Let’s Just Give the Idiots What They Want

Another day, another piece of surrealism emanating from the clusterfuck that is the incoming President-Elect of the soon-to-be former most powerful and admired nation in the world. Today’s wonderful news (as in, you were probably shaking your head and wondering “what the fuck” as you read it) is that neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson has been appointed as Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. This is a man who wanted to run for president, but then demurred when asked if he was willing to serve in the Trump administration due to his lack of political experience. Apparently, lack of political experience alone is a disqualifying factor (for anything other than the presidency itself – obvs) but that disaqualification is nullified by the vast experience in housing one gets as a neurosurgeon…I guess?

This follows on from a string of quality appointments, like the Attorney General who was refused a judgeship back in the day for being a little too racist (amongst other sterling qualities, presuming you’re a right-wing Evangelical nutjob), and an Education Secretary who is an avid Creationist. And let’s not forget that bulbous wankpuffin (thanks for that one Sally) Stephen Breitbart, who now fawns shock and horror every time somebody even suggests that his website is a cesspit of white supremacist spew and bile, even though it is exactly that (no, I’m not linking to it, in addition to the horrible content it’s just…bad). None of this is surprising though, it’s 2016, which is probably foretold in some ancient Mayan scroll we haven’t yet found as “The Year Which Ran Out of Fucks to Give” and has brought us the Brexit and Trump. The Austrians have just voted for civility, but 2016 quickly realised that some of us might take some small joy from that, and as a result gave us Italy overwhelmingly voting for populism. In France Marie Le Penn is licking her racist lips as she contemplates what might be coming her way next year. And of course, all the good creative artists are dying out in droves, leaving us with a swamp of a talent-pool that I actually would support being drained by Trump or anybody else.

Ideally we wouldn’t find ourselves in such a deleterious position, but unfortunately every time Idealism picks herself up, proudly thrusts her chest out, and defiantly hoists her flag of rational thought, civil discourse and general decency aloft as a beacon to those who love and long for her, the 5 year old toddler-terror that is Reality runs up and sucker punches her in the groin with a manic cackle. And it’s our fault – to continue the metaphor, society has been that parent who’s let their little darling tear up and down the aeroplane aisle because they’re the most important, special, unique little hell-raising piece of shit snowflake in the world.  Democracy as we’ve implemented it is a horribly flawed thing. I know Churchill said that it was the worst system, except for all the others, but that’s like saying having an anaesthetic-free leg amputation is the worst thing ever, except for having a double anaesthetic-free leg amputation. Objectively true, but the first one is still shit. And quite simply, the problem is that we’ve taken that idea that “all men are created equal” and misread it as “All men are equal.”

No. No, all men are definitely not equal. Neither are all women, in the event that somebody is offended at my exclusionary pronoun usage. We might begin that way, but we definitely don’t end that way. The truth is that there are people who are shittier than others, but we’ve gone and taken human rights to the end of the spectrum, and refuse to acknowledge this because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or something. We want everybody to feel they have a legitimate contribution to make to society – technically that’s true, except sometimes that contribution involves somebody shutting the fuck up because they’re an idiot. But we don’t want to admit this, and as a result, we have the situation where western democracy gives everybody’s opinion the same weighting. Believe the earth is flat? You get exactly the same amount of voting currency as Dr Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Think that it’s ok to blow up innocent people because your impotence has found an outlet in an extremist version of a make-believe ideology? No problem, your vote still counts as much as Richard Dawkins and Nelson Mandela’s did when he was alive. Giving heroin to kids to “help them sleep” the sort of thing you subscribe to? You mean as much to democracy as the struggling, honest, hard-working parents sacrificing and going without just to give their kids a single chance for a better life than they had.

