by Guy Somerset
The period following election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has been a trying time for us all. Many have dealt with the shock and awe of his victory viscerally through tears, while many others have retreated to places of safety, with others still grappling amidst the enormity of this triumph emanating as a thunderclap from the American people.
For those as yet unsure how to process all the conflicting emotions now being felt, where better to turn than the mouths of babes...
On a grey winter morn a father sporting a faux-hawk and goatee sits solemnly with his female life-partner covered in tattoos and dual ear-gauges before a small child whose eyes are full of wonderment.
Faux-Hawk Father: Hey buddy, you being the son of my wife I wanted to settle down with your mother here and have a listening session in our safe space about any anxieties or fears you may have about the recent election. If there's anything you want to tell us - please - share.
Boy: There was an election and the guy you and Mom don't like won. That's about it, isn't it?
Ear-Gauged Mama: No, he didn't win. He only got the Electoral College vote, not the Popular Majority vote. So he isn't my President!
Boy: Yeah, I guess...But Mom, isn't it true that in America we have an Electoral College system and everyone knows it? I mean, this wasn't exactly a surprise to Clinton or Trump. In fact they both ran campaigns based on those rules. That's why candidates spend zero time in states they know they can't win for their party no matter how many people live there. Meanwhile, they spent enormous amounts of time in "Swing States" with fewer people but which might go either way and thus decide the election.
If the rules were Popular Majority wins outright wouldn't they have both have run vastly different campaigns? Kind of like when I play basketball or soccer and a teammate takes an intentional foul in order to advance our overall strategy? Whereas, if the rule was that any foul would automatically disqualify a team, then no one would ever intentionally foul anyone? We all know the rules and use them to our advantage, right? Isn't that basically the first premise of both Sport and Politics?
Aside from which, even unbiased observers state that in excess of 1.5 million Illegal Aliens voted whose ballots were by definition illegally cast...well within the margin of error for the approximately 1.6 million Popular votes by which Clinton supposedly won? And let's not even get into the issue of President Obama unlawfully encouraging them! Isn't it fair to say we don't really know who won the Popular Majority?
Faux-Hawk Father: Damn it! We will not have that kind of talk in this household! Hillary won, she deserved it, this was her time! This was the moment for the First Female President!
Son: Why? Because she was born with a vagina? I mean, I'm not against a woman being President but why should anybody be for a candidate being President just because she was born a woman or vice versa?
Ear-Gauged Mama: (To her life-partner) You see!?! This is how it starts! (To son) Has someone already gotten to you at school? I know there have been chants about "Build the Wall" in some places. There have even been "Hate Crimes" taking places all over the country!
Son: As a matter of fact Mom, most of those "Hate Crimes"...if you even believe in such a thing as opposed to believing in regular crimes where everyone stands equal before the Law instead of victims based on their personal idiosyncrasies...anyway, those so-called "Hate Crimes" have been proved to be largely fabricated. Almost all of them were made up by people who wanted attention for themselves.
You know the girl who claimed two white Trump supporters wearing baseball caps in a truck had torn the Muslim headscarf off her while they shouted anti-Islamic slogans? Totally made up.
I mean, come on, her description of the imaginary perpetrators was so comically stereotypical that an intelligent person could say she had belied herself as racist during the commission of her crime of False Reporting. Incidentally, has she been prosecuted yet for wasting the time and resources of the State?
Faux-Hawk Father: That's not the point! The point is she felt in danger due to other people's opinions and had a right to make up whatever false and outlandish lies in order to cope with her pain!
Son: You mean the pain of Democracy? Because that's what people in the street are actually protesting. I'm not saying whether I would have supported Trump or not, since I'm too young to vote. However I do know in a fair and legal election where no violence was committed all participants should respect the final result. Isn't that the whole purpose of Democracy? Instead of using clubs to decide things, we use votes?
Ear-Gauge Mama: Words can be weapons too!
Son: Actually, they can't. That's complete nonsense. Aside from which, there is bona fide violence happening right now perpetrated by you two and your friends. People are not just marching. One white man in Chicago was dragged from his car and beaten when black observers noted he voted for Donald Trump - then they stole his car and left him bleeding on the ground. In New Orleans vandals spray painted "Die Whites Die" on a public monument, which if we're counting speech as violence would seem to be at the upper limit of it. In New York City protestors have been carrying signs with "Rape Melania" on them. That isn't peaceful dissent, that's mob rule - Mob Rule against the spirit of Democracy itself.
