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Quasi-Stoics Lounge

Old Guy's Post-Election Thoughts

December 1, 2016 by Old Guy

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for the webpage. The last time I wrote something, that Jake Silverman guy in the Uncle Steve’s section contacted me and said he was an English professor at a college, and he’d be happy to edit my writing if I liked. He said he’d just clean up the most basic mistakes and leave the rest alone. So, I told him, next time I write an article, you can have at it. As you probably noticed from the stuff I wrote before, I have trouble with spelling, grammar, punctuation, apostrophes, and above all commas. I remember trying to learn that stuff back in school a billion years ago and it just didn’t sink in for me. I sort of tried to pay attention and understand it all, but I guess I’m just hopeless as far as that goes. That’s why I just gave up and decided, the hell with it, I never get commas and apostrophes right, so I won’t use them at all. I always got a C or D in English class, and didn’t get much better in my other classes, but nobody ever said I was dumb. I have a certain kind of smarts, the kind you need to find a peaceful place in life in the middle of a bunch of confusion and craziness all around you. It’s never been about professional success and money for me, though I am careful to budget the right way and economize and all that, since I use some common sense. I found my own particular way to connect the dots and get what I need for myself and the people I care about. That’s why I don’t really care about the difference between “it’s” and “its.” I’ll let Jake worry about that, since he obviously can wrap his brain around that one, but honestly, it’s totally beyond me.

So, the election came and went. Quite honestly, I wasn’t much plugged in to all of that. They talk about low-information voters. Well, in my case, I’d say I’m a no-information non-voter, because I didn’t understand much of anything, and I didn’t vote. But I do remember a few things here and there about the election, so I’ll share those with you.

When the Republicans were getting together to pick their nominee, I figured Jeb Bush was the sure shot, because that’s what they were saying on the news. I thought, oh well, we had George Bush Sr. and George Bush Jr., might as well have brother Bush. Like a family dynasty or something. And they said that old Jeb had a truckload of campaign money coming his way from the fat cats. So, I guessed he had the thing in the bag, and on the news that’s what they all thought, too. But he had some competition from that Ted Cruz dude out of Texas. Old Ted Cruz, he looked like he was ready to sell you a used car, or maybe preach a sermon to send all sinners to hell. But then, out of nowhere comes Donald Trump and just blindsides the bejesus out of them all.

Trump speaks at a rally

Now, I’d seen his show The Apprentice many times. My wife loved that show. I let her watch it, because I don’t want to make waves. But I wouldn’t have watched it on my own. He just seemed to me like a big-time bigshot with a king-sized ego, what with his helicopter and jet plane with his name on it in great big letters, and naming all his buildings after himself. And the people that came on his show just doing everything they could to try and please the guy, and the way he totally reveled in all the power he had over them all, who he was going to can and who he was going to keep. It reminded me just a little of some bosses I’ve had over the years, well, maybe more than just a little, actually. Not something I care to remember, if you must know. So, as you can guess, I wasn’t all that keen on watching that show. I kind of wanted to kick him in the tail a few times because he was so full of himself, bring him down a notch or two for his own good, but then I reminded myself it was just a dumb TV show, and there was no point in bringing up my blood pressure because of some stupid program. I’d just step out for a smoke to calm my nerves, get a cup of coffee, and by then the damn thing would be over.

But there he was again in the Republican competition. I don’t know, I think somehow a lot of people got the TV world confused with the real political world, and imagined Trump could jump off the TV screen and be Superman in real life. He started breaking all the rules and saying something crazy every frigging day. They kept saying this was it, he’d finally done himself in, nobody could get away with acting and saying crap like that, and he wouldn’t apologize, he laid it on extra thick, and when something was bad he just made it ten times worse by pouring more gasoline on the fire he’d started. The man must have missed some basic lesson back in kindergarten, guess it’s way too late now, not going to change. And people were just eating it up because it was great entertainment. After a while, I realized this guy had no limits, he could do anything he wanted and it wouldn’t affect him at all, he had this Godzilla mojo going on, like an unstoppable force of nature or something. He steamrollered over poor old Jeb and left Ted Cruz choking on his dust. He made a complete fool out of Marco Rubio, and told Carly Fiorina she had an ugly mug. He acted like an absolute clown and total flaming jerk, and did everything you were never supposed to do as a candidate, and his poll numbers just kept going up. I was waiting for him to push a cream pie in someone’s face, but I guess time ran out for that one. I have to admit that even I found him to be a lot of fun to watch, because he made a lot of smug and powerful people really nervous, and I enjoyed watching them all stoop down to his junior high level, and fail to beat him at his own game. Like when they were trying to get him about his little hands, what a fail that was. But I was kind of surprised when he actually won the nomination, because I sort of thought every practical joke wraps itself up eventually, but not in this case.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was supposed to have smooth sailing on her way to being the nominee. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. I mean, unless you’ve been living in a cave with no contact with the outside world for the last 25 years, you know that Bill and Hillary Clinton are practically American political royalty. I thought they would just skip the whole nomination exercise and she would go unopposed, which is what almost really happened. But this Bernie Sanders guy shows up and starts hammering her left and right. I thought old Bernie was pretty cool, and I heard him speak on TV a few times, but I figured he made too much sense, and the American people don’t want that. We want bull patties and hot air instead. Plus, he’s an old Jewish guy, and the USA might elect a black man or a white woman, but I don’t think most people are ready for an old Jewish guy just yet. We’re still a pretty churchy country overall. I would have voted for old Bernie, though, had I voted. He seemed like someone who would give a swift kick in the pants to everyone up there at the top who desperately needs it. But unlike Bernie, Mrs. Hillary looked to be rubbing elbows big time with Wall Street. They said she gave speeches to big financial firms and they paid her a bazillion bucks for it. The rest of the stuff they said about her I can’t remember because it was too durned complicated, stuff about Benghazi, and emails, which I don’t understand, and don’t use. But it seemed like old Bernie really got under her skin, and for a minute there I thought he had a chance, because he won a few states here and there. But in the end, she won. So, it was Trump versus Clinton.

