SLACKJAW by JIM KNIPFEL
November 13, 2016

Hooray, America! You’ve Done Us Proud!

 

A few months back while writing about the presidential campaign, I noted that whoever won, the Nihilist Workers Party would also win, as the result would inevitably represent a public endorsement of our entire platform. And boy howdy, did they ever endorse us in spades! Late Tuesday night, the Post-Satirical Age reached its pinnacle when Americans overwhelmingly elected Andy Kaufman’s alter-ego Tony Clifton to be our next president.

            Now, at this point I could just fill up the entire column with quotes from H.L. Mencken like this one:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

            Yes, and that great and glorious day has at last arrived! Well, again.

            Even though they were written some seventy or eighty years ago, pretty much every sentence Mencken penned would still make perfect sense, they’d all still be perfectly timely and apt, but let’s not bother.

            Funny thing is, though (well, one of about three million), I knew the moment Trump started winning primaries all those long months back that it was a simple forgone inevitability. Dangle a celebrity in front of the American voting public—Fred Grandy, Sonny Bono, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, Jesse Ventura, Al Franken—and they’ll be a shoo-in every last time, not because they have any working knowledge of political mechanics, but because people recognize them from that funny show they saw on the tee-vee. The masses will always scrabble for the familiar, which is so much easier than actually thinking about things. Hell, put Huckleberry Hound on the ballot as a Republican, and his non-animated opponents wouldn’t stand a chance. And once I further noted that Trump’s stump speeches (at least the scripted ones) were just transcribed and translated versions of speeches Hitler gave between 1929 and 1933, I knew he had a lock. Sure, the references were updated a bit, with illegal aliens, the Chinese and Muslims replacing Jews, Slavs and communists, but play to the basest fears and instincts of the Lowest Common Denominator and you simply cannot lose. Which of course brings us back around to Mencken again, right?

            Trump’s entire campaign was the most perfectly realized expression of politics as performance art to date, an act that revealed just a bit too much about the true and ugly nature of the American spirit. I was kind of hoping he’d at last break character during his victory speech and say something like, “You fucking insane losers! Those were Hitler’s speeches and you voted for me anyway! Christ, you’re all stupid.” But I guess at that point, y’know, why bother?

            Writing this on Wednesday morning, just hours after everything came down and everyone’s jaw dropped, I gotta say I’m positively giddy, maybe only because the whole thing is such a clear, solid and unquestionable confirmation of everything I always believed or, as the case may be, didn’t believe. What’s more, I don’t understand what everyone’s so upset about.

            First, after forty years of screaming “Change! Change! Change!” during every presidential election only to discover, via the simple oscillations of political dialectics, that nothing ever changed, the sheep finally got it together enough to offer a big FUCK YOU to business as usual. And isn’t that something to be respected? The little folk finally grew a pair and stuck it to The Man. Sure, maybe it would’ve been nice if it was a big FUCK YOU that didn’t doom us all, but what the hell are you gonna do?

            Second, after decades of bemoaning the two party system in which the two parties were increasingly difficult to tell apart, and one in which any serious third-party push was promptly and mercilessly destroyed, the end of the 2016 election finds both major parties bleeding, broken, and spiraling toward the mountainside. Who knows? Maybe next time, thanks to the Trump win, we’ll have fifteen or sixteen legitimate and viable unbalanced and felonious characters to choose between, which I think would be a fine thing.

            On top of all that, the results, you’d think, would make New Yorkers, liberals, and the NPR crowd happy, too. They’ve had to spend the last eight years hemming and hawing and making excuses after realizing Barack Obama wasn’t quite the savior he’d been propped up to be after all. Hell, he turned out to be worse than George W. Bush, but they were never able to come out and admit it. Now with Trump they’ll have someone to smugly bitch and moan about for the next few years, and that always seems to make them feel better.

            Even the hair-pulling and chest-beating and simple teary-eyed dismay in the mainstream press (not counting News Corp affiliates of course) strikes me as a bit of bad faith. After all, he’s going to keep editorial writers busy, shaking their fists and gnashing their teeth and screaming “You see? We told you so!” for a good long time, which will keep them out of trouble.

            Best and most important of all, there’s the entertainment factor. I mean, who the hell wants to watch a Hillary Clinton State of the Union address? Even imagining such a thing fills me with mind-numbing horror and ennui. Christ it’d be so goddamn boring. But you never know what kind of crazy, absurd shit that Donald Trump character’s gonna spout next! The whole damn country will tune in and watch on the edge of their seats, just waiting for the next line.

            And most glorious of all will be the delicious anticipation of waiting to see what happens when the bloodthirsty thugs (and there are millions of them) who swept him into office realize that, yeah, nothing is gonna change all that much, really, and he’s not going to accomplish one one-hundredth of the nonsensical off-the-cuff bullshit he promised. Oooh, they’re gonna be pissed! Which means the next election will only be uglier and more insane! We might see a serial killer running against a confessed homegrown terrorist and Chumley from the old “Tennessee Tuxedo” cartoon. And a party clown.

            So you see? It’s a mighty big-assed win for everyone, and at long last cause for celebration! God bless America! My advice is to stop the whining and grousing. Just shut up, sit back, relax, crack another beer, and let the good times blow. As my old pal Grinch said in the gleeful phone message he left last night moments after the outcome seemed imminent, “Hallelujah, the missiles are flying!”

 

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