Dear America: Please stop, you’re scaring me

Right, so you’ve had your fun, America, but it’s time we had a serious talk. Yes, that talk. About your Donald.

I mean… what the fuck, guys?

In order for this to work, I’m going to have to be honest with you. I hope that’s ok, because I don’t want to upset you. I may use language that will offend some. This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this. I am— wait, hang on. Those aren’t my lines. Ah, here they are. Yes. Sorry. I’ll have to say some things you may not want to hear. Sometimes the truth hurts, but in the end you’ll be the better for it. As will the world. So take a deep breath, maintain an open mind, and read on. Yes, all of it.

Fezzik and Inigo

Fezzik, don’t hurt me, but we need to have a serious talk…

It started out as something for the rest of us to laugh about. You had this candidate who was some sort of celebrity in the States, some guy who did a reality TV show, and he was saying some ridiculous things about, well, about anything and everything, about the other candidates, about himself, about politics, about the world. Things no one could really take seriously, and it was obvious that it was just a publicity stunt, just a small… I mean, average-sized middle finger towards the politicians in Washington, who’ve grown stale and cynical and petty, obsessed with their little power games, who have perverted politics and turned it from something that is supposed to help the people of one of the biggest countries into something that only helps the politicians and the lobbyists and the large corporations who are willing to pour money into it to get their way, whether it’s good for anyone other than themselves or not.

I chuckled when my kids, who aren’t really interested in politics – not even Australian politics, let alone world affairs – asked me whether a guy who said those kinds of outrageous things could actually become president over there in faraway America. “Don’t be silly,” I told them, “there are millions of people over there, there’s no way he can fool that many. He’ll drop out of the race soon, thinking he made his point, but no one is taking him seriously.” Because deep down, I knew that there were three types of people who would support a man of his ilk:

  1. those actually dumb enough to believe all his blatant lies,
  2. those fanatical enough and/or filled with enough hate at whatever minority or fringe group Donald is throwing under the bus today, and
  3. those who get what type of person he is but are willing to support him anyway, just to send a giant “Fuck you!” to Washington.

I just had no idea how many of each there actually were.

An election anywhere is almost never about just one or two issues. It’s about a whole bunch of them. Only parochial idiots pick just one or two issues on which to base their decision which way they’ll vote. Sadly, America has many, many more such parochial idiots than I’d suspected. Not you, of course – you’re still listening (well, reading), so you’re clearly not parochial, and you’re comprehending most of what I say, so you clearly can’t choose the wine in front of… apologies, mixed up my lines again (inconceivable!). I meant, you’re not that stupid. But there is an astounding number of people in group #1. The same goes for group #2. A frightening number of them, too. I suppose in a nation that large, a nation that doesn’t attempt to suppress free speech and free will (no, no, I also think those are good things, calm down), there have to be many who take their opinion to the extreme.

Now the next part may be difficult for Americans to understand. I’ll try to break it to you gently. You’re sitting down? Good. You see, we – the vast majority of the rest of the rational world, that is – actually think Obama is a really good president. And we think Drumpf – I mean, Trump – well… hey, do you remember Chernobyl?

What’s that you say? You’re the greatest nation on earth and you don’t care what the rest of the world thinks about you?

Let’s start with the second part of that – you really should learn to care what we think of you. You’re part of the world, too, and just the same way as kids grow up and become more mature and learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that they have their rights but also their responsibilities, and that certain compromises have to be made so that everyone can get along, so you, too, need to learn that you’re part of Planet Earth’s big family, and with the sandpit becoming more and more crowded, you don’t want to be the kid that no one wants to play with, do you? Yes, it’s very important that you get your own affairs in order, but do you really think you need to shut everyone else out in order to do so?

As for the first part, about you being the greatest nation on earth… you’re still sitting down, right? Well, aaactually… you’re not. Not really. Sorry. Don’t get upset, now, I warned you about this, remember? We still like you and respect you. Let me explain.

You’ve done some really great things for this world – yes, you make most of the best movies over there, good example, but I also meant technologically and scientifically – but in some other respects, you’re kind of – remember what I said about not getting upset, okay? – you’re kind of the barbarians among, for lack of a better expression, the “civilised nations”. How can I say that? Well, think about it. The death penalty. Do you really think it’s helping with your crime rates? At all? Do some research yourself – please. It’s barbaric, it’s inhumane, it’s uncivilised. Your obsession with guns is another one. No, hang on now – I understand about your second amendment rights, but do you even remember what time these rights came from, and why they were added to your constitution? Fighting violence with more violence, really? This isn’t the Wild West anymore, you know. Look at other countries, look at how they’ve managed to make it work without everyone owning guns. No, no, their crime rates are actually lower, because— Okay. Uh-huh. You see, in other countries they— You don’t want me to explain? All right. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one, then. Don’t shoot me.

My way's not very sportsmanlike

Not everyone in the world is barbaric, guys.

But let’s get back to Donald. (Oh goodness, I just realised that the whole not-the-greatest tangent could be misinterpreted as agreeing with that silly “Let’s make America great again” slogan, but explaining how the ways in which Donald wants to make your country great have nothing to do with greatness would take too long.)

I was talking about those three groups who support him. Yeah, ok, scroll up and refresh your memory. Back? Good.

The ship has sailed for group #2, that is, the alt-right white supremacists and the other gun-toting idiots who’d like nothing better than to be able to shoot everyone who’s different from them. They’re beyond hope. All we can do for group #1 is to hope that someone slightly smarter than they are has the patience and/or the clout to explain to them how they’re wrong, or that they’ll finally get the drift that they’re on the losing side, and in their finite wisdom decide they’d rather back a winner.