I could go on, but my head might explode, and I’ve run out of the bleach I’ll need to cleanse my soul. The point is that this idea that everybody is equal is bullshit, and we need to acknowledge it before it’s too late. Stephen Fucking Hawking is warning the world that it’s on the brink of species-wide disaster from climate change and asteroids, and Trump’s highly considered presidential-as-all-fuck response is to announce the  defunding of NASA climate research because “it’s political”. Jesus.

The best way to fix the problem is a licence to vote. This is as popular a sentiment as advocating a licence to breed. Still,  I don’t understand why we need licences for everything except having kids and voting. People should be made to sit an exam that tests them on the different political party manifestos and platforms, and if they fail they don’t get to vote. Or perhaps their vote could be proportionally weighted – the higher you score, the more your vote counts. That way, people who believe that £350m a week is vanishing off into the EU’s savings account simply because it was written in big white letters on Boris Johnson’s Big Red Bus (aside: that’s not a euphemism, but it would make for a great one) wouldn’t have the destructive power they do now. People who don’t understand the very real danger their blind acceptance of fear-mongering and lies actually poses would be nicely neutered by this system. People will say “it’s not fair” and it’s a violation of human rights, but what about the rights of those of us who actually care enough to understand the issues, and approach things with an open mind in case we’re wrong? What about our right not to be subjected to the tyranny of the “I found an article on the internet which confirms my biases and prejudices because I lack even the most rudimentary cognitive ability to think critically” masses?

Alas, this is a battle that will not be won. It’s a shit-ton of fun considered impolite to actually tell a moron they’re a moron – we’re supposed to let them believe they’re actually really valuable to the world at large. Quite clearly they’re not, but if near-total ostracism (self-imposed or otherwise) isn’t your thing, we need to find a way to force people to live in accordance with their political philosophies, or at least the philosophy they profess. You know, be accountable (shocker!). So I say – let’s just give the idiots exactly what they want. You voted the way you did because you’re tired of experts? Wonderful, thank you for your fucking stupid equally valid opinion!. However, now, no more doctors for you when you’re sick. Nope, they’re “experts”, and we were tired of experts when we voted remember? No more tax accountants helping you out at year end. You, my armchair-warrior-touting friend get Google and “alternative” ideas that all the wisdom that the non-experts out there have to offer. Anti-vaxxer who believes “Big Pharma” is evil? Welcome to the polling booth my friend! However, I hope you never, ever get something like cancer, because we know who makes the treatments for those as well! Maybe try this lunatic equally valid non-scientific alternative source. Anti-immigration? Perfect – but you’re no longer procuring anything from anywhere that isn’t 100% local owned and operated. And if you own a business, you’re only hiring locals – so what if they demand wages and benefits at much higher levels than the other guys? And of course, you’ll only be buying goods that contain 100% non-imported ingredients – no more late night kebabs from the Turkish kiosk on the corner for you!

I know it’ll never happen – the fringe right are lunatics, but unfortunately there is a fringe left as well, and they’d collectively implode if anybody even tried to suggest personal accountability might be the flip-side of human rights which needs to be enforced a bit more robustly. The middle has become a wasteland where only the most foolish venture, upon pain of virtual crucifixion by both sides. But Christ it would be fun to watch some small-minded bigot buying groceries with only 100% non-imported local ingredients, or one of those Food Babe type-idiots trying to fend off diabetes-induced gangrene or HIV/AIDS with an assortment of nuts and berries. It would be natural selection at its finest. Might even encourage a few of them to join the dark side, or as it’s sometimes referred to by decent, rational people, not being a complete knobhead cunt. What a Christmas gift that would be.

Well, Fuck.

As I write this, Donald Trump has won the US election, and is officially the president-elect of the United States of America.

Jesus Fucking Christ Almighty.