Faux-Hawk Father: That just shows how divided we are as a country right now!
Son: Again Dad, I think you're full of it. Just look at the map. America is divided between most of the country and about fifteen major cities. Between mostly ordinary people and a few urban elites.
Ear-Gauge Mama: What are you? Some kind of apologist for that tangerine-faced, fake-coiffed fascist?
Son: First, if I'm on anyone's side it's the side of the People in general. If they had chosen Hillary I'd support them if innocent citizens were being beaten in the streets. Second, I don't think you understand the term "fascism" if you believe a billionaire who lets trans-gender people use whatever bathroom they please in his private building is a "fascist." Third, are you saying it's okay for you to ridicule someone's hair style and skin color at the same time you accuse that exact same person of insensitivity against people based on their appearance and skin color? You sure you don't want to rethink that position?
Faux-Hawk Father: You're confused. Do you know Trump wants to ban all Muslims and kick out Mexican babies?
Son: Well, he never said anything about banning all Muslims, only not allowing those we don't know anything about from coming to our communities. That seems pretty reasonable to me. Would you eat a sandwich if you took it from someone you don't know, who wouldn't tell you how it was made, or refused to answer your basic questions about what was inside? Yet you want America to digest 1 million Muslim immigrants of unknown origin? Either scenario is a recipe for some very bad things to happen. You can't criticize a man for exercising good old-fashioned common-sense.
As for the babies, if they're officially Mexicans shouldn't they be in Mexico anyway? Likewise, if Mexicans are so great for America, why is Mexico such a rotten place to live and why do millions of Mexicans want to get out of it? That seems a pretty basic preliminary question for considering who we invite to be citizens.
Finally, Mom and Dad, if you're so eager to welcome people why is it Uncle Victor who lost his job when the automobile plant left for Honduras, and who lost his other job when he was replaced by an H-1B Visa worker from India, and who got kicked off his health care when the premiums rose too high...how come he lives in a van down by the river and not in our house? I mean, we have plenty of space and enough to eat? Yet we barely even see Uncle Victor for the holidays? Don't we owe an obligation to help our own families, our own extended American family, before we play benefactor to the poor of the world? Or is it that your altruistic sacrifice for humanity only extends until it becomes personal sacrifice?
Ear-Gauge Mama: Listen to me young man...or young currently-cis male...you aren't about to lecture me! This election was about being "Her Time" and now time has passed us by! Trump hates anyone different! My country is about love and respect! It isn't fair! It just isn't fair!
Son: What exactly surprised you about this whole election, Mom? That people like the program Scandal on television but they don't like scandals in the White House?
Or that most people don't "hate" anyone but simply want to live their lives; which for them means not having a radically out-of-touch bureaucracy decide their lives for them to the point a little girl now has to endure going to the bathroom with grown men in dresses watching her? Because, surprise, dissent isn't "hate"...most times it's just a difference of opinion.
Maybe it's just that you're shocked, simply shocked, that Fear and Rage beats Hope and Change? Listen, I know you are both members of the dwindling but insulated upper-middle-class. However that is a shrinking part of the country and I'm afraid sooner rather than later you might find you're no longer a part of it. Soon there won't be any more suburbs, or exo-burbs, to escape warzone schools and Sharia Law. The good jobs with guaranteed pensions are becoming fewer and farther between.
Right now, as you give me this lecture, there are around 80 million able-bodied and intelligent Americans out of work. Those that do have jobs are often woefully overqualified for the positions they hold. The old joke about college-graduates in Philosophy being waiters and waitresses is no longer funny, it's reality, and it includes everything from Computer Scientists to Attorneys. It will all be ten times worse in another ten years when industrial automation finally arrives.
These people aren't lazy and they aren't stupid, they're scared witless and you refuse to witness their suffering, and that makes them extremely angry. This is especially the case when you, who blithely ignore their pain and hardships, tell them that they are "racist," or "sexist," or "classist" for not wanting to live a life of poverty.
Whether you think these people made the right choice or not in choosing their President, at least assume they have a reason for doing so - even if you disagree with it.
Faux-Hawk Father and Ear-Gauge Mama: (look at each other in disbelief and mutually shout) Go to your room!
Son: Fair enough...at least it has a border.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime