going to swear a bit this post. I don’t want to talk about politics. In fact, I really, really don’t like politics. There’s only one good reason I pay attention to any of it: I’m going to do my duty to vote, and I want to make an informed decision. But I really hate talking about it. You know why? Because politics, along with sports (I’m looking at you Cowboys fans,) online PvP video games, money, sex, and love, have the ability to cause normally rational, intelligent human beings to completely lose their fucking minds. Granted, in the case of love (and let’s admit… to a lesser degree great sex…) the insanity might be worth it.
But politics… no. Especially with the oh-so-supportive social media aspect if full-force, politics brings out a shit-ton of negativity that will, for the most part, accomplish absolutely nothing good. I’m not talking about the people using it to fuel Bernie Sander’s “grassroots” campaign. That’s “good” social media, and I applaud the proper use of the medium to send a positive message. Instead I’m referring to the vast majority of armchair patriots that talk endless amounts of shit and spam Facebook with all the baseless, bias, and very likely completely unresearched articles they can find. The more you argue with them, the more rabid and less reasonable they become. People who are normally friends say unspeakable things to each other, families are divided, and even the workplace can become tense when you boss’s politics do not align with your own (I’ve had personal experience with this… fortunately not currently.)
But this election season, shit is getting real, and it’s damn scary. I’m not going to be able to progress much further without talking about my stance, so I should tell you that historically I’ve been moderate (you know.. the “grey area” after all..) but I lean toward the democratic side pretty much because I love women and want them to be able to do what they want as equals to men (which… they always have been… why it is taking so long for the world to figure that out is beyond me…)
This season choosing a side between the right and the left is easy. Because this season the republican side is all kinds of fucked up. Not since Sarah Palin have we seen a group of candidates so utterly disgraceful and representative of the republican party’s need to dismantle itself and remember what it’s supposed to stand for. Say what you want about G. W. Bush’s handling of 9/11, the fact is he brutalized the economy and led us into a severe depression. But that pales in comparison to the potential damage that the current republican candidates could do… Especially Donald fucking Trump. All of these guys, especially him.. make Mitt Romney look like a shining, angel-winged beacon of hope if only based on the fact he came across intelligent, articulate and capable of being reasonable.
In fairness, some of the candidates we started with could have proven themselves. John Kasich hasn’t appeared utterly insane, just too quiet. And at one point before he dropped out, I was appalled to find myself thinking that Jeb Bush was the most reasonable and feasible of the lot… another fucking Bush… But none of that matters, because of Trump.
A little over a decade ago (ugh) I liked Trump. The Apprentice had just gained popularity and my girlfriend (at the time) and I would travel to our friend’s house to watch his tough-guy image and signature hand gesture as he fired that week’s failure. It was television, but it had some valuable lessons about doing what it takes to survive in the real business world and managing your resources. At the time you could almost see Trump as a guru-style, hardcore businessman that you could learn from. Over time, however, the shiny innovation wore off and the gimmicks they attempted to freshen up the show only served to make them look more desperate. Perhaps that should’ve been an early warning.
Four years ago, Trump talked about possibly running, and people thought it was funny. He had gained some political notoriety by questioning President Obama’s birth records, but neither he nor anyone else thought it was a serious gesture. To his credit, he tested the water and perhaps that time he knew it was too cold for his taste. So he took a back-seat in the political arena for a little while. Later he said he regretted not running and that he could’ve beaten Obama “easily”. Sure Donald. Regardless, it was all a funny “what if”. Nobody seriously thought he would run, and even if he did there’s no way he’d be successful in the political arena.
Oops. We completely underestimated the number of racist, xenophobic, hate-filled, ignorant, scared, easily manipulated, complete fucking idiots that populate the supposed “greatest country in the world.” (Yes, I also loved the speech from the opening of the Newsroom… for the 501st time when it was posted on Facebook “new”… again… Aaron Sorkin is a genius… moving on.) I’ll give Trump credit for this: he knows his audience. He is preying on all those that are alienated when we try to move ahead as a society. Equality for people of color? Fuck you, I’m voting for Trump. Women are equal to men!? Fuck you! I’m voting for Trump! Accept those terrified, starving, fleeing, refugee TERRORISTS into MY country!? Fuck you! I’m voting for Trump! Basically anytime we’ve given a stupid white (often) redneck male a reason to feel like he’s not the king of the world, Trump is stepping in to be their savior.
And I only wish that were his only demographic… but there’s a number of other people, who I can only assume are either evil businessmen in league with him or sheep-like people that feel scared and/or weak that are drawn to his strong bravado. But it’s false bravado, and anyone with a brain can see that. He talks “YUUUGE”, but anytime he’s asked a question requiring substance… a political plan, or international relations, or even his stance on white supremacy (seriously…) he balks. If he doesn’t have something offensive and strong to say that will support and fuel his masses, he tries to talk around the question with pure nonsense.
But it doesn’t matter. Trump has tapped into something primal: hate. Initially, the republican party got behind it and rode the wave of his popularity. They assumed he’d ride out his fame and settle into their ranks. But as is the case with many a horror story, they created a monster, and the monster outgrew them. Now they are faced with a very difficult choice; Let the monster have his way, or revoke their support and draw the ire of his legion of followers (the majority of whom were originally republican voters.) They know Trump will turn his followers on them, he has grown very, very good at inspiring and feeding hate… to the point now it has begun to become violent. So now those that fed him are at his mercy, watching in horror as he strikes down each of their other champions until the only one remaining is as comparably frightening as Trump himself: Ted Cruz. I wish I could say this is bad as it gets, but it’s still in it’s early stages.
