(Trump gives this country a bad name.)
“How I Was Wrong”
Pride. Ego. Arrogance. Helluva thing, each of them are. So powerful, so insidious. Throughout most of my life, I had a very bad self-esteem issue, coupled with a depression issue. I spent more than the first half of my life believing that everyone else would always be proven “right” over me, and I was therefore wrong. I felt like I wasn’t as good as anyone, let alone better– so “pride” didn’t seem like it could really be an issue for me. Boy was I wrong. After (mostly) overcoming those issues, I became immediately aware of the danger of pride, and sought to mitigate it. I began to develop myself spiritually, attempt to maintain a “higher consciousness” to keep my pride and ego in check– and largely, I succeeded. Unfortunately, like I said: pride is insidious. It’s when you think you have it beat, that it comes back in spades, and takes you from behind while you think you’re standing on its throat. This is how I succumbed to my latest fall.
Many of you know that I’ve been predicting the Hillary win for over a year. There’s a lot that went into that prediction, (a lot about the political “machine”, corporate influence and corruption through money and power) but that’s not what I’m writing about. I’m writing about my surprise at her loss– and not only her loss, but that the election played out exactly the opposite way I had predicted, flip-flopping from what I thought all signs were leading to, rather last-minute.
Hillary won the popular vote by 151,116 (specificity, in case you’re a stickler for numbers) I thought Trump would win that, but that she would still get the Electorates. Trump won the most Electorates. This was accomplished perhaps by Trump’s campaign machine’s competence, but largely due to multiple FBI investigations on Hillary in the weeks (and months) leading up to the election. Considering that, and the public at large receiving regular reminders of the whole Benghazi scandal, people actually came together and decided that there is a level of corruption bad enough that they won’t vote for a candidate. Or did they? Well, clearly some of them did, anyway. Like I said, she won the popular vote, which means a majority of people actually still wanted Hillary over Trump– but Trump won the states with the greatest number of electoral votes. (You know, since the people can’t be trusted to decide on a leader for ourselves, and still need the Electoral College to decide for us.)
What most of you probably don’t know, is that I made a declaration of confidence: that Hillary would undoubtedly win the presidency, unless she were assassinated, indicted, or something equally dramatic. So sure of this as an absolute fact, was I, that I said if I were wrong I would allow my friend to shoot me in the foot with a nail gun. Personally, I think the events that unfolded were pretty dramatic, given that she was (and is about to be again) on the hook for (even more) corruption (this time over the Clinton Foundation “charity”); however someone in my position is of course biased to think that, and so I intend to follow through.
Frankly, I think this is the best possible metaphor for what has happened in America, considering the election. We shot ourselves in the foot. Some of my implications here are obvious, but stay with me, because I’m probably going to say some things you haven’t considered. Electing Trump has carried a lot of drama, drawn a lot of criticism from other countries (especially Canada), but ultimately: it was not the worst outcome. After all, we could have been shot in the head (“Killary”). I don’t want to get into the details right now of why she would have been so horrible– if you care to know, there are lots of resources for you to look it up (a few examples to check into: Benghazi, charity fraud, war with Russia, skyrocketing “Obamacare” costs) instead, what I want to talk about is another perspective on this entire election.
You see, there are three types of people relevant to the mindsets which permeated this election period (I’ll call them types Red, Blue, and Green, for the sake of not inferring superiority to any type). The types are not strictly definitive– most people bear many characteristics of more than one type, or even of all the types; but these are the conclusions I’ve come to based on what I’ve observed to be the most shared features between each type.
Type Red – These are down-to-Earth, practical, hard-working, survivor-type people. These are the people who would have survived in situations like that movie 127 Hours, where the guy has to chop his own arm off with a pocket knife in order to get free from the boulder. We need these people in this country, because they’re the type who provide its literal and figurative sustenance. They pay close attention to at-home affairs, every-day life-affecting issues, and traditional morality. Primarily people like farmers, labourers, trade workers– largely rural, often religious folk. Folks who play fair, and don’t ask for anything to be given to them. These are the people who built our country by the sweat of their backs, and who still build it today. These are the people who shot us in the foot. They voted Trump. I’ll get back to this type.
Type Blue – These are the people who were willing to play Russian Roulette (a multi-faceted appropriate metaphor) and risk shooting ourselves in the head, just for the chance to actually create some genuine progress in this country. These are the people with forward-thinking ideals and values; ideas of social progress which could propel us at blinding speeds into a better tomorrow, the next day, and day after that. These are the people who pay closer attention to politics, environmental issues, advanced research in a multitude of fields including health, economics, psychology, evolution, and technology. These are the people who tend to work harder at mental and social tasks, in order to try to find the best direction in which to guide their fellows and country. These are the types of mindsets and motivations which lead them to vote Clinton.
