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Punch yourself in the face

November 9, 2016

I don’t suppose I’m alone in having a hard time dragging myself out of bed this morning. I was surprised I managed to get to sleep at all last night, let alone fairly quickly.

I had a dream that someone offered me a free trip to Australia. This is not a country anywhere near my top ten list of places I’d love to visit. The significance of the dream was not lost on me. Yesterday my doctor told me that if Donald Trump won he would seriously consider moving his family to New Zealand.

Last night hate trumped love. It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel far from fine.

It would be easy to say I hate bloody Americans. I don’t hate all Americans. I don’t even hate all the Americans who voted for Trump yesterday.

Many of them have legitimate grievances. They got screwed twenty years ago by the North American Free Trade Agreement. Their unionised, living-wage jobs disappeared and no one in Washington seemed to give a shit. Most of these people had no particular desire to go back to some Leave It to Beaver age where stay-at-home moms wear twin sets and pearls. They just wanted their jobs – and the dignity those jobs gave them – back.

Those people, in Pennsylvania and Ohio and other rust belt states, are not necessarily racists. Many of them probably don’t see immigration as the reason for their problems. They blame Washington, which indeed they should. NAFTA was signed in the full knowledge of both President Bill Clinton and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney that the agreement would largely destroy the manufacturing sector in the US and Canada. They really did not give a shit about those workers.

The orange flimflam man showed up and promised to bring their jobs back. That was all they cared about. They couldn’t see him for the misogynistic, homophobic, racist narcissist that he is. Maybe they could, but with the promise of decent jobs they just didn’t care. Maybe, with the jobs carrot dangled in  front of them, these no doubt religious people would have voted for Satan himself. I do actually understand those voters. I get it. And I do have pity in my heart for them, because Donald Trump doesn’t give a shit about them either and before long they will understand how totally he’s screwed them.

I also get that the majority of Bible Belt residents would rather pour petrol over their heads and set themselves on fire than vote for a Democrat. Donald Trump may have appealed to their baser natures. They certainly ate up his road to Damascus conversion to a God-fearing pro-lifer. But they would have voted for whatever candidate the Republicans put forward.

Yes, okay, I do rather hate the basket of deplorables, those white supremacists who showed such appalling delight at finally finding Their Guy.

But my hate, such as it is, is focused primarily on the voting-age American citizens who sat this one out. The people who’d decided they just didn’t like Hillary Clinton and, even though the alternative was clearly so very much worse, just stayed at home. Those people should be punched in the face every day for the next two years.

Because, thanks to them, one of the worst excuses ever for a human being will soon be the President of the United States and his party will have control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. (What the hell happened to the checks and balances you guys are supposed to love so much?)

So, for my neighbours south of the border, it’s goodbye to affordable health care, goodbye to the prospect of affordable college for your kids, goodbye to increased (possibly any) gun control, goodbye to any action on climate change, goodbye to regulations protecting your health from polluting corporations and, after the salivating senators confirm whatever Neanderthal Trump proposes for the Supreme Court vacancy, it’s goodbye to any chance for years of overturning Citizens United and quite possibly hello to the overturning of Roe vs Wade.

Congratulations, stay-at-home voters, this is the United States you have created. Get off the couch and go find someone to punch you in the face.

If this was any other country, the rest of the world could just shake its head, perhaps even laugh at the quite stupid, self-defeating proclivities of the elecorate. Then we could wish them luck with the mess they’ve made. But this isn’t any other country and now the citizens of the rest of the world (which overnight has become a more dangerous place) can only hold our breath and wonder what lunacy this megalomaniac will unleash upon us.

In two years, stay-at-home voters, you can stop punching yourselves in the face. Assuming elections are still being held in your country (fingers crossed), you can get off the fucking couch and go out to vote Democrat in the mid-terms. I shudder to think how much damage Trump can do in two unchecked years, but he could do twice as much damage in four years.

Back in the spring a German friend of mine, shaking her head at the ascendancy of Trump in the Republican primaries, said that, if nothing else, no one could ever again ask her how the German people could have elected Hitler.

Indeed.

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