In a blurry blink, I migrated towards the VIP room where a large crowd in evening attire, flocking around a table covered in finger food. A man, pocket bulging with either a shrimp cocktail or a pistol, directed me towards a figure whose apex resembled a miniature haystack. The coiffure perched on a glistening orange forehead, all stationed on top of a “Rubenesque” body.
Yes, it is happening, this is Donald Trump. Turning around, the “Don” greeted me with a mumble and took my hand in his, which was soft and moist like swamp water. I struggled to bypass the feeling of yuck, unsure if it was nausea or fear, nudging into the pit of my stomach. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger. It was a matter of time before someone who knew me would mention that I was not a big fan of Trump.
I jolted up from the bed, heart racing, hair standing on my arms. The feeling that my dream meant something baleful that Trump was going to win the election lingered until lunch. Then, I had the chance to express my worries to my level-headed husband. * My husband’s family voted Republican. As a war veteran, from a military family (uncles, father) I expected him to advocate pro-Trump. Convince me that what my subconscious revealed was anchored in reality or fed by information that my consciousness refused to see.
Instead, he argued that the pollsters, pundits, bloggers, and media claimed that Hillary had an indubitable lead. He added that when it came to a unified platform, goal, and plans, Trump had zero credibility. Hence his vote was for the only viable candidate, Hillary.
His assurances eased my angst for a day or so, but it had awakened a curiosity. I needed to understand why the Republicans would bet on a limping horse. If anyone else had run with such a nonsensical platform, which included “Mexico will pay for the border wall,” ” lock her up” and “Russia is our friend,” Lincoln would have risen from his grave to spit on RNC’s political compass.
You know, the fiscal responsibility, constitutional rights, “communists” are the evil, Republican party. Was I missing something? So, I took a closer look at Trump. Who he was, where he came from, what he was talking about in his campaign and to the media?
This is one of those polls. I’m sure you remember how even Fox polls told same.
As we now know we were all wrong about those polls.
As I said, I rarely felt the need to be so vocal or so engaged in politics before 2016. In 2016 though, I felt like those rebels in the New Republic after Skywalker vanished into exile to Ahch-To: the hope was dying. The Empire was going to win. We were all, left or right, following the words of a snake-oil salesman with too many bridges for sale, not checking on his references and credentials.
Nothing from what Trump had done, who he was or his past, justified a nomination and yet, others saw him as their personal Jesus. Like my neighbor Lilly, this gentle old lady, 92 she was, with nine grown-up children, ten grandchildren, and 27 grand grandchildren, a big, Catholic family. I met most of them, and all of them were fierce Republicans.
Lilly and I were friends for a while. It lasted until one of her sons trolled me on Facebook. I swiftly blocked him, and my relationship with my neighbor promptly disintegrated. Until then, since Lilly was the closest I could get to a genuine Republican, a woman whose life experienced spanned decades of turmoil and social revolutions, I had asked her about her opinion of Hillary, and it was almost positive. “Someday,” she said, “maybe we will be ready to accept a woman president. But I don’t think that time is now. Is hard, too hard to have both, a family, and a career. Those that had to make that choice and chose family will not vote for Hillary. To them, it means she isn’t putting her family first”.
While “her side” saw the good that Trump could be, they saw only and only the flaws of his opponent. They disliked her because she was a woman.Hillary, in their world, was evil incarnate. She will bring the Armageddon. It would corrupt the last bastions of “morality,” and the white voice will be suppressed. Their guns confiscated, their children deprived, and every other fear, hyped into an exaggeration of most imbecilic proportions. After two terms of an African American President, the racists, the xenophobes and the patriarchal WASP shown up at rallies louder than ever.
Social media (Facebook for the win) was the main cesspool of cretins and purveyor of fake news and propaganda. Pages and groups were competing in recycling idiocies circulated on the back-channels of 4chan and Reddit. While “Lilly’s side” saw the good that Trump could be, they saw only and just the flaws of Trump opponent.
