I have been writing down lots of things about President-Elect Trump for the last few months. A joke here. A criticism there. Mostly I just felt too depressed to write anything. The secret reason I spent all of December writing about Disney movies. And with the inauguration coming up I am going to put into one big lump my feelings. Some of these were obviously supposed to follow certain events in the campaign. Just roll with it.
I didn’t really want this to be the first thing I write about this year.
There is an episode of the old "Batman" live action TV show in which the Penguin runs for mayor of Gotham and so Batman runs against him. The chief argument the Penguin used against Batman was, "(Batman) is often seen in the company of criminals."
During the second Presidential Debate, Trump kept saying things about tax breaks and "locker-room talk" that struck me as similar. That as bad as he is or was, he would retort with, “Hilary Clinton has friends and takes money from people who are just like me". Trump’s argument being, "don't vote for her, she has the low character of someone who could stand to be around someone LIKE ME".
But... her emails.
Ever since President-Elect Trump first announced he was running for the office of the Presidency, I have been wondering with creeping suspicion if I am in “The Twilight Zone”. That is not entirely true, at first I thought it was a joke like every other person in America. That changed.
He would mock a disabled person. Say something racist. Say something stupid. Say something misogynistic. Say something stupid. Stand next to his son, Eric, who looks like a lizard person while saying something stupid. All the while, more and more support was thrown his way.
His awful record as a business man was shown to the public and the fact that he was hiding more failures was obvious. “He’s a great business man,” could be heard as he got more support. He was the same obnoxious person he had been for decades. “He tells it like it is,” could be heard as he got more support.
Running in the party that claims family values as a core tenant… That alone is funnier than any joke I have ever made.
Let’s take a brief detour here. The whole “Locker Room Talk” thing. No one talks like that in a locker room. No one.
What sort of closeted-gay or insecure-idiot walks into a room full of naked sweaty dudes and has to immediately start telling everyone how “straight” or “slutty” they are? “Oh, yeah. I have all of the sex. Like, I… you know. I grab’m by the pussy. They let you do it... That is how that works right?”
Really think about the kind of mindset that goes into that.
Trump won. Not just the primary—The Party of “Traditional Family Values”—he won the whole shebang. He did it with fewer votes due to the arcane and poorly thought out system from 200+ years prior, devised by wealthy slave owners to keep wealthy slave owners in power… But he still won.
So I sulked and made myself laugh as I could imagine him making his cabinet nominations and I would make up little funny sketches for my own amusement.
Aide: “That might be a problem, sir”
Aide: “He was caught giving classified information to his mistress.”
Trump: “What’s the big deal?”
Aide: “You are not allowed to do that.”
Trump: “Eh, what could it hurt? I tell Melania classified things from my briefings all the time. Gets it her hot. After a solid half dozen thrusts I roll off and she rushes to tell all her friends in Moscow how great I am at sex.”
You see the joke right? That Melania is a Russian spy who pumps him for information and then relays it to Russia. It is humorous. Was humorous. Seems like every day I am proven less a jester and more a Cassandra.
What about his daily security briefings that he skips because he is “smart”? He’s might be right. Maybe you don’t need a briefing everyday of the same material. Unless you have no foreign policy experience and don’t know the people, places, and events by heart yet. In which case repetition and even asking questions would be called for. What do I know? I have only been studying politics and government my entire adult life and I still can’t give you a blow by blow accounting of events in Syria and neighboring areas.
So I, as a white-male-liberal have to come to that inevitable conclusion that things really are as ambiently racist and sexist as all of my non-white and non-male liberal friends claim. The people voting for Trump are as racist as he is, and deep down think that everyone is. They think they are forced to be polite by a society that punishes what they think is perfectly rational thoughts about hating minorities. They think that America is actually just a bunch of closeted racists hiding how they really believe because of some unseen Political Correctness gestapo.
The women who support him have been so brow beaten, so put in their place, and so degraded that they really do see Trump’s abusive and toxic behavior/words as, "What men are all really thinking." That they think that all guys care about is sex and ego. I pity them for not knowing anything else to the degree they can’t imagine it.
These supporters think that sexism and racism are normal. It is sickening. Both on that level and the fact that as a white male, I have to be associated with this sort of behavior.
To think, for all the mistakes I have made in my life I should have been acting worse and getting away with more. My “privilege” has just not gotten the workout it could have been getting this whole time. How many people are thinking that unironically I wonder?
During this, the creeping feeling of unreality was constantly swirling around. This can’t be real, right? But it has to be. Life is not a TV show. Life is a stupid chaotic mess and it rewards stupid chaotic messes.
But, let’s just say this is an episode of “The Twilight Zone”, what would be the science fiction or supernatural twist? I hadn’t made any bargains with Death or freed Satan from a locked room… At least not lately. I was just watching a sociopath become leader of the largest atomic weapons cache in the world. And it is not like “The Twilight Zone” ever dealt with Atomic weaponry…
So here I am. Hoping that there is some kind of twist ending that doesn’t involve the end of the world. That it was all just a dream. A virtual reality system testing how insane they could make it before I finally woke up. That aliens finally come down and slap our hands away from the control panels and show us how to do things properly. None of that will happen.
When I wake up tomorrow there will be a fresh set of tweets about all of his enemies, about how celebrities are overrated, and all of his handlers telling us not to listen to what he says, to ignore what he does, and to instead look into his heart. Because sometimes 2 + 2 is 4, sometimes it is 5, sometimes it is 3, sometimes it is all of them all at the same time. And I can’t seem to wake up.