I give up. I’ve been trying for days to find an angle. Something ironic, or some humorous perspective on Donald J Trump being elected President of the United States. I’ve got nothing.
This is a blog about being an American expat, living abroad in Britain. For more than two years I’ve been writing about the amusing little differences between our two countries, our people and our customs. But it turns out we’re just the same in all the ways that really matter – and none of them are funny.
Between Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, we’ve proven that we’re two countries that are willing to place our fears above our hopes. Two nations willing to defy common sense and vote against our own best interests. Both of us have made it clear that we’re collectively willing to demonise and vilify foreigners and immigrants – making them our scapegoats. Now Britain and the USA both have incompetent leaders who are making it up as they go along – politicians who never expected to be in charge. Foxes suddenly in charge of the hen houses.
I’ve spent a lot of energy and written a lot of words defending America and Americans from charges of stupidity. When you live abroad, you hear it a lot: how Americans are fat, loud, crass, violent, but most of all – they’re seen as dumb. I’m done defending them/us. We are stupid. We’ve just elected the most monumentally unqualified, vulgar, hateful and idiotic leader in our country’s history. A social media president, elected on a platform of late-night attack tweets and fake facebook news stories.
I try to console myself with a few, random, comforting thoughts. At least we’re all in this together – well not all of us- the 47 or 48 percent of us who didn’t believe the lies about the NHS, the fake news stories about Hilary – we are in it together. I guess I can also console myself with the fact that I don’t live in America at the moment. My civil rights aren’t about to be taken away. My child isn’t going to go to school with NRA-armed teachers. My tax dollars aren’t going to be spent building a giant Mad-Max style wall with Mexico, or paying for forced deportations. But that kind of selfish thinking is what got us into this mess to begin with, and it’s not like things are that great over here in post-Brexit Britain either. You know all those news stories about racist attacks that are peppering your news feeds right now? We’ve had those here for a while. They’ll diminish a little, but they won’t go away. I guess I don’t feel very comforted. Maybe I’ll be a real American, and I’ll just stop thinking entirely – just troll through my facebook feed for memes.
It’ll get better. I know it will. I hope it will. But until then, I don’t have anything funny to say, and I may not for a while.
In the meantime, here are some photos of sad cats.