THE THINKER WHO THUNK THE UNTHINKABLE
by Todd Hartley
Did you ever have one of those moments where you wondered if everything really was just a figment of your imagination? Well, it happens to me a lot, and I finally realized why. It’s because, apparently, everything is just a figment of my imagination. Nothing else could explain what happened Tuesday night.
No, the only way Donald Trump could possibly be elected president of the United States of America would be if I dreamt it. So I think all you imaginary readers need to give me some credit. I did some pretty creative dreaming on this one, didn’t I?
Seriously, think about it. If my subconscious set out to imagine a parable of a failed political system, it couldn’t have done a whole lot better than it did.
On the one hand, you have the perfect embodiment of that political system in Hillary Clinton. She’s been in politics all her life and everything she’s done seems to have been politically motivated. She’s been secretary of state. She’s been a senator. Hell, she already lived in the White House for eight years. If anyone represents Washington, it’s her.
On the other hand, you have Donald Trump, the perfect anti-candidate. He has no political experience, no sense of diplomacy and, seemingly, no sense of decency. He doesn’t pay taxes, despite being a billionaire. He’s ripped off countless workers and small businesses and he’s a reality TV star infamous for his crassness and vulgarity. There’s no way he can be real. No one could be that awful.
In Trump, my mind concocted a bomb containing all the ills of modern American society, and then I charged Washington — the symbol of power and order — with protecting the imaginary citizens of America from that bomb. And Washington failed miserably, responding with Clinton, a woman so loathed that she’s almost as unpopular as Trump.
I say almost as unpopular because that’s the best part that my mind dreamed up: She actually won the popular vote, but due to the idiotic Electoral College, that I’ve imagined for some reason, Trump gets to be president. Admit it: You didn’t see that twist coming, did you? I’m like M. Night Shyamalan.
So now the bomb is headed for the White House, and a lot of my imaginary friends and loved ones have literally been crying all week in fear of what’s going to happen when it explodes. I don’t blame them, but consider me one who doesn’t think it will be the end of the world.
No, Trump himself won’t destroy America, but the conditions that propelled him to the presidency might. And that’s the scariest part of this whole scenario. How could my mind have conjured up an America gone so wrong that Trump could actually be president? More importantly, what can I do to appease my subconscious and fix the problem?
I think I’m going to start by focusing on the positives that a Trump presidency represents. First of all, I think this is an inspiration for America’s children. I know a lot of people think this sends the message that you can be a bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic cartoon character and still wind up president, but I think that’s a good thing. That’s telling kids that they should never give up.
Secondly, I hold out hope that Trump will succeed in uniting my imaginary Americans the way he claims he will. Sure, they’ll be united against him, but they’ll still be united.
Finally, I have faith that this utter failure of the American experiment will send a message not just to the Democratic and Republican parties but also to the young adults of America. For as much as Trump getting elected president is a repudiation of our putrid two-party system, it’s also a big middle finger to the forces of political correctness and things like safe spaces, micro-aggressions and whiny college brats.
You see, Trump represents a freedom that is rapidly being taken away these days — the freedom to say what you want without fear of consequences, even if what you’re saying is revolting. You’d think, it being guaranteed by the First Amendment and all, that we wouldn’t have to worry about free speech, but we do. Trump, for all his faults, is an unapologetic free speaker, and with any luck the thought police will be dealt a setback during his time in office.
Sadly, that’s the extent of the positive spin I can put on this disaster. Thank goodness it’s all in my head.
Todd Hartley thinks, therefore you are.