Now is a good time to ask what you stand for.
Had come across a Brian Eno quote on Brexit and Trump and felt it both soothing and relevant enough to share:
“Welcome to the post-Liberal world. I think I know exactly how you feel – I remember the morning after Brexit, and the realization that I lived in a country I didn’t really know anything about.
It’s a genuine revolution – but one we didn’t recognize because we had nothing to do with starting it. We always thought we were at the centre of things, but it turns out we’re not. It’s us, not them, who are in a bubble.”
It took me back to an old roommates favorite album and Brian’s first collaboration with David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The prelude cracks funk, rock, synth with a narrator sounding off:
”America is waiting for a message of some sort or another, No will what-so-ever, ab-so-lute-ly no integrity.”
One can now safely assume that the message Brian and David were eagerly awaiting 35 years ago is, in fact, the Trump victory. Judging by the international media backlash of the Trump victory, one would think we were in mourning post September 11th. Headlines everywhere forecasting rough tides ahead, international markets taking a plunge, and yet personally, I feel chipper. As if some weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
Don’ get me wrong, there’s a shit ton of work ahead, but as we’ve clearly hit rock bottom – it’s only up from here (smiley emoticon).
To boil down quickly why it’s good Trump won: The world is in shock. If Clinton won, business would be as usual and international media headlines would more or less read ’Thanks Hillary for cock blocking that piece of turd’.
Hillary, with her funding from Qatar and Saudi Arabia where virtually zero women’s and LGBT rights exist. Hillary with links to Gaddafi’s murder which descended Libya into Hell on earth and so on.
I read an article from Asra Q. Normani, a Muslim woman, a former writer for Wall Street Journal, who eloquently penned she voted for Trump as an electorate not because of his crap public comments, shady character and business dealings but because virtually everyone she knows is working 1-3 jobs and can barely afford Obamacare, nor to keep the lights on. We in Finland have little to no idea what it’s like for Americans – uneducated as they are made out to be – the backbone of the country are actually workhorses. And after eight years of putting in their 60 – 80 hour work weeks only sinking deeper into debt they would take a Hail Mary over sweep that shit under the rug, bleed us dry neoliberalism.
Here in Europe with all the media spin, Obama is a virtual hero.
Morrissey’s tune America Is Not The World proclaimed ”In America, The land of the free, they said, and of opportunity, In a just and a truthful way. But where the president, is never black, female or gay, and until that day, you’ve got nothing to say to me, to help me believe”
And yet, 8 years after a Black President, Obama has on record the worst attack on US Civil Liberties with the signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which effectively legalizes indefinite detention of US citizens, the prosecution of more whistleblowers than any previous president, the refusal to close Guantanamo (for which he initially campaigned on), and the adoption of ruthless positions in trials such as Hedges vs. Obama and Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project.
Another alarming record reported by ABC is that Obama has deported more people than any other president’s administration in history. In fact, they have deported more than the sum of all the presidents of the 20th century.
What about Chelsea Manning? And what about Snowden hiding out in Russia? The world knows well NSA was unleashed under the Obama administration, resulting in taps on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Angela Merkel, her ministers and even German media.
How quickly do we forget? Apparently, pretty damn quickly is the answer.
Hillary represented everything wrong with the system and although propped high up on our educated seats in Europe we cannot see how disenchanted US citizens have become with what we know to be an utterly busted and broken system.
Brian Eno is right to say there is a lot of danger and uncertainty ahead. Trump is a tool, is an understatement. One quick look at his potential selection for cabinet members and its something out of a who’s who of Marvel villains.
Sarah Palin who once said ”The people don’t elect US Presidents, God does”. Newt Gingrich, who wants to launch the creation of a new House Committee on Un-American activities, invoking Joseph McCarthy’s infamous ”Red Scare” era. Governor Chris Christie with his links to the Fort Lee lane closure scandal. Former Arizona governor Jan Brewer who championed the controversial law, SB 1070, making it a state crime for illegal immigrants to not have an alien registration document allowing for Police to question public specifically based on bias. Then there’s Mike Pence who thinks rolling back Federal protection laws for trans students is a top priority.
But within days of President elect Trumps victory a few things quasi interesting started to happening. Chiefly, his statement on banning Muslims from US has all together disappeared from his website. Second, and not promoted within major media, Trump at a Colorado rally saw in the crowd a gay flag written on it ’LGBT for Trump’ and asked to have it passed up to the stage and than posed for photos – something no other Republican politician has ever done in the history of that party. Does it make Trump a true gamesman? A player only for the cameras?
He is clearly a racist, misogynist, accused of sexual assault many times by many women. Sadly, he is a guy who used xenophobic tactics to bully his way into the minds of broken hearted Americans who were ready to accept finger pointing, if only it meant hope for food on the table and easier times ahead.
So why then is it so good Trump won then?
Because we are here, right now, at ground zero. With 46% of US citizens not taking to the polls, one thing is quite clear: Neither Hillary nor Trump embodied the populations desires. A Trump win has uniquely upset a global balance we only ever fooled ourselves into thinking existed. Today there are populations all over the world absolutely prepared to question and wishfully overhaul racist, misogynist, Islamophobic point of views giving us this one opportunity to unite under a single solitary humanist movement.
White privileged folks cry for the their rights while continuing to support economies built on 3rd world enslavement is a much graver issue because it deals with your and my hand directly. If you hold no bias against color, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation but purchase products from IKEA, H&M, Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s or use services such as Google and Facebook – what does that make you then?
Are we really so delusional to discount the damage we cause to other human beings and the world when supporting these brands?
You and I may or may not be able to effect a Trump Presidency, certainly this giant global pause gives us the opportunity Brian Eno suggests to dig deep and get involved. But, more than that, it affords us the opportunity to judge ourselves, judge our individual footprint. The laws of supply and demand are clear – our Apple phones don’t need to be made with child labor and enslavement conditions. Food supply doesn’t need to be doused in chemicals nor do we need to continue poisoning our children.
The system is only ever a reflection of us and as it stands we’re mostly hypocritical in our actions choosing to focus singularly on certain issues while consciously turning a blind eye to what we know damn well we can actually effect.
Ask yourself what values you stand for.
The writer is an artist/activist sharing his time between Finland and France at the moment.