No, my appeal would be to group #3, and my argument would be three-fold. (What? Oh, it means I have three main points. You’re welcome.)

Firstly, I’d like to point out that the “Fuck you!” has been heard loud and clear in Washington. Change won’t come overnight, but keep sending that message (no, without voting Trump, dammit!), and change will happen. It’s a worthy message – just please use a different envelope. The Brits tried to send that message, and it worked a bit too well. So well, in fact, that the first thing they tried to do once they realised that their “Fuck you!” vote had won and they’d be cleaning up the mess it caused for years, they wanted to re-vote because, well, they hadn’t really been serious about actually winning. Your “Fuck you!” could backfire on America much more spectacularly than the Brexit.

Secondly, have you actually listened to Donald talk? I mean, not just to play point-and-laugh – actually listened to his messages? With anything approaching a triple-digit IQ, you should’ve long ago figured out that he’ll say anything he thinks you want to hear. He obviously has no scruples, no conscience, no morals. He has an uncanny knack for knowing what people fear, and he loves to stoke that fear. He constantly thinks he can get away with spouting one outrageous lie after another, and whenever faced with clear evidence that he is wrong, he’ll just resort to calling everyone else liars. He calls himself a winner because he’s trampled on, bullied and cheated people, and used his father’s money and influence to get to where he is.

Do I even need to mention his bankruptcies? Or the ugly things he’s been saying about women, about Mexicans, about African Americans, and who knows what other groups? Now, given all that… is that really the sort of person you want running and representing your country? You want him to blunder his way through delicate diplomatic channels when lives are at stake? Butter up an unbelievably dangerous leader like Putin, not realising what he’s doing? Rip to shreds agreements about climate change that are finally putting us in the vicinity of having a chance to save our planet? Offend nations by groping the women in their delegations? (Because if he believed he can get away with that when he was just a real estate tycoon, what’s he going to think he can get away with once he’s President?) Throw entire international markets into turmoil and gamble with other people’s money because of his unpredictable nature? (Think I’m kidding? Read some serious articles that explain why he’s the biggest danger to international stability the world has ever faced.)

Need I go on? Please consider what kind of a country – and world – you’d create if you voted him into office.

The sound of ultimate suffering

And thirdly, imagine what kind of message that would send to your children, and your children’s children, and… you get the point. By making Drumpf your president, you’d be telling them that it’s ok to bully people, to grope and objectify women, to behave like an oaf as long as it’s entertaining, to disrespect minorities, to lie, to claim all sorts of untrue things about people who disagree with you.

My grandfather fought in World War II. For Germany, actually. Yeah, he was a Nazi when he was young. He’s passed away years ago, but I remember speaking to him about it, and him shaking his head in shame, saying that it all sounded so believable and convincing what the guy was saying, and that for the longest time he’d held on to the belief that all the ugly things they were hearing about their national hero couldn’t possibly be true. There was a guy who was going to “make Germany great again”, they thought. You may not see them, but there are so many parallels there, it’s scary. Seriously scary. Don’t be caught in a situation where something bad happens that you did nothing to stop and suddenly it’s an out-of-control train wreck and all you can do is watch. And despair.

So, in the name of all that is good and right in this world, I beg you: please, let common sense prevail. No matter what you think of Hillary, she can’t be worse than Donald. Impossible. This many awesome celebrities can’t be wrong.

Please, please, go and vote next month to let a loud and clear “Fuck you!” echo around the world to reach the ears of people like Donald Trump.

They need to hear it even more than Washington.

Save the day. The world will thank you.

Fezzik, you did something right!

About Amos M. Carpenter

Web dev by day, author by night, and generally interested in (and opinionated about) way too many things.

Posted on 19 October, 2016, in Miscellaneous and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Couldn’t have put it better myself (then again, I’m European, so I’m bound to agree with you). You have missed a 4th group, however, and that’s the largest one of them all. They’re the blue-collar workers who have lost their jobs and feel that globalization has done nothing for them. They see others get rich and grind their teeth in fury. They watch politicians make empty promises and their blood boils. They feel that political correctness has muted their voices for far too long, and are now like children who have just learned a new swear word and are using it again and again, just to make their parents mad.

    These “angry white men” are right to be angry, even if it’s sad that they’ve chosen such an ugly way of expressing their rage. But it’s not unexpected: the hate-peddlers (Rush Limbaugh, anyone? Fox News?) in the States have spent decades building up a narrative that supports (and exploits) that anger. That’s why, for Republicans to act surprised that The Donald is doing so well, is the ultimate hypocrisy.

    • Completely agree, but I’d include these “angry white men” you mention in group #3. I think they’re not fooled by Trump’s outrageous lies – in fact, most of them have probably been exploited by people just like him for most of their lives – but are willing to overlook his ugly side precisely because they’re so angry and feel even more betrayed by Washington.

      Plus, it seems there’s a lot of hatred towards Hillary Clinton that we non-Americans probably can’t fully comprehend, so for many it’s a decision as to which is the lesser evil. As an outsider, she doesn’t seem so bad – a polished politician (with all the good and bad that entails), but then I haven’t been subjected to media reports on her much before this election (except the last election’s primaries).

      The media’s influence over this is indeed scary. In my opinion, Trump’s hysterical conspiracy theory claims that media organisations like The Washington Post and The New York Times (which as far as I’m aware have always been bastions of journalistic integrity) are somehow to blame for his bad results, are at least as much of a hypocrisy as the one you mention, since he’s riding a wave of outrage fanned by Rupert Murdoch and his ilk.

      (Incidentally, apologies: I try not to get political very often on this blog, but sometimes it’s hard to keep your mouth shut when you feel like you want to rattle certain people out of their stupor and dump a few bucketloads of common sense into them.)

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