What did you do during the war, daddy?

We’ve only got a few months left in 2016. I was about to say that I can’t wait for this year to be over, but 2017 isn’t any more promising. Tragic events, paranoia and hysteria aren’t confined by the calendar. We create those things by the things we think and say and do. Still, 2016 feels like a pivotal year. When we look back, we’re going to say, this was one year that sucked hard. Our kids will ask, what did you do? How did you vote? This is our collective, “What did you do during the war, daddy?” moment.

A bunch of people in the States decided that going to a public bathroom was suddenly a huge risk. The hysteria around who got to go to which bathroom was a bridge too far for me. The fact that slimy Ted Cruz was the closest alternative to Trump was a disgrace. Fear, it seems, is the only policy the Right has to offer. They’re quick to say what they hate but have no positive policy suggestions. They don’t want to govern. They want to obstruct, as we say in Canada, peace, order and good government.

A lot of people talk tough, but it seems that those who talk toughest are the most fearful. Shit your pants isn’t a foreign policy. You can’t defeat ISIS by denying immigration to victims of ISIS. A plethora of problems went from simmer to boil this year and, at the root of it all, is a lack of compassion. We’re too eager to make enemies and we undervalue our friends. (Like friends in NATO, for instance.)

My books are not overtly political. I write suspenseful fiction. I don’t set out to piss anybody off. My stories entertain and occasionally, if it serves the story, I will reference real world events. I wish we had respected writers rising  to lead. I so miss Kurt Vonnegut. I’m sure he’d have a lot to say right now. Likewise comedians like Bill Hicks and George Carlin. I wish Jon Stewart was still helming The Daily Show so we’d have more trenchant commentary that entertained as well as informed. Jon Oliver is doing a good job, at least.

It’s past time I took off my fiction hat on this topic. I was a journalist long before I was a novelist. However, I’m not writing today in either of those capacities. I’m writing as a citizen of the planet. Many writer friends won’t say anything political for fear of offending readers. I respect their choice but, to me, recognizing the threat to the world is more important than a few lost book sales. Maybe my voice adds nothing to the din but staying silent feels wrong.

Trump is a racist. White supremacists love him. I cringe every time he says something about what’s good for, “the Blacks.” A guy who didn’t want African Americans in his apartment buildings isn’t out to serve minority communities. Remember, this is the same guy who said he’d never employ a black accountant because they’re lazy. Stop. Just stop the hateful drivel.

He’s also a dangerous narcissist who knows too little about governing. With his history, he’s a terrible candidate and everybody knows it. (Check out Trumpcast if you need further convincing.) Barring an huge implosion on the Left, he can’t win. He can do a lot of damage on the way out of his publicity stunt and his most devout followers will be sore losers. Hillary is not a great candidate. She has many flaws but she’s far better than the orange alternative. 

The outrage here is that, though Paul Ryan has admitted Trump’s statements (with regard to the Mexican American judge) were racist, the Speaker of the House still supports Trump. Remember when John McCain’s campaign slogan was, “Country first”? The bulk of the Republican establishment is putting party before country. Trump would be a disastrous president. He’s already savaged the Republican brand for years to come.

Perhaps worse, the fifth estate is doing a terrible job. Most media continues to grade Trump on a curve. For better coverage, stay away from Breitbart. You’re better off listening to The Young Turks

People say they like that Trump means what he says. Unless he says something outrageous, racist, Putin-loving, disrespectful or downright dumb. Then he doesn’t mean it. The guy who is famous for, “You’re fired!” is going to employ everybody…somehow. But he’s not the people’s billionaire. If you don’t get a job during the Trump presidency, he’ll blame you and call you a loser.

Plus, he’ll build a wall instead of funding schools or fighting cancer. He claims he would build up a military that’s already the largest and best in the world by far. He’s reckless with NATO and has demonstrated eagerness to use nuclear weapons. He’s convinced some people that Obama is a secret Kenyan and has a terrible record with women and various minorities. He’s petty and thin-skinned. He sues people and is sued constantly. He doesn’t care for freedom of speech, especially when anyone dares to criticize him for anything.

Trump is the Fear Monger in Chief. It would be bad for the United States and the world if he becomes Commander in Chief. I can’t vote against him. I’m in Canada. However, the damage he would do to America and the world would certainly affect me. Few of us would be untouched by his incompetence. I encourage all my American friends: you don’t have to like Hillary Clinton but please vote against Donald J. Trump. He’s a con man and an embarrassment to your great country. 

Trump would not make America great again. Trump is clown shoes. Pure clown shoes. The world is watching and we’re holding our breath.

Note to Hillary Clinton: Give straight answers. Stop sounding so damn cautious and lawyerly. Don’t fuck this up. The social democratic revolution in politics I hoped for was Bernie’s vision but I’ll still be relieved when you’re in and Trump is out.

Then, Madame President, maybe you can start working on repairing the damage Clown Shoes has already done.

~ We now return to our regularly scheduled apolitical nonsense.

Rob

I'm the horror author of This Plague of Days, the zombie apocalypse serial with an autistic hero. I've also written crime novels, poetry, short story collections and non-fiction about writing, publishing and marketing. I'm nice.

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