Now, at that point, all the experts were saying that Clinton was going to really beat the crap out of Trump. The polls kept showing he didn’t have a chance. Somebody Else even wrote an article about how Clinton was going to have a big win. But honestly, I wasn’t so sure. I just had a hunch about Trump. It seemed to me like he was on a roll and nothing was going to stop him. There was that old video they found of him talking about grabbing women by the kitty cats without their permission. And sticking his tongue down their mouth without asking. And walking in on naked women at his beauty pageants without them knowing he’d show up. The media was saying it was the end for old Trump when that one came out. But I just shook my head, and thought, they’ll forget it right away. They don’t care about that. He can do anything and it makes no difference to them. They just hate Mrs. Hillary because they think she’s a nasty old bag, and blame her for Mr. Bill being such a horn dog, and think she’s going to try to take away their beautiful, shiny guns.

I know some people who think like that, actually, most of my more-or-less friends feel that way, which is why I pretty much keep them at a distance. Like my friend Luther, who’s always ready to overthrow the government if it gets out of line, and has the “live free or die” tattoo on his shoulder, and he shot himself in the thigh when he was cleaning his pistol after he’d had way too much whiskey. Somebody really should take away Luther’s guns before he does something like that again, because he drinks way too much. And no, I don’t care what Luther has to say about me writing this. I’m putting this down for his own good. If he wants to fight me, forget it. I’m too old for that, and so is he. And you all know about Thurston, but I won’t even say anything about him, because we all know he lost his marbles ages ago. I wouldn’t even call him a friend, come to think of it.

Here’s the thing, folks. There’s a LOT of white people in the United States. I mean, we’re everywhere. We’re like ants or something. For a long time, we white people had an iron grip on America. This was our nation, we ruled it, and there were some non-white people here, but they knew who was boss, and if they forgot, they got dealt a hard lesson so they wouldn’t forget again. That’s the old America that existed when I was a young kid, but started slowly fading away when I was a teenager in the 1960’s, and when Obama became president, the old timey white people had alarm bells going off in their heads. Who was this guy, they asked themselves? What’s become of our great and powerful nation? My buddy Tucker, who runs a tire shop, changed the lettering on his storefront sign when Obama was elected, and put up: TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY. I asked him what he meant. He said, Obama isn’t my president, and the Democratic Party isn’t my party, because they don’t represent my values and my heritage. This is our country, he said, and we’ve got to take it back. So, I asked him, what do you mean, our and we? Tucker just said, you know damn good and well what I mean, and looked at me out of the corner of his eye, as if to say, are you going to stand up for yourself or not? As if he was saying, us white people have got to stick together, or we’ll be overrun by Mexicans and blacks and God knows what else. I knew exactly what old Tucker meant. So, when Trump won, Tucker changed his sign a little, and now it reads: GOT BACK OUR COUNTRY. But when I look out my window, my country still looks exactly the same to me. Tucker doesn’t know much about values, because he’s been cheating on his wife for thirty years, and everyone knows it, especially her. And once when he stubbed his toe a few years ago, he cried like a baby. So, I don’t care much for jumping on any political bandwagon with old Tucker or old Trump. Because it looks to me like that bandwagon is going to run right off the side of a cliff soon enough. But nobody listens to me, and I knew all us white people back off in the shadows were going to boot Mrs. Hillary off the stage in the end, because Trump hit a major nerve with people like Luther and Tucker, and like I said, they’re everywhere. Tucker and I go fishing sometimes, and once he caught a five-pound bass.

Now, there was some other kind of noise about trade deals, and jobs being shipped overseas, etc. And Trump was supposed to be Mr. Big Man and redo all of that so we could get all our old jobs back. And I’m the first to tell you that all sounds fine and dandy to me, because unemployment is the pits, I have years of firsthand experience. But quite honestly, old Trump just seems shifty as hell to me, and I wouldn’t put too much faith in him keeping his word, since his main goal in life has always seemed to be getting what’s best for number one, so how all of the sudden does he become the champion of the little guy? And the Trump University thing, which overall seems like it was a big snake-oil scam, because he settled for 25 million in the end, another reason he doesn’t seem trustworthy to me. But then again, Mrs. Hillary didn’t strike me as much better, since Mr. Bill was the one who started the whole thing about sending our jobs overseas, and a lot people, me included, heard what Bernie had to say about how she wasn’t going to help any with the trade stuff. So, I figure a lot of people were just so desperate to try anything, they went ahead and voted for Trump, because besides Bernie he was the only one really talking about knocking over the applecart. Not exactly a great vote of confidence in Trump, lest he get some fanciful ideas in his head and imagine people think more highly of him than they really do. But that man’s head has been swelled up for so long, there’s no hope he’ll ever stop being a pompous ignoramus. I’ve got to watch him for at least four more years, so I’d better get used to it, like it or not.

