The Future Is Orange
Donald Trump: The US electorate ultimately bought into his rhetoric (Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)
I feel as though I’ve been kicked in the stomach by a feisty mule. I have a dry mouth and there’s cardboard behind my eyes. I’m tired and scratchy, and my shoulders creak. There’s a hollow feeling in my diaphragm.
I could blame the vomiting bug that projected a fine Lebanese meal back at me in the dead of night. Or the coughing bug that had my Basenji and I barking at each other remorselessly, even though her breed is defined as the bark-less dog of the Congo. Or the pigging migraine that picked a choice moment to complement my other ailments. I could blame these but I won’t.
I know why I feel as if the Grinch has stolen my erstwhile sunny nature. Because I’ve seen the future and it’s orange. I knew the pumpkin-headed Trump would win the election because frankly, if I were a writer, that’s what I’d write. It’s just so much more interesting to put a perma-tanned, racist, sexist, bigoted, vengeful, amoral meshuganah in the White House than same-old-same-old Billary and Hills, with nothing to recommend them save expertise, experience and a record of unrivalled public service.
So it came as no surprise when I woke up on Wednesday to the drum of driving rain, looking like Silas Marner on an off-day, and feeling lower than a limbo dancer’s last move, to find that the unthinkable had happened to the untenable. I cancelled most of my commitments, took to my bed with a can of flat Coke, refused all solid food, newspapers, radio and TV. I wanted no more comment. What was there to say? The beast is out of the bottle.
Trump In. Put-In, Corb-In, Marine le Pin-head advancing at speed. I lay in my fevered bed wondering why, if Donald was so sure that the Democrats and the Clinton camp had rigged the elections, as he repeatedly claimed, he wasn’t disputing his own victory? How the pollsters had misguidedly aided and abetted him, because until the FBI email scam, Hillary was so far ahead that Democrats didn’t feel the need to turn out. And as elections go, the turn-out was horribly low.
And they voted for him. The demagogue who prowled around podiums, strutting and sniffing like a man whose brain is running on the other kind of coke, who cheerfully admitted his own tax-avoidance to the America he plans to make great again, who openly blamed Obama’s government for allowing him to flout the law, who said, in other words, “I am a felon! Elect me because I am corrupt already! I will protect you from people like me!”
And once the public had bought into that, he could let rip entirely. He could label his opponent “Crooked Hillary”, “a nasty woman”; he could suggest she might get blown away with one of the guns she wants to control and incite his supporters to “lock her up!”. He could describe the 12 women who accuse him of molesting them as “money-grabbing fantasists”, and Mexicans as drug-toting rapists. He could call for a ban on Muslims entering the US and imply that he, The Donald, would track down every illegal immigrant and personally deport them. He could say anything he liked.