So I wasn’t so convinced that Trump didn’t stand a chance. I was just amazed at how the almighty Mass Media was heedfully regurgitating the news that brought in the viewers but omitting investigative leads of lesser click-bait value.The whole email/Benghazi fake news played on an endless loop, be it on CNN or Fox News. How come was such a big issue? I mean, common’ how many people have not forwarded their work to their home and vice-versa? Pence did it. Way before the whole shebang with the election. While is a good business practice to keep stuff separated, it is not against the law.
I came up with some predictions/rationale on the situation at hand. Mostly because by September, the dream started to look increasingly as a prophecy.
These below-mentioned scenarios looked plausible enough to raise my concern. And since I am quoting other sources, not only MY interest. The information was out there. And my conclusions/predictions were common sense. Anyone with eyes and a brain could see and understand IF they were looking.
- Trump’s was interested in saving his businesses and paying back his loans. He did this before, every time he ran for office. If he was elected, he was going to monetize the presidency for his gain, to aid and promote his business and the Trump brand, domestically and overseas. His goal was to expand to Asia and Russia and build more (golden) condos there and bring revenue to the cash-strapped rentals in DC and Florida.
He was “promoted” by various interest groups. Foreign and domestic entities that had specific agendas:
- Russia’s interests were to isolate the United States and break its ties with European Union. Estrange allies such as Canada and Mexico and flow the profit to their business deals when it came to the exchange and sale of guns and oil. It’s always about guns and oil.
- Seek United States support and alliance when it came to Russian interests in Syria and Ukraine. By interests I mean occupation. Their intention played well with the Republican Isolationist stance, where the US would not “interfere” in other parts of the world, other than to support the war by proxy. It also implies that Russia will benefit tremendously if the US would lift the sanctions imposed by Obama after the annexation of Crimea and by deregulating the money laundering laws in place, or sabotage the US efforts of prosecuting the guilty.
- Greenlight the drilling up North, but above all, building a military presence in the Arctic which conflicted with NATO and EU.
- Free flow of cash /overlook sources of funds of business transactions. Aka reverse the 2012 Magnitsky Act
- Domestic: Trump’s incoherent ideological platform (Republican in name but Libertarian in essence), crafted by a Leninist and by other extremists groups, f.e. Evangelists and white supremacists, seeks to attack civic liberties. In my opinion, his goal was to target the first amendment alongside the entire bill of rights, pushing us into a modern feudalism or at best, an oligarchy.
The debates (had a little group of coworkers and classmates with whom I circulated my opinions and vented my angst) went on for the entirety of the summer. We kept the hope that in the end, truth and reason will prevail. But like in Star Wars, (or any other movie) the successful conclusion doesn’t happen right away. The morning after the election, we woke up dumbfounded, asking each other, how was this possible? What on Earth did just happen?
The feeling of having been punched in the gut was as visceral as the elation seen over my neighbor’s fence. The look on their faces read disdain: Fuck you, liberal, we won! Mine read mystification: Fuck, they won!
I was trying to understand and discern, if the world went mad or if it was something we concocted in an isolated aberration. Then the images and reactions poured in the media. The grief was real and was shared by millions of people. The overwhelming sadness over Hillary’s loss was beyond anything manifested when Bush won, for example. Beyond the name of a candidate.
It was a sincere expression of our collective fear: that democracy as we knew it, had suffered a formidable blow. And out of the ashes of our complacency and ignorance, the need to resist was born.
In the days, weeks, after the election, people banded together, concerned citizens of all races and religions, movie stars, mothers, victims of social injustice. Websites were made. Manifestos were written. The Indivisible Guide was so unexpectedly popular that it propelled its authors to instant stardom. Then, women marched. Millions walked to voice their opposition to what Trump’s administration represented, against the attacks on minorities, the LGBTQ, against the cronyism and nepotism and the blatantly unpatriotic spurning of American ideals.
Awaken from the slumber; I opened my eyes to a giant puzzle and my ears to a tumult of voices. How were we so blind to all the red flags, what could we do moving forward, to prevent such a catastrophic communication failure? Hillary’s message, thwarted, her ideology, watered down and twisted so much so that people stayed home or put “Whiskey” as their candidate choice on the ballot.