Having witnessed the internet flip its collective mind right the fuck out over the last couple of hours, let’s bring a bit of perspective back here. The world is not ending. The sun will rise tomorrow. And this is why a constitutional system has all of the checks and balances it does (if it’s halfway decent) – because people are generally fucking idiots and cannot be trusted to objectively do the right thing when it comes to important shit like electing politicians. Donald Trump may be swanning around with that annoyingly smug grin on his face right now, hair flapping in the breeze as he furtively scans whichever room he’s in for a last another pussy to grab before he has to move into the White House and at least try and be a president, but he’s not about to go and build that wall. He’s not about to deport all the Mexicans. He’s certainly not about to start infringing on civil liberties and racially profiling non-white Muslim immigrants (well, no more than the American government currently does). And he won’t be launching a nuclear attack any time soon. Because, quite simply he can’t do any of those things unilaterally.

This is not a dictatorship. And yes, the Republicans have retained control of the House and Senate, but most of the Republican establishment loathes Trump as much as the Democrats. Even a presidential veto is subject to override, given enough of a majority. And even though he is a misogynistic, chauvinistic, populist buffoon, he still ostensibly has enough of a brain to realise that if he doesn’t pull his shit together he’s going to be impeached long before 2020 (still, hope springs eternal – but I digress). So stop crashing the Canadian immigration website, put the ashes and sackcloth away, and let’s focus on the real problem with the outcome of this election: a much, much larger percentage of our society are straight up first class bellend fucking cunts, and they get the same say in things as those of us who can actually pull our heads out of our arseholes every now and then and take a look at the bigger picture.

Seriously, what the actual fuck America? (And fuck off Britain, you don’t get to weigh in here either.) Why on God’s green earth is there no licence to vote? You need a licence to own a gun (ok, maybe a weak example for America), you need a licence to drive a car, you need a goddam licence to own an animal, but wanna vote? You don’t even need to bring an ID for that shit in most states.

This system presupposes that “the reasonable man” will prevail. This, however,  is not the case. History is littered with examples of this not being the case. Most recently, the Brexit. So why the goddam fuck have we not instituted some sort of test to weed out people who actually understand the general issues and economics at hand from the people who, in spite of having never actually lost a job to an immigrant or met a muslim in their life before, still get the same weighting applied to their opinion? Some people are just dumb, and it’s time we started accepting this, and adjusting accordingly. If you honestly believe that a candidate can simply build a wall to keep people out of a country, in a global world, then you don’t deserve to be let into a polling station, because you are an ignorant simpleton who doesn’t understand how the world works.

It’s embarrassing. It’s depressing. Maybe Hillary wasn’t a great candidate, or maybe she was just portrayed negatively, but either way, if you think that a rapey, racist fraudster is better than somebody who’s worst crime was sending emails off her personal phone, then you simply don’t deserve to vote, because your ability to evaluate the facts is clearly being clouded by something irrational and subjective – be it your bullshit faith, or prejudices against other races, or fanatical desire to tell women how to treat their bodies, or hatred for people who choose a different lifestyle to you. Again – and I can’t emphasise this enough –  because this means you are a cunt.

But that’s not the worst thing about it.

It is the fact that we seem to have such a seemingly large proportion of our world who are so bigoted, and blinded by irrational ideologies, fears and hatreds that is really the most galling and wretched thing about Trump winning this election. We’re apparently  a majority bunch of small-minded arseholes who live in a fantasy of fake nostalgia, when men were men and fucked women whether they liked it or not, where Muslims rode camels and lived in tents in the desert, where blacks and Hispanics knew to shut up and be grateful for the scraps thrown to them from the tables built and bought with the scars of their real and de-facto slavery, when the West was “great”, where immigrants were grateful for the squalid lives they were allowed to live and knew their place was amongst the sewerage running through their ghettos, not amongst those who dared to dream of and aspire to better lives. More of us are apparently scared at best and downright awful and bigoted at worst than are not.

So I guess we have democracy to thank for showing us that much at least. Still, the kind of person who votes for Trump is generally not the kind of person whose mind will be changed simply by looking at the facts, so the next best thing is a voting licence. In the interim, it’s vodka for the pain.