Yet another Trump Article:What The US President-elect’s Triumph Means To Me, The Indifferent-To-Politics Non-American
I have never gone to the United States nor will I probably ever. While I’ve digested a lot of articles, and watched news segments that have allowed me to peer into the American life, I am, for the most part, oblivious to the inner workings of American society. Thus, as someone not part of this society, I have kept adrift from the post-election emotional turbulence.
Though, admittedly, the manner of Trump’s victory got to me on some level. The billionaire business man circumvented just about every rule on decency, respectfulness and prerequisite experience — the basic requirements a candidate for a position as esteemed as US president should meet— and still managed to upset Clinton in quintessential David-beats-Goliath fashion. I am the type of person who’s life is guided by logical reasoning bolstered by empirical evidence and facts, so you can imagine how shaken to core I was when a candidate who pissed on the rule book and tossed it into the fiery depths of Mount Doom got elected into office. But even still, my time questioning my most sacred beliefs was ephemeral, lasting no more than a few minutes.
That was until, I read this article that sucked me back into the vortex of wistful contemplation. It’s just one of the myriad pieces out there calling for calm among disgruntled Americans, pretty run-of-the-mill. But this particular line did however resonate with me: “…Trump is the most powerful man on earth…” I’m abashed for not noticing till recently that I have some stake in this. Maybe that’s because the news has been awash with incidents of hate crimes against Muslims and minorities, a surge in Planned Parenthood donations, and world leaders reluctantly agreeing to work with Trump. So my initial thought was the people who’ll probably be most affected in the new regime are: women — especially those who are pro-choice, Latinos, Muslims and world leaders. (Besides basic human empathy and the desire to see no one’s constitutional rights Trumped upon, I have no connection to any of those groups. )
When I digested that line not as the non-American, but as a citizen of Earth, I became aware of my seat at the table of those affected by Trump presidency. (Everyone has a place on that table. ) Then, the thoughts raced through my mind: the most powerful man in the world is a climate change skeptic. The most powerful man is a genitalia-grabbing, racist misogynist. Hitler wasn’t the most powerful man on earth, and look at what he did.
It got more depressing when I imagined a scenario where aliens landed on earth, and requested me to take them to my leader. Granted I have my own president and there’s no “leader of the world,” but we can reasonably assume that that person our soon-to-be-alien-overloads would want me to take them to is Trump.
As a member of the human race, the fact that the personification of hate and bigotry holds the highest authority in the planet is just disheartening.
What this situation says about us as a species is too gut wrenching to articulate with words. It brings to mind a suggestion posed by Ruhst Cole, one of TV’s best characters in recent years: “… Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight — brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.” An optimist friend of mine reassured me that in life there are anomalies — deviations from the way things usually go, that previous US presidents have met the aforementioned basic criteria and have been largely okay, so Trump is just an abnormality. But the cynic in me thinks with the growing wave of populism, more Trumps might pop up and when anomalies pass a certain threshold they cease to be glitches and become the new normal.