Well, the nightmare scenario has, somehow, improbably, come true. Lunatic hell clown Donald Trump has been elected president.
It's likely I have little to add to the great navel-gazing going on right now. I'm mortified. I'm terrified. I'm horrified. Lots of "-fieds." It's likely you are, too. If you're not, you're probably about to be granted that supposed worst outcoming of all wishing: getting it.
To you I say: I can't imagine what you think you're going to get out of this. If poking a finger in the eye of liberal coastal elites was kind of the end-all be-all of your goals, well, I guess you got it. In exchange for which you'll also get global recession, a rollback of all the hard-fought freedoms we've earned over the past decade, and likely nuclear war.
Was that the point? Fuck over the country in exchange for a great big "fuck you" to the blue states? Hell, we already knew that was your sentiment. I still remember vividly the day a Republican crowd cheered that Chicago wouldn't be getting the Olympic Games. That was the first time I got an inkling that for some of you, partisanship really does trump patriotism.
I don't think Hillary would have been a great president. I think she would have been fine. A reasonable caretaker. We would have continued inching our way back towards prosperity. Trump, though, is going to be a disaster of possibly existential proportions. And with an all-Republican legislature, an unmitigated one.
Is this the end of the great American experiment? Quite possibly. We might eke through the next four years of deranged "leadership." The power of our system of checks and balances may keep Trump's greatest excessed in check. Perhaps the real line he was selling was to the voters he so obviously scorned, and his administration will look nothing like his promises. Perhaps he'll be even more of an absentee-in-chief than Bush was. Perhaps he'll even be impeached or imprisoned before or shortly after taking office, and be more than just an empty suit. I don't exactly like the idea of Mike Pence running the country, but he'd be more of an "awful Republican running the country" type of administration than "deranged lunatic stroking his ego" type of administration.
That's about the best we can hope for. One of those four scenarios:
1) Our system of governance is actually strong enough to endure a Trump in office
2) Trump was full of shit all along and will run things like a businessman instead of a demagogue
3) Trump will be happy just being called president and let others do the actual business of governing
4) Trump will actually physically be absent due to his past or future crimes
I feel like analyzing this is like analyzing all the ways Hillary could've found a path to electoral success. Partly because it feels so masturbatory at this point, but mostly because I don't think any of them will come true. I think Trump will rule with an iron fist, and will do all of the crazy things he said he'd do, and then we're at apocalypse scenario time.
And the apocalypse scenarios are terrifying. Trump seems obsessed with using nukes, which should terrify any right-thinking person, but, you know, liberal elites are just the worst. Trump's economic policies are projected to lead to a recession if we're lucky (and just his election is causing the markets to tank) and possibly another '30s-style depression, but, you know, liberal elites with their fucking kale. Trump has mobilized the KKK, American Nazi Party, has encouraged violence at his rallies, threatened to jail his opponent, and clamp down on the media that opposes him, but, you know, fucking iPhone-buying liberals.
So at this point I don't know. I really don't fucking know. I've never been this scared in my adult life. When Bush was elected, I didn't care, because Republicans and Democrats were pretty much two sides of the same coin as far as I was concerned. When Bush was re-elected, I was sad, but it was pretty much just crummy business as usual so I knew it was just a matter of holding out four more years. If Romney had been elected I would have held my nose and dealt with it, because he wasn't a terrible guy, just, you know, a little right of where I like my politicians to be.
With Trump the whole fucking paradigm's out the window. I'll probably be all right. I'm a fairly wealthy white guy who lives in the suburbs. I work for the military, and unless things change a lot I don't think Republicans are going to start cutting military jobs. I'm not happy about the economy in general tanking, because it will fuck up my savings and my 401K, but I'm young. My retirement will bounce back, hopefully. I'll probably be all right.
And I'm still scared. I'm terrified. People who aren't like me are going to have their backs against the wall. Blacks are going to be told their lives do not fucking matter, no matter how they demonstrate. Muslims are probably going to start being lynched. Gays are probably going to be forced, weeping, back into the closet to get by. I don't even know what's going to start happening to Hispanics, although I'm guessing there will be a lot of fun, good old-fashioned Gestapo style random house inspections and rounding ups.
My mentor today said that great art will come out of this, that Watergate lead to THE SHINING and so forth. It's scary that that's the best we can do in terms of a silver lining.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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