"It was like a nightmare. I didn't know I was awake until my mom spoke, whispering to my dad. "Guess who won the election?" she said. "Was it Trump?", he replied. "Yes." I could not go back to sleep..."
Trump gave a surprisingly articulate and soothing victory speech, similar in theme to one that Bernie Sanders might have given. He promised to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, and he said that the forgotten people of America will no longer be forgotten, which is about the most presidential thing he’s ever said, as far as I can tell.
I think the most disappointing part of this whole thing is he doesn’t seem intent on really wreaking any havoc in the Political Machine™ now that he’s inside of it, which was really the only possible silver lining. Draining the swamp. Killing corruption and complacency on the left and the right. What he’s actually doing is hiring conventionally delusional, climate-change denying, regular-ass establishment Republicans for his top cabinet positions. Steve Bannon has a reputation of being sorta white-powery, but I think he’s just an amoral scheming hustler who happens to have picked the right over the left.
Donald Trump, the reality TV star president that America elected, is slated to be nowhere near as entertaining and exciting as he was on the campaign trail. The people voted for Hollywood and got Washington. He was all flash and pizzazz, lights, camera, action. Our celebrity president, the method acting king of improv, Caesar of the era of purposefully leaked sex tapes and an inverse relationship between ratings and IQ points. He won through gossip and tabloids. He won through hushed voices in hair salons and drunken rants in dirty bars. Simple, short sentences with small words. He kept it vague, angry, and grammatically incorrect, and fact-checkers were irrelevant. It was about the feeling. It was about the character.
He could’ve at least gone all the way with it. I mean, Donald Trump is the president of America. This is what we have come to. Fuck it. Gwenyth Paltrow for Attorney General. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for Secretary Of Defense. Pardon Charles Manson. Bomb Britain. The American people want action, they want drama, they want morally ambiguous characters and comic relief, they want cliffhangers and breaks for commercial.
I think everyone, deep down, knows that one man whose vocabulary is so limited he frequently says “bigly” (or maybe “big league?”) cannot single-handedly fix all of America’s major issues by using his experience from a career of not totally blowing his massive inheritance. But they really, really want to watch him try. Trump is the tragic hero America has been looking for, and his presidency could shape up to get the highest Neilsen SoundScan ratings of all time.
Lots of people have been telling people like me to stop whining and enjoy the show. I’m tempted to grab some popcorn and laugh along with everyone, but I can't. Climate change is real and devastating and will affect everyone in the world and will get much worse much quicker under an administration that denies its existence. The economy was tanked by Republicans under policies that Trump wants to not only reinstate but increase the severity of. 'Stop and Frisk' is a racist and unconstitutional policing policy. Letting people not have health insurance defeats the point of insurance.
People are rightfully scared of a smiling fascist demagogue who rose to power with fearmongering and misinformation, who promises to undo all recent progress. People are scared of a Vice President who thinks being gay is a curable disease that you can electrocute people out of. Trump doesn't believe in global warming and Pence doesn't believe cigarettes cause cancer, and people are scared that their leaders seem to live in another reality where facts and statistics and history and science mean nothing, where the only truth is fear. People are scared of the few but vocal and violent bullies who now feel empowered and encouraged after Trump's victory and are committing hate crimes across the country. People are scared that women will lose rights because Donald Trump blatantly spreads untruths about woman's health care. How can you tell people not to be offended when you're so offended by burning a flag of a country that picked racism over some vague, misogynistic, misinformed idea of hearsay corruption. Wars can be escalated and stagnant economies can get much worse. A lot of people are scared that basically everything is going to be worse for everybody, and Trump hasn't said or done anything to quell that fear.