I debated with myself on whether I should write a post about the race for the White House. I am hooked on the media coverage and want to say something. But it’s a divisive issue and, when I’ve brought it up in conversations here in San Francisco, not everyone seems to be that interested in talking about it. Maybe people I ask are secret Trump supporters, maybe they adhere to the “no politics” maxim, or maybe they are fed up with it all and want it to be over. I’ve seen segments on TV shows discussing tips on how best to manage stress levels due to the upcoming election, for example; limit your social media interaction and TV watching; try and switch off mentally (after the election, of course); have a daily mantra “Remember that, after November 8, life will go on.” Repeat this over and over when you are feeling a little overwhelmed. Okay, I made up the daily mantra bit but the rest is true. Otherwise, go for long walks, avoid people with strong opposing views to your own and, whatever you do, don’t cc Anthony Weiner on any of your emails.
I can’t help myself. It’s too bizarre and impossible to ignore as a new arrival to the US. I am firsthand witness to a series of unfortunate events, and I know it’s something that will be talked about for years to come. If you are watching things unfold from overseas I can assure you it is as absolutely extraordinary as it looks. It is reality TV at its worst. After so many years living in Singapore where the politics is (to put it mildly) anything but entertaining, it’s hard not to watch what’s happening here and not become addicted to it.
How can it be that someone who has offended every possible group of people including; women, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, people with disabilities, journalists, prisoners of war, those serving in the military, parents of soldiers – as well as anyone who uses a locker room – be on the ticket as a candidate for the president of America. He is indeed a trailblazer. America prides itself on being a democracy in every sense of the word and now – it seems – seeks to prove this further by allowing such a man to run for office. Look at the list: he is offending everyone, equally. Democracy at its best. If Trump can do it anyone can. It’s the land of opportunity for everyone, unless Trump becomes President and then it will be the land of opportunity for his chosen flock (and not women, Mexicans, et al).
Although adults are not so keen to talk about Trump and the election, kids are all over it. “Trump is coming, hide, hide.” I heard the other day from a nine year old in the playground, talking about an imaginary bogeyman. My 10 year old daughter is much more vocal in her support of Hillary and dislike of the Donald. She received a squishy of Hillary as a birthday present. Apparently her friend couldn’t find one of Trump. They were all sold out. Good thing or bad thing? I’m not sure. “Will you want to leave if he becomes President, Mama?,” she asked one day. “We may not have a choice,” I responded. Even my four year old is happy to tell people “I don’t like Donald Trump, he is rude. Mama what does rude mean?” And she shouts at the TV when he appears. And I did not influence her opinion in the poll – it’s certainly not rigged in our house.
As my daughter points out, we have a vested interest in the outcome, if the unthinkable happens, and Donald Does DC, will we – as recently arrived blow-ins – be on the list of people he wants to deport? The Irish have faced discrimination at the hands of others – well mainly the British – for centuries (I’m excluding my English husband from blame here of course), and so we are used to it, some would say we embrace it.
I was watching a Trump rally on TV the other day and his supporters sitting behind him were in large part women. How can that be? They were smiling in a way that reminded me of the happiness etched on the faces of North Koreans cheering on Kim Jong-un in a maniacal way. I have always wondered if there is something in the water in North Korea that causes masses of people to follow a mad man. Maybe the women sitting in Donald’s rally have been drinking the same water? And maybe on November 8 (after which, it will all be over) if the unthinkable happens and Trump triumphs, in addition to building a wall , he will also tamper with the water supply and add a little something to it to ensure continued support.
DISCLAIMER – the author is not biased and none of the opinions above can be proven to be her own. And she can’t vote anyway.