Type Green – This is the smallest type. The type who often slip between the cracks, and under the radar of notice. These are the people who read between the lines, who connect the dots, who spend endless hours researching and disseminating information to “get the truth out there” to the best of their abilities. These are the weird-thinkers. Those who don’t follow the painted lines leading them swiftly to destinations, but those who follow trails of breadcrumbs through overgrown jungle to find a different path– maybe that path will be faster, maybe it won’t, but they’ll be damned if they don’t at least find out. This type seeks a balance between the above two types, and not only a balance, but also a completely different, wild-card option, just for good measure. These are the type of people who believe you should vote according to your conscience, for a candidate whose values and policies are most in line with your own beliefs. These are the people who voted independent. I am this type.
When I first learned of the election results, I was livid. I was heartbroken– and honestly, still am. “How can people not see that an independent should have been President?” I thought. “How could at least five pitiful percent of voters have not voted for an independent candidate, so that we can at least have a THIRD VIABLE OPTION in the future?!” and I stewed over this. My heart still cries out those words like the chorus of a song, repeating over and over– but my head came to a more rational realisation: we need all three types of people in this country, and it’s a damned good thing we have them.
In reality, I am a Bernie supporter– and I was extremely upset when I learned he was running as a Democrat, when so many were behind him already in the Independent seat. When Hillary won the nomination over him, I was even more upset, because it was the single most predictable thing which could have happened. This gave me confidence that my original conclusion that Hillary Clinton, the would-be first woman President, was destined (and set in place by “the machine”) to be our next President, whether people really wanted her to be, or not. After getting over the initial anger of it all, and seeing that she was set against Trump, I began to take solace in the idea that the system was rigged against him, and would put her in place as our puppet-queen. As the weeks and months went on, it became more and more clear that she was going to have a land-slide victory– and given that she had agreed to many of the policies and values that Bernie held, it started to seem like a good idea.
Then the landslide came, but not the way I predicted. Scandal after scandal opened up on her, e-mails “proving” that she not only cheated Bernie out of the DNC nomination, but was cheating in the presidential primaries as well, cheating her way out of idictment, and cheating people out of their money with her “charity”. On top of that, her horrible relations with Vladamir Putin in Russia threated to set us into full-scale war. For those who have been paying very close attention, you’re probably also thinking something along the lines of, “… not to mention the suspicious trail of bodies behind her…” Yeah– I thought about that, too. These revelations lead me to realize what many people (with or without any rational reason) believed already, and many more eventually came to: electing a person under so much scandal and scrutiny, would be like putting a loaded revolver with at least one bullet in it to our heads, spinning the chamber, snapping it closed, and pulling the trigger– in other words, “Russian Roulette”.
The Blue type people who still voted for Hillary (at best) were aware of this, and decided it was worth the risk. The people who think like me (Green types) were willing to elect someone who may not be well-versed at the job, but at least had good philosophies and values with which to lead. This could have proven equally disastrous, or even worse. This is where I get back to those Type Red people.
The Red type folk came out of the woodworks for this election. Many of them didn’t even want to vote for Trump– I spoke to several who admitted that it sickened them to do so, and they hated themselves a little bit, afterward (similar sentiments were also expressed by many Blue type people) but they felt that in the end, they had to do it. You know what, though? The world isn’t ending. We’re not likely to go to war with Russia anymore. We may actually see the country flourish, thanks to the supposed business incentives Trump intends to enact (and on that note, there’s another HUGE can of worms I can’t get into right now, but suffice it to say: sweeping industry deregulation is not a good thing). Unfortunately, most of the rest of the world fears and/or hates us now– or at the very least, is disgusted by us; many people of non-white ethnicity (both male and female, domestic and abroad) believe our country is full of racist, pussy-grabbing bigots; and even though it’s not entirely true, there’s obviously some element of truth to it. Electing Trump was a bold (or idiotic) move; it may take us a long time to recover, and we’ll be limping as we go– like we’ve been shot in the foot. Just as many of those Reds felt they were shooting themselves in the foot as they voted. I just can’t escape the rationale, however: I’m glad they did it, because it’s still better than being shot in the head.
So, my fellow Americans, I draw to my conclusion: I will soon be taking a literal (nail-gun) shot in the foot of my own, filming it, and making it available for all to see. The scar will stand as a reminder that the rulers of the machine are not all-powerful, and they can’t control every factor; even if they called the “audible” to change the election results last-minute, it goes to show that even for them, not everything can go perfectly. The memory of the pain I experience as nail pierces flesh will hopefully help to deter me from succumbing so easily to arrogance and pride; this will stand as a perfect metaphor of solidarity with the rest of the country; and I have an obligation to my “people” (my friends) to make good on my word. After all, how can we ever be trusted or taken seriously, if we don’t keep our word? Wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Trump?
(When this was written, Mr. Trump was President Elect only, and not sworn in to office. Originally written: Nov. 10, 2016)