I’m writing this, as I usually do, on Thursday, which is my day off work. It’s when I prepare the upcoming Serial Saturday post. I usually start off with a sentence or two about what’s happened during my week, and this week, that sentence turned into 700 words, so I thought I would put this out as a separate post.
See, I need your help with something I don’t understand.
I’ve been watching the US mid term election progress over the last few months, culminating in the vote on Tuesday. Living in the UK, this does not directly impact me, but it is almost compulsive viewing for me. It’s like a TV show that I didn’t think I was going to like, but then one day the TV was on and I happened to catch an episode of said show, and I was hooked.
This whole saga is playing out like a series of American Horror Story. Now I know our government in the UK has its problems (see Brexit), but this saga is something else. Politicians, in my opinion, are preprogrammed to avoid direct questions and almost never give you a yes or no answer, but outright lying?
I hear ‘America is the greatest country on Earth’ all the time (don’t get me started), but I have never heard a politician sing his own praises as much as President Trump. According to him, he is the greatest President of all time, who has achieved more than any president in history; he is the most popular ever; is the most hard done to ever; the most misunderstood and misrepresented in the media.
A lot of what he says and how he says it comes across as fear-mongering and just outright offensive. I sometimes feel like I’m watching an episode of the Sopranos when I read that he has forced this person to quit or he has pushed that person into a position of authority.
Now I can’t pretend to understand American politics, but to a lay person, it just looks ludicrous: people in charge of voting actually being on the ballot paper; changing the voter registration rules if it suits your cause; being able to make a random claim and then having half the country just accept it? Am I being too simplistic here? Have I misunderstood? I also hear the term ‘fake news‘ shouted about quite a lot and I’m happy to believe some of what I read may be inaccurate, but I also believe what I see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears. I watched Trump’s press conference live on Wednesday and I have never seen someone not just evade the questions, but ramble off topic and completely fail to even approach the question quite so often as I saw then.
Talk to me about how he will not accept that he has a role to play in calming tensions across the country. Take the recent pipe bomb threat. The people he said were his enemies, not to mention the ‘enemy of the people,’ the media, all received bombs in the mail. Did he send them? No. Did his language and continued abuse of the media and his opponents have a part to play? I think so. Even better (?), was listening to his supporters saying that it was fake, probably something set up by the democrats.
The ‘caravan’ of migrants. The ‘invasion.’ Are these people really coming to storm the border, steal the houses and rape the women? Will we hear much about that now the elections have passed?
What is it that I am missing? I was beginning to think that maybe some of his supporters were being taken in by his lies and hyperbole, and whilst I am sure that there are some that will be, I also see some of them saying that they don’t care if it’s a lie, or if he says something racist or sexist. They just flat out don’t care.
I really want to understand what I am missing. I’ve never heard him talk about a policy, unless it is to shout down one from a previous administration. How did he get away with making promises in his election campaign that have not been acted upon? As a UK voter, if our politicians made promises, they would be the reasons I would vote for them. If they didn’t fulfil those promises, I would certainly want answers as to why.
So, please can someone explain where I am going wrong. I want to understand, but at the moment, I just don’t see it.