Well, it’s over. That’s it. The election, and potentially our republic, is over. Thank the mental image of Eric F. Trump dressed up as baby Jesus laying naked and prostrate in a manger, but it is finished. The long night has emerged into a gloomy-looking dawn and now everything can go back to normal.
Except no it can’t, ha, I love that you thought that.
I spent the first week in mourning dealing with grief the only way I knew how—by drinking heavily and reading everything I can about his policy proposals. It’s like a yogurt stand with an unlimited number of terrifying flavors to chose from. What should scare us more? His insistence that the Keystone Pipeline resume construction or his campaign promise that we’ll withdraw from NATO? Ooh! Who is more frightening within his cabinet appointments? The climate change denier soon to head the EPA or the racist, anti-semitic goblin from Breitbart?
This was an uglier election than most, with both political parties undermining the popularity of a hate-spewing trash demon cloaked in the decaying corpse of the Republican Party. And if we thought the Republican Party would do anything to prevent this from happening, we were sorely mistaken—Paul Ryan, whom I had always thought of as a sharp Wisconsin cheddar, has proven himself to be nothing more than a festering lump of brie—without any form or substance and who is easily overpowered by others.
‘We Survived Andrew Jackson!’
People keep trying to make sense of this election result by turning to history—“Andrew Jackson was a populist president,” my friends tell me as I stuff cookies in my face and weep. “And we survived Andrew Jackson!”
Let’s look at Andrew Jackson’s presidency as a comparison against a potential Trump one—the man was a hugely popular military leader responsible for founding the Democratic Party (see right, where he’s depicted at the Battle of New Orleans). He was also responsible for undermining the powers of the Supreme Court, creating the spoils system, destroying the national bank, plunging the country into a economic depression, and forcing a mass exodus of Native Americans that has had lasting and horrific consequences to this day. The man was also remembered for giving us the state of Florida—the mangled, useless penis of America which should have been castrated and set adrift following the results of the 2000 election.
And you know the worst part? Andrew Jackson was actually qualified for the job—he had military experience and had served as a lawyer, senator, and house representative. And his actions were contained within the country—he only ruined American lives. The world is a much bigger place now, which makes our elections infinitely more frightening. We possess one of the largest military forces on earth and are no longer an isolationist nation, removed from major political upheaval in other countries. Everything that happens now happens on a world stage, and we’re witnessing a far-right movement settle into major positions of power. We can pray nightly to Angela Merkel to singlehandedly prevent Western civilization from falling to the alt-right movement, but even our German mother cannot protect us from Trump.
Against Him But Not #WithHer
How did this happen seems to be the prevalent question. And it’s a question that’s being discussed a lot right now—on television, in print, on Facebook, for drawn-out thinkpieces like this one. This is something we’re going to break down and dissect for years to come, but it has a very obvious answer—this happened because we voted for it to happen.
There are always bullies. There will always be bullies, and I honestly thought we learned our lesson from Hitler: you can’t trust a man with weird facial hair. But he won. My grief out of this is not that the bully won, it is that millions upon millions of people looked at this bully and identified with something that was mean and hard and hateful. I expected those votes from red states—I’m from a red state—a place where a Kidz Bop CD can be banned for being too sexual. But I was not expecting Trump support from my liberal hippie friends.
Because some might have been against him, but they definitely weren’t #withher.
People that I love! People that I respect! And people that I know through improv have subjected me to naval-gazing criticisms of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decades-long political career. She supported the decision to invade Iraq! She’s a centrist, politically-corrupt, email-happy war hawk that paints her body each night in the blood of murdered Iranian school children so she can maintain her youthful glow! To which I feel the need to point out—yet another unrealistic expectation for women. Someone even told me they couldn’t vote for her because she was a terrible dresser. Do you know who has great fashion sense? Do you? It’s a short list:
- The mean girls from “Mean Girls”
“If only the DNC hadn’t been so corrupt and Bernie had been allowed to run,” they would say. I would stare as their thin lips mouthed out the words for, “Democratic Socialism,” and “Deborah Wasserman-Schultz.” These people, whom I had formerly respected, kept insisting that Bernie Sanders would have been the progressive force needed to win this election, unaware that down south, “Socialist” is just a fancy way of spelling, “Communist.”
Spoiler Alert: Stanley Tucci Metaphor Ahead
And so she lost. Because she wasn’t ‘likable.’ To which I suddenly start to channel James Earl Jones in “Fences”: “LIKE YOU? WHO THE HELL SAY I GOT TO LIKE YOU? WHAT LAW IS THERE SAY I GOT TO LIKE YOU?” You don’t need to be likable to do the job—you need to be able to do the job, and do it well.
If I sound like a bitter old hag about this election, it is because I am a bitter old hag. We just witnessed the most qualified candidate ever run for the office of president lose to a low-calorie Hitler because an apathetic nation couldn’t be bothered to support a woman. There were definitely issues with her campaign—the Wall Street speeches were not great and DNC chair Donna Brazile passing on debate questions to her campaign should not be ignored, but she’s also a leader who has dedicated her entire life to helping others, shouldering a 30-year smear campaign directed against her and her ambitions. Because she did not match up 100 percent with the voter’s ideals, they decided instead to support Trump. That…makes no sense?
As far as metaphors go, picture it like this—I love Stanley Tucci. I love him. He is a beautiful bald man who can cook and who has been in movies with Cher. Would I love to have sex with Stanley Tucci? Yes, yes of course I would, but because I cannot and refuse to compromise, I am going to draw a picture of his face on a chainsaw and penetrate myself with that instead (which is, incidentally, what a pap smear is going to look like under Mike Pence’s ‘vice’ presidency).
The future is uncertain, and that is terrifying. The Bernie bros in my life assure me that our country is about to experience a revolution, because the American people won’t tolerate the election results. I look at them when they say things like this, staring at their pale, delicate hands unused to hard labor, and wonder what it’s like to live in such a constant state of delusion. This will bring no revolution—people can tolerate anything. To live is to tolerate. The election results, and the clear divide between white and minority voters, have shown us that this was not a revolution—this was a war. A war that has been going on for a long, long time and one that I naively thought was ending.
The voters have spoken, and the wrong side has won.