In case any Americans stop by

So I think we can all agree that I have no call commenting on the US election. I’m an Australian, I don’t get a vote, and I have no particularly strong understanding of American politics. I am just a guy, watching from afar, and it simply is not my place to offer my opinion.

However, the counterpoint to this is: I do HAVE an opinion, so I’m going to bloody well give it to you, because I want to; and furthermore, as someone with no particularly strong understanding of American politics, I am at least as well-positioned to comment as the average American.

ZING!

Yeah, you feel that burn, America? I bet that stung.

OK so, look, here’s the thing: I don’t think much of Hillary Clinton. Oh there are so many things wrong with Hillary Clinton. My far more erudite friend Helen Razer has elaborated greatly on these, and I won’t go into painful detail here. Suffice to say she’s big on bombing brown people, she’s big on capitalism, she’s big on the status quo. There will be no momentous social change under Hillary Clinton, and she doesn’t particularly want there to be.

I am, in a way, both more optimistic and more pessimistic about the US election than many people. More pessimistic because I see no hope for things in America, or around the world, getting much better as a result of a new president taking office. More optimistic because I don’t see things getting much worse, either.

Basically, if Clinton takes the presidency, things will be…OK. I mean things will be basically the same, which is not OK at all, obviously, but they won’t get worse, and Hillary is unlikely to take her country back to the Dark Ages.

And if Trump takes the presidency, things will be…OK…ish. The wonderful thing about Trump, which becomes clearer by the day, is that he’s not just a terrible candidate for president: he obviously doesn’t actually know what a president does. He seems fairly sure that once he’s in the White House, he’ll just start waving his hands and giving orders and building walls, and every problem that he wants fixed will be fixed, because he is the president and he said so.

He won’t be able to do any of this. If he becomes president, he’s going to find himself absolutely flummoxed by the startling discovery of what a president is, and what a president does, and what a president can’t do. He’ll be essentially impotent — probably not a new experience for him, let’s face it — and the vast majority of his plans will come to naught, because he doesn’t know how government works and most of the people involved in governing the United States are less insane and moronic than he is.

Of course a Trump presidency won’t be a picnic — the Supreme Court may suffer an injection of awful, and he’ll give all the other demented cretinous blowhards in America and around the world even more unjustified confidence than they already have. But he’s not going to bring the planet crashing down around our ears, even if he tries to.

So. Things are pretty bad now, and if Hillary wins, they’ll be pretty bad, and if Donald wins, they’ll be pretty bad, and in the great cosmic scheme of things, maybe it doesn’t matter that much.

Except…

Except.

It is a choice between Hillary Clinton and DONALD TRUMP.

Do you get that, America?

DONALD TRUMP.

DONALD TRUMP will be your president, if you vote wrong.

DONALD TRUMP will be your president, if too many of you decide not to bother to vote, or vote for the guy who doesn’t know what Aleppo is, or the crazy anti-vax woman.

DONALD.

TRUMP.

Him.

I mean…how can ANYONE who is not as dumb as a post — or worse, as dumb as Donald Trump — look at the words “Donald Trump is running for president” and not feel an iron resolve to vote for whoever is running against him?

Yeah yeah, I get it: Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils. I get how, if Clinton was running against someone else — like the previous couple of Republican nominees — it might all seem like a wash. If it were Clinton v Romney or Clinton v McCain, I can see how you might just stay home, because, you know, meh. Whoever gets in won’t be that good, won’t be that bad, maybe.

Hell, if Clinton were running against George W. Bush, I can still see a case for saying, well here are a couple of cynical hawkish corporate-backed capitalist-boosters and who gives a fuck which one of them happens to run the scam for the next four years?

But she’s not. She’s running against DONALD TRUMP.

You know the thing about saying, “I don’t want to choose the lesser of two evils”? That means you’re choosing the greater of two evils. Which is fricking stupid. Nobody says it’s nice to have two evils to choose from, but if you have to, choosing the worse one is objectively a bad idea.

“It’s not good enough to simply be the lesser of two evils”? It absolutely is. How can it not be? In practically every election you’ve ever taken part in, that’s what you’ve been choosing anyway.

The perverse thing is, the “lesser of two evils” thing only ever comes up when one candidate is, indisputably, evil. The only reason people are saying that they don’t want to choose the lesser of two evils is that one evil is so evil that the question of evil is pushed irresistibly to the front of the mind. Trump is so terrible that everyone is forced to assess the election in terms of terribleness, and discovering that Clinton is also kind of terrible, they start whining about how they don’t want to choose someone terrible, and forget that someone terrible is a clearly superior choice to someone very very very terrible.

I mean, really. People are complaining that all Hillary has going for her is that she’s “not Trump”. That is arguable, but even if it were true, let me be blunt: that is enough.

It’s enough for her. It’s enough for anyone. If I were running for president against Trump, it would literally be my only talking point, and if you refused to vote for me you’d be an imbecile.

Because, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, it’s DONALD TRUMP.

If she were running against Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, the fact she’s not Trump would not be enough. As it happens, she is running against Trump. This means that not being Trump is a big, big plus. When Donald Trump is running for president, there are two main questions you need to ask about his opponent:

  1. Is his opponent Donald Trump?
  2. Is his opponent an actual cannibal?

An answer of “no” to both these questions means you vote for them. Hell, an answer of “no” to just the first one should at least make you weigh up the pros and cons of cannibalism.

Because here is the crux of the matter, dear darling America: if Donald Trump wins the election, he will be president.

Do you get that?

That means that you’ll have to watch the news and hear the phrase “President Donald Trump”.

“President Donald Trump met with heads of government at the G8 Summit today.”

“President Donald Trump presented his economic plan for the nation.”

“President Donald Trump judged a wet t-shirt contest on the White House lawn this morning.”

President Donald Trump.

If you elect him, that is the phrase you have to live with. You have to wake up every day and go about your business in the knowledge that you are a citizen of a country that made the phrase “President Donald Trump” a reality.

Are you, in fact, happy to subject yourself to that kind of humiliation?

Are you prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of your country and say to the world, “Yes, we are a nation of fuckwits, and we will no longer make any pretence about this”?

Are you comfortable with a world that is so ridiculous, so deranged, so flat-out DUMB, that Donald Trump is president of the USA?

That’s what it all comes down to: how dumb do you want America to be? It’s already pretty dumb, having achieved “Donald Trump is the Republican nominee” levels. But “Donald Trump is the president”-level dumb?

Is that what you want?

I’ll say it once more, and unambiguously: if Donald Trump wins the election, Donald Trump will be president.

So please, for your own sake: don’t be such fucking idiots.

For more reflections on nation-states and dumbness, buy Error Australis today.