Thursday, November 9, 2017

One Year Later

A year ago today, November 9th, my clock radio woke me up with the words, "...the Mexican peso is plummeting...". In sleepy disbelief I uttered, "Holy Shit!" and M and I sprang out of bed to turn on the news. We stared in disbelief at what I hoped was just a bad dream.

But sure enough, #45 had actually been elected president of the U.S..

I was angry, frustrated, and horribly disappointed in my Landsleute. A year later I do not feel differently. How could so many people choose to vote for such a hateful, odious person?

I understood that many people hated his opponent. I believe a lot of people hate her because she is a strong and educated woman (a "bitch" in their words). Being a democrat besides, I think it was just too much for some people.

It doesn't matter to me that he lost the popular vote. In our system it's the electoral votes that count whether we agree with it or not*. Whether or not Russia interfered also is a moot point for me. If they can, they will. (Hasn't the US been meddling in other countries' affairs for generations?) And if my Landsleute are so easily swayed by false Facebook ads, then maybe it is true what Joseph de Maistre reportedly said in the 19th century: "In a democracy the people get the leaders they deserve."

*While writing this I popped on to Twitter to see if he's spewed anything today, and I found this from 20 hours ago: "Congratulations to all of the 'DEPLORABLES' and the millions of people who gave us a MASSIVE (304-227) Electoral College landslide victory!"  A year later he is still reminding us he won? Comparing world leaders for just a moment, similar words (bragging for an entire year about a victory) have never come out of Angela Merkel's mouth. Or Obamas. Or FDR's. Or Washington's...

We knew before the election that he is a bully and a braggart. We knew he is uncomfortable with facts, wisdom, and others' strength. We knew he calls people names like a bratty child on a playground. We knew he prefers everything (especially people) white. We knew his main focus is money - his own, mainly. We knew he knew nothing about foreign policy, diplomacy, or how to be presidential. We knew he never learned how to play well with others. ("Me first! Me first!") We knew he's a terrible speaker whose vocabulary is stuck at around the 4th or 5th grade level. We knew he would screw the environment because money is more important than water or life. We knew he bragged about groping women and we saw his interview with Howard Stern in which he said he should be given the job of rating all women because he's such a good judge of physical appearance. We heard him talk like somebody's drunken uncle at an Appalachian family picnic. We saw what a disaster he is on Twitter, calling opponents and dissenters childish names.

And still "we" voted for him.

While his approval rating is low (I think Fox news optimistically claims that it's high or climbing), he still has many, many people who support him, cheer for him, and attack those who don't support him. I vividly remember frequently seeing online comments like "The best part of [#45] winning is seeing the Democrats cry." Really, that's what these people consider the best part? Knowing that many of their Landsleute are unhappy? That speaks volumes, doesn't it?

Photo credit: my daughter
So a year into this circus, I am still disappointed. Disappointed in us. Disappointed that so many of my Landsleute are ok with the oaf in the White House. Disappointed that I know people (albeit very few) who enthusiastically support him. Disappointed that hatred, racism, and intolerance have reared their ugly heads even more than they had before this day a year ago. I am disgusted that I have to hear his name and see his face almost every day on the news here in Germany. I'm tired of cringing and face-palming whenever his name is mentioned and his voice is heard.

After the most recent Texas shooting, he said it's not a gun problem, it's a mental health problem. Fine. But then was it a good idea to revoke a law that would make it harder for people with mental illness to purchase guns? And why did he do this quietly without a camera crew and photo op, when he usually makes a big show out of scribbling his name on any legislation? Most likely he wanted to get rid of it simply because it was a regulation from Obama's time, introduced not long after the Sandy Hook shooting.

He is an international embarrassment. I wish there were a way to keep him within the borders of the US. Just like leaving a child who cannot behave himself at home rather than bringing him to a fancy party, his people should keep him better contained. World leaders tolerate him because they must. The school's biggest jerk was elected prom king, and now the rest of the school has to pretend they can stand him. The other world leaders are professional enough to keep their thoughts mostly to themselves and put on a stoic face when forced to be in his presence. At least that's my interpretation of their expressions and body language.

As I have often said before, I am grateful to be living in Germany. There are a ton of reasons for that, but the one connected to this post is that I am really never around, near, or confronted with Landsleute who can tolerate #45. Granted, I am rarely around Americans at all, but those that spend time overseas for longer than a 10-day vacation tend to be worldly enough to see a bigger picture than that of their own lives. And when one considers the world and humanity as a whole, an egregious narcissistic sociopath has to look ridiculous in the role of a leader.

Part of me might like to have a conversation with a 45-supporter because there's obviously something I'm missing. I cannot believe that all those people are hateful, selfish racists. Using his oddly-chosen words, I'm sure there are "good people on both sides." From what I have seen online, however, I would only be pounced on, called names, declared an idiot... and I don't need that. So I guess I will remain in the dark about how anyone can look at that and think, "Yep, he's a great president!"

Yes, I do think the US has become a dark, dark place.
Photo credit: my daughter


  1. Can't believe it's been a year already. Should really send the U.S. government the bill for a neck message... could use one with all the head-shaking I've done in the last year. Keep your chin up, my fellow country(wo)man.

  2. Great post. The US is not alone a Brit, it's hard to say whether the democratic vote for Brexit is more or less stupid than supporting Donald Trump! Climate of the times...

  3. Greenbertarian3/1/18 17:48

    For decades the Democrats largely ignored the economic interests of ordinary people, becoming GOP-lite. On election day this led some to stay home and others to vote to "blow up the system." In combination with the votes of libertarian fools, racists and sociopathic exploiters led to His Orangeness' election. The damage will take decades to repair.

    I was fortunate to work for an American subsidiary of a German firm. I was able to transfer to a position in Germany as of August. My wife and I find your blog helpful to learning the German way.

    Sometimes I feel guilty about leaving instead of staying and fighting, but I know it was the right move for us. I fear for the loved ones we left behind.

    1. Welcome to the blog! My earlier posts give more information about life here compared to life in the midwest than my more recent ones.

      I'm afraid there'd be little point in staying and fighting. I admire those who do, but I fear the division is too great, and getting bigger. And I don't think anyone is listening.

      I hope you and your wife are settling in and growing to love life in Germany. It's not paradise, but it's a very good place to be.