by Alexander Quaresma | @WombatBites
There's a scene in John Carpenter's immortal 1982 horror-sf classic The Thing that perfectly reflects what was going on as I watched the events of November 8, 2016 unfold. The scene to which I refer depicts Wilford Brimley sitting at his computer as he watches a simulation of the alien's demonically-shaped red intruder cells infecting and imitating organic Earth organisms' blue cells. The music is low key and somber as Brimely watches the simulation unfold. Finally his computer relays a final transmission based on the data that has been collated. A woebegone pall of empirical horror casts its shadow across Brimley's face as he shakes his head in silent disbelief. He simply cannot behold the magnitude of the horrific implications levied by his computer's little simulation.
Perhaps an even more accurately visceral cinematic representation of what was going on that night as I watched the little simulated electoral maps on all the news media sites filling in with pink to indicate a Trump lead and then finally red to signify a Trump win would be from Kubrick's The Shining (1980). We all know the scene I'm talking about.
It was a horrific slaughter fest. Non-stop digitized reddish gore born and bred out of fear and hate of "the other" seemed to fill each and every state outside of the Pacific Coast and the North East. The states fell like drops of red from some wounded proto-mythical beast, as it lay dying a lonely death in whatever abstract reality the idealized myth of a "Land for the People" exists. It was a real horror show "oh me brothers," a real horror show.
There are very few news outlets let alone reporters whom I find that I can take seriously anymore. However, one of the few I find myself following on a regular basis is Jeremy Scahill of "The Intercept." There's nobody ballsier and nobody better at what he does. After it was all over the morning of November 9th, Scahill shot out into the twittersphere an amazing tweet. Nine percent of registered Democrats had voted for Trump.
This one statistic is a revelation. Not one revealing how asinine those registered Democrats were by voting for Trump. Rather, one exposing just how badly the Democratic Party in America failed the people who have supported it since the election of Barak Obama in 2008. More specifically, however, how badly it failed those people throughout this whole election cycle in 2016.
Come hell or high water it seemed that the Democratic Party wanted to foist an unlikeable, unwatchable, unlistenable, and most importantly: an ultimately unelectable individual like Hillary Clinton onto the international stage as its candidate. They had already tried it in 2008 and that, too, failed miserably. Then, in spite of how things went during the 2016 primary season, as it was clear to anyone and everyone that Bernie was the electable candidate - the same man who Sarah Silverman so aptly stated had "been on the right side of history" at virtually every turn - the Democratic National Party was simply resigned to the fact that they would be gifting Hillary the nomination. Abominable. Even more abominable is that they would be screwing over the one individual who would have defeated anybody else. People didn't like that. A lot of registered Democrats didn't like that. They expressed their dislike by voting for the other guy.
Had you told Hillary Clinton the night before the election that she'd win the popular vote and that by the time the election was decided less people would have voted for Trump than did for Mitt Romney in 2012 (once all the votes had been counted days later it turns out Trump did narrowly yield more votes that Mitt) - all things that panned out over the night of November the 8th into the morning of November the 9th - I'm sure she'd have gone to bed and had a very sound sleep thinking the election was in the bag. When the smoke cleared, however, it was Trump, buoyed by the hate and fear he was selling to a gullible bottom-feeding segment of the human population (of which there is a large hideous infestation in America, unfortunately), who stood victorious.
With his victory and with his merry band of disgusting ghouls and goblins he'll be bringing with him into his cabinet not only is America now faced with being kicked back into the nineteenth century, ideologically speaking, but it will now suffer a rise in fascist anti-black, anti-Hispanic, anti-whatever else that doesn't fit into the hillbilly paradigm backlash. This is the kind of thing that Noam Chomsky had been warning about all along.
Some sought to blame those who voted for alternative candidates. Jill Stein and her supporters seem to be one of the easy targets of such people. Blaming third-party candidates is disgustingly misplaced anger, particularly against Jill Stein. Gary Johnson yielded millions of votes that one could argue would have otherwise gone to Trump. If anything, the independent party candidates helped Hillary more so than hurt her. There is but one group at fault for the international disgrace that is the election of Trump, and all you have to do is keep in mind the nine percent of registered Democrats who voted Trump. It is the old Democratic Party itself.
When Bernie won the Michigan primary that ideally would have been the final straw in determining that he, not Hillary, was who the American people wanted. Working class people simply do not like Hillary and the Clintons in general. Whether that's right or wrong doesn't matter. It simply does .. not .. matter. But that's how it was and that's how it still is. The calls for Hillary's head over her corruption still haven't ended even after her defeat.
