I’ve just about recovered from the shock of seeing our American chums (or the half of them that bothered to vote) elect an evil clown as president. Coming not long after the Brexit fiasco, it feels like all the rules of the universe are now open to question and anything is possible. Tomorrow my bus driver might be a duck, the sky may have turned green and all the fish could be strolling around town in tiny berets, affecting a French accent and taking selfies in front of Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid.
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
It’s one of those periods when whole nations seem to go a bit gaga and do something that had just months earlier seemed inconceivable. I took the news quite badly, and I’m not even an American citizen. But my US chums on Facebook and WordPress seemed equally aghast. What new folly had they sunk to? Were they, as one cartoon suggested, competing with Britain for the ‘dumbest nation’ title?
Since the shock election outcome, I’ve been learning a little more of the motivations and attitudes that elected an arrogant, racist TV celebrity billionaire to the biggest job in America. It’s so easy to fall into a black and white, simplistic mindset where one denounces the Trump voter as a racist imbecile. I was certainly at that point a few days ago. But when you grasp what Hillary Clinton represented in the minds of many voters – the status quo of a political elite totally out of touch with ordinary people – then their choice starts to be slightly less baffling. Perhaps.
One commentator pointed out the fear that many white people experience as the demographics of their country shifts them slowly towards a minority position. And of course economic hardship and job insecurity are always rich seams to be mined for the skilled opportunist. So Trump rolled into town with just the right rhetoric and insane election promises to push their buttons. He won hearts, not minds, a lesson the left is slowly beginning to absorb both in the US and back in my EU-abandoning homeland. All us liberal lefty intellectual types got our bottom spanked, again.
I say intellectual in the sense I read books with no pictures in, and sometimes even finish them. I occasionally sit through long and baffling art-house movies. I once owned a beret. I am certainly no academic though and my formal education was fairly brief and superficial (Art school). But I can at least now stroke my newly acquired beard thoughtfully, take off my glasses, and with furrowed brow attempt to understand the metro public service announcements.
The advent of the ‘super-moon’ could have been a final omen, a portent of the ‘end times’ so beloved of certain religious extremists. I certainly noticed my hands seemed more hairy the past few days, and yesterday I had a strange desire to rip out the throats of passing strangers with my sharp fangs. But I put it down to typical Monday morning blues/hangover, and grumpily went about my day without too much throat-ripping or howling. No more than the usual amount.
Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”
It’s always impossible to predict what’s in store for us, despite what the astrology nuts and the crystal ball fondlers would have us believe. These recent global events may signal a general downward spiral of western civilization, a coming zombie apocalypse, or perhaps a visit from a amiable alien and his robot chum, keen to deliver a message to “Get your shit together Earth people, or else” Or words to that effect. (Remember the phrase “Klaatu barada nikto” just in case).
It may of course simply be another bumpy patch of road, where we hit our collective heads on the roof a bit and feel queasy for a time, but eventually find ourselves back on the motorway, cruisin’ towards that bright future of unlimited leisure, perfect virtual reality simulations and trusty robotic servants at our beck and call. A world powered by unlimited clean energy and completely free of Justin Bieber records, due to an administrative oversight that sends him and his entire music catalogue to Mars. Or Pluto. Anywhere else really.
In a multiverse (surely my most overcooked chestnut) every possibility might play out. Trump might start world war III in one, achieve world peace in another and be a cheese-eating chihuahua’s bad dream in a third. Clearly we’ll have to wait and see how this all pans out.
As for me I have my own challenges ahead – finding more paid work, trying to avoid any lycanthropic misdeeds and planning the referendum on whether to keep or lose the beard at the end of the month. It’s an important decision and I’m hoping that voters across the world will help me make the right call. Third time lucky.
©Text copyright Jason Lennick 2016. All rights reserved.
Picture: Space X