Waking up to Trump: the anarchist and her alt-right mother

I had made the decision not to care about a Trump victory, or any presidential victory for that matter, pretty early on. Hadn’t the Obama presidency, for all the few good deeds it had tried to accomplish, shown how limited the power of the chief truly is? Hadn’t it also shown, for all the many awful deeds it had successfully implemented, how little hope there actually is for any change? The only point of a commander in chief really is that world still operates on  the caveman social structure of ‘who is your leader?’. On the ground, the leader does little else, and are just a side-show that distracts voters from the local politics that actually matter.

In any case, this was the reason why I wasn’t voting, and when I was asked by my non-anarchist acquaintances which candidate I preferred, I would answer, semi-tongue in cheek:

‘I want Trump to win, because I want the world to end. I just want destruction.’

But of course I’m so jadedly used to establishment,  it was always in the back of my mind that Clinton would be the winner. Because I thought her middle class conservative white war mongering values  were the best representation of America. But I did think that a Trump victory would be a nice smack in the face into all that bullshit.

Then my mother came in the picture, and it was a smack in the face to me.

I woke up on Wednesday morning (Swiss time) to her screaming:

‘YE-E-E-S! IT’S A TRUMP VICTORY! TRUMP HAS WON! TRUMP HAS WON!’

What?

What?

I had joked about him winning because I thought Hillary would win. I thought the American people were boring conservatives who wanted everything to continue as before. Also, every time I opened the New York Times website, the first thing I saw was that Hillary had a 90% chance of winning. The percentage graph would even pop up in the middle of their articles (now the NYtimes goes from #whatisaleppo to #whatismath).

‘HE’S GOT PENNSYLVANIA! HE’S WON! SHUT UP MAINSTREAM MEDIA! SHUT UP NEW YORK TIMES FOR SUPPORTING CROOKED HILLARY!’

I had to read it online to believe it. I had to refresh The Guardian, Washington Post, LA Times over and over again. So change is happening. Okay, need a moment of silence to process this.

‘NOW HILLARY’S GONNA GO TO JAIL WHERE SHE BELONGS! SHE AND HER TEAM OF JIHADIS! HUMA ABEDIN THE TERRORIST IS GONNA GO TO GUANTANAMO! IT’S THE TRUTH THE NEW YORK TIMES NEVER HAD THE COURAGE TO SAY! THEY’RE ALL CLOWNS!’

Oh my god make it stop. I myself take this ‘mainstream media’ with a grain of salt. I was disappointed with the NYtimes’ uncritical (and in hindsight, misguided) support of Hillary. But hearing this same ‘anti-establishment’ opinion together with unfounded racist accusations of jihadism against an American professional who happened to be born in Saudi Arabia? Hillary was corrupt, yes, incapable for the office, yes, but Isis supporter, no.

I was seeing before my very own eyes how Trump’s victory gave maniacs leeway.

‘MARINE LE PEN HAS CONGRATULATED HIM! SHE’S GOING TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF FRANCE! THE NATIONALISTS ARE GOING TO SAVE EUROPE FROM THE MUSLIMS!’

I want the apocalypse as in the end of party politics, of the outdated idea of ‘commander in chief’, of neoliberalism and borders, hopefully achieved by people getting together in small-scale communes and rejecting state authority (which the election of Trump could lead people to do). Trump meaning New York and California declare independence and create social welfare communes. Not Trump meaning what Trump literally says. Because that’s the kind of apocalypse that the world is already living.

Trump’s victory is the double sided coin Hillary’s would never have been (we all know what we would have all thought then: oh well, here we go again neoliberalism).  On the one side, he represents all that is horrible with the fascist alt-right racist prejudiced misinformed conspiracy-theorist anti-Semitic Zionist pro-gun anti-welfare anti-women Islamophobic xenophobic intellectaphobic sciophobic, those angry phobic people in general. He normalizes their lurid opinions and behaviour. On the other, he represents precisely why everyone else on the other side needs to stop whining. ‘Oh woe is me, I live in a state with a Republican governor, they’re going to take away my abortion rights.’ Did you see what women in Poland did? The Trump presidency is a wake-up call for citizens to NOT accept the decisions of elected leaders.

The ‘mainstream media’, so derided by Trump supporters, is insisting that the country needs to heal. We need to accept democracy and allow a peaceful transition of power. In other words, we should take a Trump victory the same as a Clinton victory, and all goes on as usual. Plus ca change, plus ca continue. Already, the same anchors who had been appalled by his history of sexual assault, his call to ban Muslims, his infeasible economic plans, are praising him for his very modest and very presidential acceptance speech. Their desperate attempts to paint Trump, the baffoon of yesterday, into a president who can unite us all is quite pathetic. We are not united, thank god! My mother’s incoherent fascist cries, the ‘us vs. them’ mentality, the Trump supporters red baseball caps which scream ‘I am an idiot’, all make it clear that accepting the ideology of the majority as democracy tells us to is impossible. Will Trump’s victory undo the myth of the American nation-state? I don’t know, but it sure has a better chance than another four years of Clinton. The lesser of two evils.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s