Misinformed, angry, coffee-addled ranting.
So it has come to this. In just a few short weeks, The Good Ol’ US of A will be appointing a new lord and saviour, and as with everything associated with the Land of the Free and the Home of the Whopper, they’ve gone big and whopped out the heavy hitters. In the blue corner they’ve followed the recent trend and rebooted a 90s classic in a modern, more feminism friendly fashion. In the red corner, Satan himself in a bad wig.
Ah for the heady days when we thought D-Trizzle was just there to wave his
penis money around and would disappear soon enough when people started taking this shit seriously. How wrong we were. How naive. It seemed farcical, like the idea of Leicester City winning the Premier League or Bob Geldof chasing Nigel Farage and a flotilla of pissed-off fisherman up the Thames. Good times. Not even worth contemplation.
Well get contemplating folks, because here we are. After months of Feeling the Bern and laughing at the last name “Bush”, the field has been whittled down to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, very much the charity shop Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots of the political stage.
For some reason, there seems to exist the absurd notion that this is a difficult choice. Given the recent Mensa meeting that took place in the UK this year, it’s perhaps hard to fully deride Americans for this but there is certainly an element of bafflement from the rest of the world. One candidate is an experienced politician with an extensive knowledge of how to run a country, the other is a racist toddler.
Admittedly, I have no idea if Hillary is any good. At the recent presidential debate, when asked about their strategy for dealing with Syria, Clinton reeled off a detailed and coherent plan, whereas Trump sulked over the fact no one lets America do war crimes no more. I honestly couldn’t tell you whether Clinton’s plan is good or not, but when these are your only two options it really doesn’t matter. Voting for Trump on this basis is like going sky diving with no parachute because you’re not entirely sure the one you’ve been offered is shiny enough.
As for the debate itself, Clinton looked like a believable presidential candidate whilst Trump resembled the Youtube comments section stuffed into a suit and masquerading as a human being. Trump roamed the stage whilst Clinton spoke. However, he looked less like the alpha male “Silverback Gorilla” Nigel Farage likened him to and more like he was constantly trying to surreptitiously escape a fart he’d just dropped. It’s extremely hard to quantify whether Clinton truly deserves to be president because when you’re stood next to the human embodiment of a sociopathic Scrooge McDuck it’s very hard to not look good. The fact that some are still torn is quite frankly depressing.
One of the main themes dominating the second debate circled around an audio recording from 2005. Ah 2005, when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were still in the budding throes of romance and Kanye West was more famous for making seminal albums and changing the face of Hip-Hop than for, well, whatever the hell he does now.
In case you haven’t heard the recordings, click that link above and listen to them in full.They’re far too depressing for me to go into here without an intravenous supply of gin and/or Häagen-Dazs, but I will clarify something. Donald Trump did not make “offensive” comments about women. He did not “engage in a lewd conversation”. He did not express “outdated” or “vulgar” views. What Donald Trump did instead was brag about and indeed advocate sexual assault. The fact that people are offended by his comments is good, the fact that they are described as controversial is not.
Trump dismissed his horrific mouth blatherings as “Locker Room Talk”. I don’t know about anyone else reading this, but the little locker room talk I have engaged in has been solely limited to asking if someone has a quid for the locker or pretending to know about football.
Describing the audio as “banter” legitimises an appalling attitude towards women. It’s very difficult to criticise the laughable “locker room talk” justification without sounding like you’re saying “Not all men…”. But in reality, we need to expose this defence as what it is – a piss-poor excuse for inexcusable behaviour. By trying to refute the idea that this kind of talk is justified as an unavoidable and typically male laddish behaviour, we must avoid saying “Hey not all man are bad”. Instead we need to stamp out any suggestion that this is acceptable, because otherwise Donald Trump’s words give justification and excuses to some truly reprehensible attitudes and actions.
Since the recordings were leaked, countless women have come forward and shared their horrific stories of sexual assault and harassment which far too often have been defended by people like Trump as just “boys being boys”. We must also not make the mistake of thinking that this sense of entitlement comes solely from rich white men with daddy’s money and shitloads of fame and influence. We’re still fighting to get across the message that a woman’s body is hers and hers alone, and anyone who genuinely thinks Trump’s words or the justification for them are acceptable just made that fight ten times harder all across society.
To be clear – this should absolutely have torpedoed Trump’s campaign. No other candidate could still be in the running after this. But then again, Trump has done and said so many things that would have ruined other peoples’ careers and survived them all. He’s more bulletproof than La Roux driving the Popemobile, emerging from scandal after scandal without losing any supporters. Trump has openly said he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose any voters, and he’s probably right. There are still people planning on voting for him even now, because I suppose if you’ve willingly overlooked all the other shit there’s nothing that can change your mind. There’s no picking out the straw that broke the camel’s back if you just keep dumping bale after bale onto the poor sod until it’s crushed beyond all recognition. As long as it’s not you that has to scrape the mangled camel carcass off the tarmac, who cares?
If nothing else, hopefully this whole sorry ordeal will make people think more carefully about politics so we never get to this stage again. We need to actually pay attention to experts and make clear logical decisions, and we need to be very careful about who we let take charge of a country. Surely rule number 1 should be that if you’ve performed at Wrestlemania you’re not fit to be president.
Unless of course Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson runs for office in which case I’ll happily smell everything he’s cooking.
I’d love to say that all this won’t matter and good sense will prevail, but this is 2016. With Bowie gone, no one has a clue any more. Anything could happen. I’m fully expecting to wake up on November 9th and discover that the dog from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been elected president. The only thing that brings me joy any more is watching this .gif of Donald Trump being hit with a Stone Cold Stunner.