Some of the media appears to be insinuating that Trump is leading a movement of white racists. There might be something to that, but maybe not as much as what’s being read into it. Let me talk about myself first. I don’t have any friends that aren’t white. There are some non-white people where I live, but they’re not my friends. It’s not like I’m avoiding them and they’re avoiding me on purpose, but friendship just hasn’t happened. I’m just trying to be honest here. I’ve worked with some Mexicans and other folks who speak Spanish. I knew this one guy from Honduras, and worked with a fellow from Puerto Rico on a construction project. I used to cut grass with a black dude. He was a nice guy and worked really hard. We paired up for a few months and made some good money, but he wasn’t my friend. He was friendly, but we weren’t going to go out for a beer together. He threw out his back, and that was the end of our working together, and I lost touch with him after that. I’ve never been against the idea of having friends who aren’t white just like me. Like I said, it just hasn’t happened for one reason or another. And as for Muslims, I’ve never met one, much less even seen one. I don’t know anything about them and their religion. I don’t even understand Christianity, and I’m supposed to be a Christian. So, as far as banning Muslims from this country goes, from my point of view, that smells like a load of hooey, like a bunch of scapegoating, and I’m not surprised that Trump threw out that bait, and that Luther and Tucker bought it hook, line, and sinker, because both of them are complete rubes no matter how much they strut around acting like they’re nobody’s fool. So, anyway, sure, there are some white pride nutcases out there supporting Trump, but probably just as many people for him who aren’t hardcore racists. Good luck trying to sort through them all. And yes, there have been some Muslim terrorists in the US, everyone knows that, but there have also been some homegrown and completely bonkers right-wing white-dude terrorists too, like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph, so how are you going to ban them if they’ve been here all their life?

With all of that, I think that Mrs. Hillary still might’ve won, but then there was one thing that put the nail in the coffin for her, I do believe, and that was when they said that Obamacare prices were going up 25% next year. I think that’s when a lot of people got off the fence and said, hell, Trump seems like a total a-hole, but my Obamacare premiums are going up through the roof, this has got to stop. Like my pal Franklin, who was paying $850 a month for his Obamacare premium, and next year it goes up to $1,350 a month, because like he says, he’s making too much money since his wife got a job, so he has to pay the sky-high rate. That was enough for him to throw his support behind Trump, and old Franklin isn’t exactly like Luther or Tucker, he has some class, you know. When Franklin got on board, that’s when I knew it was over, because Franklin voted for Obama both times. Not really a scientific poll or anything, but like I said, that’s when I realized it was in the bag for old Trump.

Now, I must confess I’m an old hippie. I started being a hippie back in the 1960’s, and I’ve been one ever since. I’ve got long, grey hair and a Santa Claus beard. And I’ve smoked my share of Mary Jane over the years. My wife had a one-night affair with Jim Morrison, but that was before she and I got in a relationship. That’s when she was waiting tables in L.A., and he liked to eat breakfast at the diner where she worked, but she’s settled down a lot since then. So, when I heard all those states were legalizing recreational marijuana, all I could say was hallelujah. That was something really good and nice that came out of this election. No more getting busted for buying weed in those states. Of course, now that it’s legal in those places, they’re going to regulate the hell out of it, just like they’ve done with alcohol. I like a good cup of moonshine just as much as anyone, but it’s still a cat-and-mouse game with the revenuers, all the time, blowing up stills and such. So, they’ll probably be setting fire to unregulated ganja fields also. Some things never change.

Well, here we are. Trump won and we’re all staring into an uncertain future. I don’t think white people are going to completely take over the US again. Maybe a lot of us would like to, but it’s just not going to happen, much as some folks would wish it. Kind of like wishing you could go back to high school, because life seemed simpler and more fun back then, but time has moved on, and you can’t do it. You’ve got to accept reality and move on. He’s not going to be able to give everyone everything they want, because there’s a Congress that doesn’t want to go his way on a lot of stuff, so he’s bound to get turned down for this and that. They say he might manage to throw away Obamacare. Well, who knows. I try to stay away from doctors and hospitals. They’re expensive, as you all know very well. My wife made me get a colonoscopy once. Never again. So, I don’t have a crystal ball, and I can’t tell you what’s going to happen. Just don’t get too emotional about anything, which has always been my motto, because you can avoid practically every problem in life by simply not letting yourself fly off the handle. Really, it’s just that easy, but like I said, nobody ever listens to me. But there it is, anyway. Thanks for reading this, hope you liked it. Maybe I’ll write something again later.

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...