Rage over reason
So it happened. I don’t even know what to be most worried about because there are so many possibilities with the looming Trump presidency.
I’m not in hysterics over this like some of my fellow liberals but at the same time I wonder whether it isn’t so unreasonable to be concerned about the spread of misinformation and anti-intellectualism after all. Right-wing populism has been on the rise all over Europe for a few years now, and it seems that the US has finally taken the game to the next level by appointing this sketchy businessman boasting with his skills in tax evasion, as its head of state. And not only am I concerned about the state of the world that has allowed such a pseudo-political circus to take place across the pond, I’m also equal parts frustrated and disappointed with the Trump-apologists who have started popping out like daisies in the springtime. Trump may not be an actual evil incarnate but let’s not forget that he is terrifyingly unqualified for his new job.
The talk in social media seems to be circling the very real human rights concerns that especially Trump’s casual sexism and racism in the media during his campaign has sparked. We have all heard about the pussy-grabbing; the plans to prohibit abortions; the famous wall that will protect America from Mexico; and as if all of that wasn’t divisive enough, the new president-elect has also been openly endorsed by the KKK – a.k.a. racism personified. Make of that what you will.
And just before I get any further let us pause, and remember that I know as well as you do that nobody is perfect. But I would argue that the standard to which we hold ourselves and one another should always, always exceed the standard to which Donald J. Trump has been held throughout his campaign. Without even venturing to his policies, or what they might be compared to his opposition, I think we need to realise that his conduct in public has been absolutely subpar and disgusting. It is entirely possible that he only played the role of a loud all-round bigot to get the precious anti-establishment and anti political correctness votes that earned him his victory. But even if the hateful clown act was just that – an act, it has made the actual racists and sexists of the country feel even more entitled to overt bigotry.
So yes, my heart goes out to anyone in the States who is afraid of what living under Trump administration will do to human rights and equality.
And yet, there are bigger issues ahead.
Now, any of you who think that a glaringly unqualified president of the United States of America is solely the problem of Americans, listen up.
Trump is openly a climate change denier. Need I elaborate?
Cancelling millions of dollars worth of payments directed to U.N. climate change programs, lifting restrictions from the use of fossil fuels like oil and coal in the American soil and looking for a backdoor to get out of the environmentally crucial Paris agreement are all serious threats to our planet and all of its inhabitants. Surrounded by a number of fellow anti-science ignoramuses Trump does have an opportunity to do some real damage to the already precarious climate of Planet Earth. This will obviously not concern you, if you, like Trump, think that the whole global warming nonsense is only a Chinese hoax, and I mean it’s cold in New York so you’d actually welcome some climate change right about now ha ha ha … Not even remotely funny.
If a US size economy goes back to burning oil and coal like it’s the 1980’s it doesn’t matter where you live, it will effect you, your children and their children.
Someone with a clearly narcissistic personality is only ever interested in money, popularity and success right in the moment, and if you’re part of the elite of elites with so much money that nothing really matters there will always be a personal air conditioned, nitrogen – oxygen bubble for you and your offspring while 99% of the humanity burns, and in that case, you don’t really have to care. See, Trump and people like him are so grossly well established economically that they have never had to face real adversity. Of course, the Obamas are pretty well off as well, but no one is as privileged as a rich white man in this world.
And here I want to say a few words about Hillary Clinton. I honestly don’t care how much you dislike her as a person, or as a politician, or as Bill Clinton’s wife (in which case, repeat after me: A woman is not her husband’s accessory) – your disregard for the planet must be severe if you opted for Trump over her. I keep hearing that she is a cold-hearted, war-mongering, lying bitch who gives zero fucks about anything but money, but really – ask yourself, would you have voted for her if she was a man instead. And on the other side of that particular coin, if Trump was a woman, do not for a moment pretend that he would have got anywhere near the Oval Office.
Okay, so Clinton has lied – as opposed to Trump? Oh PLEASE.
Clinton likes money – as opposed to Trump? Yeah, right.
All I’m saying is double standards.
And it might come as a surprise to you, but when you work in politics in high-profile jobs, your hands can get dirty. There are many smart people who supported the Iraq war at first but changed their minds later, as humans tend to do. And anyway, as I recall, it was George W. Bush who started the war, not Hillary Clinton. When Obama got into the office he had a royal mess in his hands, and when Clinton became the Secretary of State, she also became partial to said mess. One could spend a lifetime and a half reading in on Clinton-related controversies but the truth is that we only know what happened, and not what could have happened if someone else had been in those shoes during that time.
You don’t have to like Clinton to see this.
All that said, I think Democrats made a huge mistake in nominating Clinton over Sanders, and I hope that in the course of the coming years they take a hard look in the mirror and come back as a united front in the midterm elections in 2018.
In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out Biden-Obama memes while drowning your sorrows in wine and death metal.
Trump’s First 100 Days – List of things that Trump is going to do
Cognitive Dissonance – Episode 325 – Tom and Cecil go through the aforementioned list of things while also making you laugh
The Most Powerful Clown – Listen to Sam Harris’ soothing voice as he tells you that we’re fucked
The Lesser Evil – Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan tell you why Hillary is better
And one final note: do not forget that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. So even when the vast majority of the American electorate didn’t care enough to actually go and vote, most of those who did, chose reason over rage.