If Trump wins the republican nomination, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I will be legitimately afraid of the outcome of the presidential race. Sure, in the past I haven’t agreed with certain candidates, but this is the first time I’ve ever felt like a candidate represented everything that was wrong with humanity. If he becomes the leader of the “free world”, then I honestly believe the free world could be doomed. He will almost certainly destroy our ties with long time allies such as Mexico (you know… the giant wall and all…) and the majority of Europe (who already hate him.) Further, it’s not unrealistic to see him forging ties with China and Russia, not for the sake of peace or creating a better world, but for the sake of money. Assuming that doesn’t create conflict through infighting and power struggle, it could very quickly turn into intimidation, invasion, and oppression of countries that posed any sort of threat to the new “Axis of Evil..err.. Greatness”, and a very ugly, very nuclear third world war that could change life as we know it… forever.
Now I realize that escalated quickly, and it sounds very far fetched, but look at what has been incited by this man so far. We’ve got him offering to pay the legal fees of his people who attack anti-Trump protesters at his rallies. The situation I described above is just a massively amplified version of that. What happens when Canada says “Hey there… you’re being a dick to your people and we are cutting off trade with you.”? He’ll retaliate, and he’ll encourage his people, his country, to violence. Here’s the thing folks, as soon as we give him those codes, as soon as we put him in that house, it only takes one moment of defensiveness and false bravado for him to make a decision that will literally change the face of this planet. That shit is real, and it is scary.
Maybe I’m overstating the situation. I really hope I am. Some people say that Trump is just saying all of this to win the popularity contest and as soon as he’s elected he’ll change his tune. But I don’t think so. I’ve seen him in the board room when the people are watching him. As President, he would know the people, most importantly his people, will be watching him, so he’ll act “strong” even if somewhere deep down the last of his moral compass is telling him it’s a bad idea.
That’s the long and the short of it: Trump is already in over his head. He doesn’t know how government works, he doesn’t know political leadership, and he sure as hell doesn’t know constitutional law. All he knows is that the USA is one big business and if he’s the leader he has to keep lying and acting tough. So he’ll try to dismantle the parts he doesn’t understand and shape it into something that lets him make all the decisions like he has in his (arguably) unsuccessful corporations.
I saw a movie once where another leader came to power and did the same thing. That leader’s name was Palpatine. Unfortunately, the real-life version we’re faced with now is just as evil and greedy, but not nearly as powerful or intelligent.
So for the love of god people, vote for anyone other than Trump. If he wins the republican nomination, and you’re a republican, then I ask that for the sake of your party and your country, you vote for the democratic candidate (either is better… and maybe we’ll get into that in a future post.) The republican party has already all but denounced Trump unofficially, so if you vote for the opposing candidate, at least you know your party has time to regroup, develop a new strategy, and maybe unify into something that better represents the conservative people of this country. This round was a disaster, we all know it, but if you vote for Trump on principle (or don’t vote at all…) the country as we know it may very well cease to exist, and the republican party might not get another chance. How’s that for the lesser of the two evils?
As much as someone as revolting as Trump is, what scares me more is what he has tapped into. Never in my life have I seen this level of hate and anger. It’s palpable. I wish I could just relegate that to “oh it’s just dumb ass racist rednecks…bless them.”. But I know plenty of educated people who I have come to respect and appreciate in my life look up to Trump. Like you said, they’re either so scared or so weak that his false bravado makes them feel “good” about themselves. But why weren’t they feeling good in the first place? I get that people who have been left behind as we as a society advanced or people who lost jobs and have been told to blame the black guy in office. But the people I’m talking about are professionals. They have careers. They aren’t struggling for work because of “dem illegals”. They see a better future with Trump. Are we seeing the same reality? Why do they refuse to see the same seeds being planted as the ones back in the 1930s (It’s not your fault! It’s these certain ethnic/religious groups that are ruining the economy and taking your jobs! Let’s make Germany great again!). It’s too easy for supporters to say right now “Oh it’s JUST a temporary ban; he’s just talking about the bad ones”, but who defines what is “bad”? As it is right now, Trump is telling his supporters that protestors and people who really disagree with him should be considered bad and be dealt with violently (and they are more than happy to oblige). It’s too easy to see that this can very quickly escalate because it’s being driven by false fear. And Trump will never tell his supporters “No, that’s enough”.
We truly live in interesting and possibly dark times, depending on the outcome.
You’re absolutely right. I feel like a lot of those guys with the already fantastic careers that support Trump are by and large the supremely financially-driven individuals that would will benefit from being supportive of a Trump supremacy. My career is essentially based on working with multi-millionaires and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that there’s always another level. Those that have said success and support Trump are what I believe to be opportunists who see him as the next new way to grow their money.
Otherwise it’s entirely possible they feel by supporting his plan to kick out many of the lower echelons of society (let’s face it, those primarily affected will not be the rich folk, regardless of ethnicity) they are disposing of a nuisance. It’s easy to assume that a very wealthy Muslim man can secure his place here by pledging support / money to Trump, and I believe a Trump-led USA will be even more money obsessed than we already are. Again, terrifying. Talk of class warfare exists now, but Trump has the potential to take that to an extreme and very literal definition. In the end the “Trump” (ie: Rich white male) will come up on top with maybe a few of their chosen being of various nationalities for the sake of political correctness (though.. he may not care about that either.)
Dark times indeed. And again I realize this is all very doomsday sounding, but I think we have a real danger of many of these possibilities should Trump make it to the white house. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he demolished it and built “The White Trump Tower”.