"Those who fail to learn from the brutal stompings visited on them in the past are doomed to be brutally stomped in the future." - Raoul Duke, Christmas 1972
When you think of the apocalypse, what do you see? Burning buildings, shattered glass windows, charred remains of bicycles that little kids used to ride around on. You see people in armor, modified guns in hand, there is no law, no order. There's no system, there's no rebellion, only survival. Every construct of the world as we knew it, is gone. Nothing remains.
This may be a vision you can only conjure in the back of your mind, while playing one of the Fallout video games or while watching a zombie film. But it's on the front of my mind today as I sift through the countless articles related to Donald Trump and his proposed ban on Muslims.
The news surrounding everyone's favorite "joke" candidate never really got him right. It's fair to say that he has been highly parodied, often made fun of and absolutely ridiculous in every way imaginable.
Most people dismiss Trump as someone who will go down in history as a political cartoon, nothing more and nothing less. But if we examine the raw facts, the numbers, the amount of real support he has...we've got a political monster on our hands.
People are entertaining the fact that Trump is a modern day Nixon, Voldemort, Nazi swine...but they're not entertaining the fact that he could very well be the 45th President of these United States.
We've had several villains in our history: beginning with the British during our genesis, the gentile South during the Civil war, John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln's assassination, Richard Nixon during the evil Watergate era stretching all the way to Dick Chaney and the Republican regime of the early 2000's. But we have never seen a villain like Trump: charming, cunning, calculating and casual. That last word is the most important.
He talks to people like they're his friends, neighbors. He's the billionaire next-door. People appreciate his candor, as if they're talking politics with a bar-b-q. There is no obvious separation between the everyman voter and him, save for the billions of dollars he's won and lost in his lifetime.
It is this quality, that gets presidents elected.
You can be the most qualified, smartest, most fabulous candidate alive, but if you can't connect with people? You will never become president. Charisma is the name of the game. Anyone who doesn't believe that is lying to themselves.
I don't need to get into the xenophobic, paranoid statements of Mr. Trump. We've all seen and heard them in their original states, commented to death on social media and cut together in various ways on newscasts and alternative outlets. It doesn't need to be rehashed again. We're only helping the legend grow by doing that.
Instead I'd like to draw attention to something akin to hell freezing over:
Dick Cheney impressed me today.
The rubble surrounding Trump's statements is exhausting to rummage through. Everyone has an opinion on this subject.These statements, which I will not repeat for fear of paralyzing myself with outrage, are rooted in hate. They are deep-seeded, paranoid and evil. Most logical Americans know that alienating an entire group of people for the actions of few is not only ignorant, but harmful to the American way.
As a country founded on the principle of freedom for ALL, it seems counterproductive to American nationalism and flag waving and all that...doesn't it? In order to make America great, we have to make our people great right? So we accept all, love all, keep all safe and do everything in our power to limit the access to harmful things that can put those people in danger right?
We fight the real enemies, we put practical measures into place, and above all else we focus on saving lives rather than spending them.
I've considered giving up on this election.
Tuning out and giving myself just enough energy to get out of bed on election day, roll up to the voting booth...place my vote for whomever deems themself the least of all evils, and write a bummer of an article the following day. An ode if you will, to the American dream, when this country finally buries it.
But something happened...someone unexpected restored my faith.
Dick Cheney impressed me today, because I held the view that he was as close to satan as Nixon. And he still might be, but he, being a radical icon since his Bush era debauchery, made more sense than Trump ever will, and that is a harrowing fact in today's America.
[Excerpt courtesy of Time Magazine]
Cheney said Trump's statements go against "everything we believe in." And he's right.
Dick Cheney restored my faith in this election, because if one conservative nut job that a bunch of other conservative nut jobs followed is willing to rally against Trump...then the righteous may have a chance.
Notice, I said, the righteous, not Hilary Clinton, not the Democratic party, not anyone.
I'm not saying the Republicans are evil, or that the Democrats are good. They're all evil, we just have to choose the least amount.
It's hard to believe that as a young person in America, your vote means anything more than another dollar lining the pocket of someone I'll never meet. But I have to believe.
You can't give up. You can't let your fate fall entirely in someone else's hands. Voting is our only power really...and even the legitimacy of that is dwindling.
So do yourselves a favor, hang in there. Watch as many debates as possible. Do not take mine or anyone else's advice or political commentary too seriously. Decide for yourself.