For some people it makes perfect sense. For other people it is the most terrifying thought ever:
The morning of 20th January 2017 didn’t feel particularly different to most of the world. But in America, they knew that it would be the day when everything would change.
On the steps of the Capitol building, a round-faced man stepped smugly up in front of the waiting crowd. There were many cheers. There was much booing.
The crowd looked on, helplessly now, as the man pulled his suit around his shoulders, placed his pudgy hand on a Bible and, with his white-orange hair flapping in the breeze, swore an oath.
He swore to preserve.
He swore to protect.
He swore to defend.
And in some far flung corner of the world, a group of soldiers gathered, as some will gather with every inauguration of a president or prime minister.
And they thought only of death.
It sounds like it should be the opening passage for one of my stories, right? Well, maybe it might be some day. But on this occasion, I’m afraid this is becoming less like a story and more like a reality.
With the way to the Republican ticket pretty much paved out for Donald Trump Sr., we are coming to a point where we have to face the uncomfortable reality that this man could well end up becoming the next President of the United States of America.
I say uncomfortable, but I don’t mean for all of us.
There are invariably large numbers of people who think that Trump is a swell guy and that he is taking positive steps to make America ‘great again’. There will be those outside of the US who think that letting a man who was once dubbed as the ‘Republican Clown’ might cause America to collapse altogether and redistribute the balance of power in the world…
But it’s not those people who will be feeling uncomfortable. It will be the people who are terrified of the thought of an idiot standing over a big, red button. It will be the people who fear the final regression of our morals as racism, sexism, bigotry and intolerance take to the floor once again. It will be the people who stand on the sidelines, seeing the potential of the dark road that lies ahead…
… and doing nothing.
Within hours of the announcement that Cruz would no longer stand against Trump, my Facebook page was buzzing with people expressing their outrage.
‘I can’t believe we can be this stupid.’
‘This isn’t democracy, it’s a world’s dumbest man contest…’
‘If Trump is really the next President, we’re all screwed…’
All these people rant and talk about what a terrible idea it is. Outside of the US, I have even seen the phrase:
‘This isn’t a Presidential Election, it’s an IQ test. And America – you are not doing well…’
I’m not going to say if I agree or not. I’m not going to tell people to get over it or back them up – that’s not the point of the exercise.
But I will share my somewhat philosophical thoughts on the matter:
Democracy is based on a single concept: All people have an equal vote.
And, whether we like it or not, this invariably means that: Two idiots can out-vote a genius.
Now, I’m not saying that the Americans who vote for Trump are idiots, far from it. They are doing what they feel is right and no one (not me nor you) can criticise them for that.
But we can criticise the people who stand on the sidelines, seeing the impending disaster unfolding in front of their eyes, and doing nothing.
Those people who moan about it on Facebook and Twitter. ‘The government this…’ ‘The police that…’ ‘Racists this…’ ‘Sexists that…’ and (my personal favourite) ‘oh well done [voters], now you’ve screwed up our country…’
And yet, not a single one of them will stand up for their own beliefs. They see the darkness coming and yet all they do is predict it on Facebook and wait for it to happen so that they can turn round and say ‘I told you so’ when it invariably does.
The people who vote for Trump help him get into power. But it is the people who stand idly by and let it happen that help him stay there.
So, I think my point is this. I can see a future and I don’t particularly like what I see. I try to understand that future by writing stories about it, by getting people to read it so that, in some small way, I might provide a window for them to look through so they can see the world through my eyes.
The Bluebell Informant is a crime thriller based in a world where the Donald Trumps and Nick Griffins of this world are in power – I write it as a way of fighting back against a future I have no desire to see.
So, my question is this…
What are you doing?