I would start by telling a lot of our younger readers not to panic. That we’ve been in a similar place before as a country. That there are a lot of people here who have lived through more trying times than we’ll most likely see in the next four years.
However, all the younger readers on my social feeds keep telling me not to tell them not to panic.
In the aftermath of this election cycle, there is a lot of 20/20 hindsight into how a fat, orange, unqualified pair of clown shoes won the presidency. Plenty of people are arguing that it’s all misogyny, xenophobia, and racism, and they aren’t entirely incorrect. There are certainly a good number of hate tanks that voted for Trump specifically because of his trash talk about everyone in this country who isn’t a white, heterosexual male.
But hate doesn’t explain all of it. Remember: These are people we live and work with, most of whom are not flag-waving members of the KKK, despite their limited vocabularies and lack of diversified friendships.
Continuing to blame a Trump presidency entirely on hate is as stupid as people saying suicide bombers “hate our freedom.”
For instance, 95% of my office most assuredly voted for Trump despite about half of them supporting gay marriage. Why? Well, this year — while a large part of the national conversation was about transgender rights concerning bathroom use — a quarter of my office was fired, and the rest of us took pay cuts so my boss could continue covering our mandatory health care following our insurance company’s unreasonable rate hikes to maintain profits under the rollout of Obamacare. I’m not saying they would’ve voted Hillary otherwise, but getting canned kinda makes you resent the incumbent party.
I’m not trying to lecture, but continuing to blame a Trump presidency entirely on hate is as stupid as people saying suicide bombers “hate our freedom.” No, they don’t. They hate all the things that have happened to them to get them to a point where blowing themselves up is the only way they feel they could get a point across.
You think walking around Wal-Mart with an AR-15 strapped to your back on a Tuesday afternoon is an idea someone follows through on out of the blue? No, there’s a bit of a buildup, which brings me to my main point: There are going to be some positive aspects to a Trump presidency.
Two-party systems work because the ball gets tossed back and forth, maintaining entropy and keeping things from getting so one-sided that the other half revolts. So, what are the possible benefits?
For starters, crazy white guys with guns will get noticed by regular white guys with guns. I’m not talking about just cops, either. The NRA, believe it or not, is dedicated to gun safety education when it’s not freaking out about losing its lobby in Washington. Without a Democratic boogeyman coming for your guns (I know he hasn’t done it in eight years, but I swear, he’s still got a couple weeks), it’ll suddenly be way harder to ignore dildos with rifles marching down Main Street to protect their “rights.”
Now that Obama is going to be out of office, the existential threat to guns and God is theoretically gone. There are enough small-town folks who have been legitimately worried about this idea that the number of separatists/militias/survivalist nutbags has more than quadrupled during the last eight years. On election night, there were several white, Christian, terrorist cells in our country ready to set off violence on the ninth if Hillary won. In case you didn’t notice, there were dump trucks full of sand around both candidates’ election headquarters.
Well, “that colored fella” is gone, so a lot of these people are going to have nothing to freak out about long enough that they may go back to cooking meth and polishing their tooth.
Speaking of complaints, your drunk uncle can’t complain his garbage life is all Obama’s fault anymore. I mean, he can and will, but it’ll be way easier to ignore him.
And it’s not just our familial relationships that will see a bit of improvement. Russia is already pumped up about Trump taking over.
Maybe with Trump inviting Putin to the White House to shoot vodka while they joke about human rights, Russia will ease up on that whole Texas-destroying nuclear missile thing.
Obama began his administration by promising to reboot our relationship with Russia. Instead, he treated them like an ex-girlfriend who called him up with an extra ticket to a show he really wanted to see: all friendly until he got what he wanted and then generally dismissive once he was at the front rail.
Like the gun nuts, Russia just wants a little attention and more respect on the global stage (and also maybe Latvia). Maybe with Trump inviting Putin to the White House to shoot vodka while they joke about human rights, Russia will ease up on that whole Texas-destroying nuclear missile thing.
Now that the controlling administration is going to be colluding with dark powers, as well as treating civil liberties like lit cigarettes and crushing them on our foreheads, we can focus on the best part of a Trump ascendancy: really enjoying Star Wars again.
The best part of Star Wars is seeing ourselves as the rebels. That’s a big reason The Force Awakens isn’t definitively everyone’s favorite film of 2015, and why Rogue One is going to be huge.
When drone strikes were killing children on the other side of the world under Obama, plenty of concerned citizens had to discuss it as the act of a faceless “they” instead of acknowledging that the man they voted for was authorizing attacks that would kill civilians. Well, now we’ve got a Palpatine again, just in time for a movie about a concerned underground group striking out against a heartless autocracy.
And it won’t just be Star Wars! Comedy, art, music, film are all going to get really good. Creative types flourish under oppression.
So, if you’re feeling extra trepidation right now, start channeling it toward your creative side and use that to reach out to all those people you’ve unconsciously goaded into voting against your (and their) best interests. Quit yelling at the other side about checking their privilege and try to understand why they didn’t feel all that privileged under the last administration, so much so that they were willing to elect literally anyone to give Obama the finger.
I mean, anybody could have won this one, guys! Y’all couldn’t have gone with Jeb(!) in the primaries?