It's official. Donald Trump - yes, that one, the one from TV - is legit running for President. Of the United States. Yes, that one - the actual country, the superpower, with the troops and the missiles and the aircraft carriers. He, Trump, has been chosen by adults, thousands of them, adults who can read, with 21st century education standards and all the knowledge of the internet at their disposal. They could have chosen anyone in their political party. Maybe anyone in their country. And they chose him. And it wasn't even close.
Is America suicidal? Psychotic? High?
Does America need an intervention? Would they even want help?
Like an awkward encounter with a nut on the street, do we just shrug, walk past without making eye contact, and try to get out of the way? As veins threatened to pop on my forehead, I reached for a survival attitude: America deserves Trump. Ugh. Serves them right. Trump expresses and embodies the dominant side of their personality. They chose him, they aspire to his attributes - let's just watch this play out.
Problem is, America is a big deal. And this sidewalk isn't wide enough for us to avoid getting hit.
This planet isn't so big that we'll be clear of the mushroom clouds.
There aren't strong enough words for how wrong he is. Bad, evil, wrong. Bully doesn't do it. Bully is a kid's word, for a playground. Narcissist is too complicated a word. Even calling him racist seems academic. His father was in the KKK. His sons hunt endangered animals. He is Slytherin without the panache. He's just ick. Or ugh. I am reduced to grunts of aversion. I revert to disgust to keep me safe from his toxins.
Racism used to be something to be ashamed of. It used to be a private matter, like your browser history. Now, racism is open-carry. He doesn't like Mexicans. He doesn't want Muslims. Forget the practicality. These aren't policies. These are whims. Outbursts. Outbursts where he strings together whims. But decades of fame, playing the rich guy, playing the Boss, have given him acceptance.
It's not like my expectations are high for American presidents. The one they go weepy for is Ronald Reagan, and he was an actor. This is what Bernie Sanders should have done with his career: spend the last couple of decades on TV. Maybe that would have given him the cred of Scott Baio.
Melania, Trump's late-model, high-spec wife, gave a speech, but like some kind of failed Turing test, there was no entity behind her words. I don't mean the plagiarism or the Rick-roll. Speaking about her husband, a man she really should know quite well, she didn't even mention how they met. Not so much as a "funny thing happened in the limo on the way here". Surely there'd be some cute rom-com moment? A park bench in Central Park, autumn leaves, a shared ice cream? Nothing. It was a letter read by a hostage. My guess is the story of how they met is unromantic: a call from an agent, an audition under harsh light, and a cold-handed medical exam.
The glaring thing, and the galling thing, is the silo factor. If you've read this far, we're on the same page. I can't remotely relate to Trump's appeal, nor can you. I am magnetically repulsed by him. As is everyone I follow on social media. But there's an entire other planet who adore this guy. He is their saviour, he is their rock star. He's Jon Snow, and George R. R. Martin. He's Taylor, and Kanye, and Kim. I can't begin to get it.
The bile and gangrene of this redneck, white-supremacist party, preening in their smugness, strike me as self-evidently wrong. "Make America Great Again." What, like 1861? When minimum wage meant actual zero?
It totally doesn't compute, in my blinkered world.
No amount of ridicule from John Oliver has worked.
No amount of fact-checking, of his career, etc, has made the tiniest dent.
We are not dreaming.
We are living in the parallel universe that sci-fi writers warned us about. Stop waiting for the dystopian future where archery suddenly gets popular and Jennifer Lawrence comes to the rescue.
We're in a dystopian present.
At some point, we took a wrong turn off the historical timeline, and now, we (you, me, us) are heading to an unbelievable future. Fear The Walking Dead will look like the Brady Bunch.