THE MOST SHOCKING thing about the US presidential election was that 70m people voted for Donald Trump. Everything else was entirely predictable, from Trump throwing another toddler tantrum because Joe Biden did indeed beat him like a drum, to the evil Moscow Mitch coldly calculating the advantages to himself and swiftly abandoning America herself: better to let the man-baby in the Oval Office whine and risk a constitutional crisis than to increase the risk of losing the Georgia senate seats next January.
There was no Blue Wave, indeed, the Democrats lost seats in the House and are hoping for an unlikely tie in the Georgia run-off next year to get to 50 seats and have Vice-President Kamala Harris as tiebreaker. But that was not shocking.
Only Martha McSally collected the cut-ass a whole heap of Senate Republicans like Lindsay the Hypocrite booked for themselves. But that wasn’t shocking. When Trump whined like a wet baby, there was no one in his family or the Republican Congressional party with the testicular fortitude to tell him he had just got the greatest cut-ass in American political history – but that wasn’t shocking.
Trump, that moron, declared himself the winner of an election when he was actually way behind President-elect Biden in electoral college votes! That’s like a cricket team, 200 runs behind with nine wickets down in the 49th over of an ODI claiming they won because the last ball of the last over couldn’t be bowled; but that was to be expected.
But 70m people voting for a man who wears his racism, misogyny, sexism, bigotry, ignorance and stupidity like medals was firetrucking shocking.
If there are 70m of “them” and only 75m of “us”, we’re all firetrucked.
Put a Trinidadian way, “it will always have” some people who have to be carried by the others; but, when the carried outweigh the carrying, all fall down.
If America can’t heal herself, the world she leads by example will get sicker and sicker, and the well just won’t be able to carry the unwell.
And we’ll all fall down, ring-around-a-roses/Black Death style.
And that’s what it looks like.
But the good news is, it’s not as bad as it looks.
My arithmetic is weaker than the resolve of a married man in a strip club but, doing my feeble best with a calculator and a map of the election results by state, I worked out that almost 32m of Fat Nixon’s votes came from the former Slave States, plus two or three of their immediate neighbours.
The American South has always voted for whoever they thought would keep the darkies down; read your Faulkner and see. The hardest part of the core of hard core American racists will be in that neck of the backwoods for several generations. DL Hughley, one of the Original Kings of Comedy, points out that, if you held a referendum in the South tomorrow morning, 35 per cent would vote to bring back slavery, Georgia 2020 notwithstanding.
Subtract the Southerners and, already, it’s close to half of the Trump vote not being racist, ignorant, rednecks who will never change (and whom, if needs be, we can carry without ourselves collapsing).
Add the swing vote states, which the optimist/idealist could argue is motivated to vote more by the colour of their political football scarves than the colour of their neighbours’ skin, and you have more than 10m more people (by my dodgy arithmetic) who did not vote out of pure hate but out of something you might call blemished hope.
Now, subtract the white folks who would have preferred to vote for Joe Biden but who had been terrified by weeks of nightly riots into voting for the thug who might scare the people they were scared of, and you have a much more manageable number.
And it’s important that there be more people who can stop hating than people who are now revved up on the second-most powerful driving force in our reptilian brains.
Because, as Dave Chappelle almost said on Saturday Night Live last week, the only force that can defeat hate is love.
And we’re lucky in love.
If Trump had not lost, he would have grown even more emboldened; and the hate that has already infected so many would have accelerated more rapidly and intensely, and become more visible, voluble and vicious.
Joe Biden, and love, has given us a little time.
It won’t be easy to love hateful people, especially as we watch their gun-toting caravans.
But we all have to do it.
Starting with our friends and family who fell down the Trump rabbit hole.
Trembling hate will keep them down there.
Only our quiet love will bring them back.
It’s impossible to put the amount of hate that Trump unleashed upon us all back into the bottle.
We can only hope to smother hate with love.
BC Pires is turning the other cheek, but not for a hard-slap