The failure of the Democratic Party to give its base what they wanted, what the youth wanted, and what the American people wanted is ultimately what has delivered the world into its biggest up-close and personal look into the face of fascism in some time. It shall be interesting to see how we Americans respond. We will also now be saddled with a powerful Christian supremacist VP (to use a Jeremy Scahill tweet again), whose Bronze Age ideologies are poised to knock America down into a relative equivalent to a Third World nation.
This of course is assuming he doesn't try to act out the fairy tale of Revelations, which I can't rule out as a possible worst case scenario. After all, these types like to read the pages of the Bible then manipulate current events in order to claim it's Biblical prophecy. In which case, if this does happen, what's left of the world would then get knocked right back into that Bronze Age I just referred to. So it's a scary time. It's definitely a very scary time.
Speaking of politically motivated ideological Christian fascists, another interesting statistic came out after the election. In spite of Donald Trump's horrific behavior towards women, well over fifty percent of voters who identified as Christians claimed to have voted for Trump. Interesting, very interesting indeed- but not surprising.
The Old Testament of the Bible is a compendium of ancient writings that if taken as literal history - which many of these poor unfortunate "souls" do - condones and promotes sexual bondage, rape and the idea that women are property. I didn't write the thing, I only read it. And that is exactly what you find all throughout the Old Testament books. So Christians didn't have a problem with Trump's treatment of women. Meanwhile, Jewish voters overwhelmingly voted for Hillary. Figure that one out. This is simply conjecture on my part, but it might have something to do with the fact that most (American) Jews understand what these scriptures are. They're ancient cultural relics which are nice to look back on and nice to interpret the metaphors in the poetry, but that's all.
If the Democratic Party had thrown up a dirty vomit-soaked hospital mop as its candidate it very possibly may have defeated Trump, but Hillary couldn't. That is how badly Americans dislike Hillary. And that is how horrifically the Democratic Party let not just the American people down, but the world.
Hillary is infinitesimally smarter than Trump. Hillary was qualified in every way for the position in relation to Trump. Hillary won the debates (but don't ask Sean Hannity). But at the end of the day the people still have to like you in order for you to win. Barak Obama inspired a nation. Bernie Sanders was inspiring a nation. Hillary Clinton inspired nobody. Her quasi-bourgeois feminism didn't fool anyone. Her slight shift to the left on the campaign trail didn't fool anyone into not believing she isn't a chicken hawk neo-con neo-liberal. And her history: everything from Whitewater (a legitimate scandal) to Benghazi (a bullshit scandal) to the e-mail servers (another legitimate scandal) turned a large portion of the electorate off. It wouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to decipher the fact that Hillary was unliked by everyone and therefore unelectable. Not even against Trump. For his part, at least Trump had the unwashed, toothless, xenophobic, pig-squealing masses who fear brown people, non-Christians, and women, on his side. I don't know who Hillary had on her side. Over fifty million people did vote for her, but it was simply out of an obligation to fight the rise of what Trump represented if he won; which he did anyway.
All in all, there are still some silver linings to be found in these dark days in the aftermath of this election. Over the summer I expressed my fear of a massive proto-fascist surge in support of Trump. That didn't happen. Trump didn't really inspire anyone either. Again, more people voted for Mitt Romney than Trump. That's hardly a ringing endorsement of the people. So that's extremely encouraging if I want to be somewhat optimistic.
I can also hope that after two years of backwards ideology running things that a legitimate leftist political movement will be galvanized in America. That's something America has never had and desperately needs. In all likelihood Trump, whose never had to do a day of real work in his life, will likely opt not to run for re-election in 2020. That's my assumption at this time anyway. He proved what set out to prove: that the American people are suckers. He may very well be off to do whatever it is he wants to do next in 2020 (assuming the stress of the job doesn't cause him to have a stroke. He might be the most out-of-shape president-elect since Taft). All I can do is pray to the cold and indifferent stars above that the Democrats don't try and dig up the politically dead corpse that is Hillary Clinton and try to foist her on us yet again.
It's time for a radical departure from the old way of doing things in America and for the rise of a new American Enlightenment. It's time for all of us to shed these shackles that is the cancerous disease of Christian fundamentalism in our political processes. It's time to "Build Bridges, Not Walls." It's time for the Democratic Party to learn from the example that Bernie set. Stop catering to the center, something Hillary did to her own political demise. Let this then be the final nail in the coffin that is the Clinton legacy in America: she couldn't beat Trump. Let us bury the Clinton "legacy" where it belongs, in the past, and hope we still have a future where we really can attempt to make America greater not just for "deplorables," but for all.
As for the present, now that we have an orange feces-throwing pussy-grabbing mongoloid racist reality TV star for president all I have left to say is is summed up by yet another movie: "Are you not entertained?"