By Kari Ansari
Something called “media” provided a little, little narcissistic man with extreme insecurities a beautiful platform from which to speak; it was so beautiful it caught the attention of Joe Six Packs and Hockey Moms around the country. As he came down a golden escalator to speak to everyone from the shopping mall or wherever that cool place was, they leaned forward in their seats on the sofa and said, chuckling, “Wow, he’s outrageous! Did he just call Mexicans rapists? Wow!”
Soon, the amount of airtime dedicated to Trump on televisions gave rise to Trumpmania, a kind of game show—complete with language you’d wash your child’s mouth out for speaking; bigotry only the KKK espoused; and even sexist nasty things you had to shield your youngest from — all set against gilt-backed chairs, marble floors and beautifully engineered adult children with the occasional appearance of Slovenian model-wife and her quiet little boy.
Joe Six Pack and Hockey-Mom realized Trump could say anything, and it only made him more fun to watch as their marveling mouths hung wide open with awe — fully entertained.
Soon, like magic, he had won the semi-finals of the game show and we saw him everywhere! You could even get free tickets to his live show! He was a TV star, and he actually wanted to come to your medium-sized, rust belt or southern town! At his live shows, he told everyone that America was horrible, (pronounced harrable), and only he could fix it. The fans ignored the hate coming from some of the other fans attending his shows, saying “Oh, they’re just wing-nuts. They’re just like my drunk uncle at Thanksgiving. We always ignore him.”
And so, Joe Six Pack and Hockey Mom bought hats and put yard signs in their grass. It was so fun to listen to him call other famous people liars, crooked, tired or whatever. It was fun because he said all kinds of things that many of them secretly felt in their hearts but would never say out loud. But just as important as the shows he produced, he also made lots of promises and never asked his fans to think much about the promises — details are for dopes and losers.
That other woman in the pants suit had so many points and stuff to talk about that was, honestly, just too much to figure out. Plus, she was like everyone’s annoying teacher in 11th grade who harangued them for not finishing their term paper when instead they just wanted to go the football game and hang out afterward drinking their father’s beer from the fridge in the garage. Bor-ing.Trumpmania made fans feel good; their star was going to fix everything right up — just like that! Boom! The jobs at the paper plant were coming back; the jobs at the steel mills were coming back; auto-makers were going to start making all the cars in America because we weren’t gonna let in any cars from goddammed China or wherever. It was going to be all shiny and new. Plus, they wouldn’t have to worry about their daughters falling in love with one of those ragheads, Hispanics or “The Blacks” as he called them.
November 8th came and they all went to vote. It was like registering for the Clearing House Sweepstakes — if you voted, you could win!
Today is Friday and many of them are having buyer’s remorse … he actually won. They think about the man bringing, well, all that garbage-drunk-uncle stuff to the White House, and they begin to wonder if it is really what they should have done. They didn’t figure everyone else was going to vote for him too. They begin to think they elected Drunk Uncle to be President when they knew they should have voted for School Teacher. She actually knows stuff.
Oh well, he’ll shake things up, they say. However, this morning they met their brown neighbor at the curb for trash day. The neighbor looks at their sorry little yard sign with disgust, and Joe Six and Hockey Mom say, “Oh, I’m not a racist, I voted for him, but that doesn’t mean I believe the things he says about you …”
Their “aww-shucks” pseudo apology is received with incredulity from their neighbor, “So … you’re not a racist, you only voted for one. Is that like saying, ‘some of my best friends are Black?’”
“Right! I just wanted to vote for a guy who would change things. I want our old jobs back!”
Their neighbor says, “Do you mean the jobs at the asbestos plant, or the ones at the telephone book printing plant? You do know that no one uses a phone book anymore, right?”
You say, “Well, yeah, but I wanted someone to make America great again! I wanted an outsider.”
Their neighbor says, “Well, you got what you wanted, a racist, bigoted, misogynist outsider who knows nothing about running the federal government and who is now calling on every insider from Washington to Wall Street to bail him out of this mess.”
Your vote is a privilege that millions of people in this world do not have. You were given a sacred duty to elect the best man or woman for the job of leading this nation, and instead you elected a Star who knows how to put on a good show.
Pass me the popcorn while I try to survive this tearjerker.
Kari Ansari is a writer, editor and social commentator on the American Muslim community. Her commentary has been published in the Chicago Tribune, PBS, and Public Radio International’s “Speaking of Faith”. Mrs. Ansari is a featured blogger for Huffington Post Religion.