Terri Barnes
Terri Barnes

Trump’s America: No country for old women

I have managed a monosyllabic email and two cups of tea this morning. Typing this is agony.

Now I know that the sun comes up and shines even on the day of the apocalypse.

I didn’t know that yesterday.

So this is a learning experience. Welcome to America’s 1948, where the sun is shining.

With anti-abortion, pro-oil drilling, anti-civil rights, pro-LGBTQ discrimination, anti-Muslim white supremacist Republicans who don’t believe in climate change now in charge of the White House, the Senate, the House and, soon, the Supreme Court, the goal will be to make every place in the US look like the state of Indiana, home of the vice-president elect, basketball and maize.

White America just turned out in droves and chose between Donald Duck as saviour and heroin. Opioid addiction. That’s what’s been sweeping Indiana and places like it. Faced with a choice between Nazism and race suicide by overdose, they reached up from the depths and chose the SS. In a way, that’s a rational choice. The only thing these folks have managed to hold on to through the steady erosion of their living standards (by their own standards) is a sense of entitlement, and that’s what “making America great again” means: a country where they don’t have to compete with black or brown people, and where women don’t get to tell men what to do.

Bernie Sanders also appealed to a sense of desperation and might well have been a better candidate. On the other hand, he might have lost his mind on camera when faced with Donald Duck’s unrelenting, bullying bigotry. Hillary kept a straight face and fought like a titan on a terribly slanted playing field. Remember, she won the national popular vote. Her race, money, centrism, militarism, smarts, experience, dedication, savvy – would probably have been more than enough for a male candidate, but they couldn’t overcome the simple fact of her body. She lost the game.

The folks in Indiana and across the US who voted for Donald Duck are right about one thing: things are terribly, terribly wrong with America. But their imaginations and identities have been cemented in Disneyland, where the little mermaid must give up her voice to get her man and the villains have swarthy skin and black hair. They wear black and purple, like Hillary did today for her concession speech.

The Titanic has sunk everywhere: America, Britain, Russia, the Philippines, India etc. Will this election hasten or delay white American Donald Duckers realising that the worst thing they can do when the lifeboat is also sinking is to jettison the other people in the boat who can help them bail the water out? We’ll see over the next four to eight, or 12-16, (if the new vice-president runs in 2024) years.

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