Dear American friends,
I know, it hurts, and I hear you. Moreover, being italian, I perfectly understand how you presently feel. As I said a few months ago, there are so many similarities between the Donald and the Silvio, that I knew what Trump would say just by quoting Berlusconi. Having been exactly where you are now, I thought I’d write a little FAQ, to assist you in this perilous moment, and to help you figure out what happens next.
Q: OMG, we fucked up horribly, but we didn’t think this was possible. How did it happen? Trump is a clown. I mean, how could anyone vote for him?
A: It was pretty predictable. The Donald was the only alternative to a system that people don’t trust anymore, just like the Silvio in 1994. A candidate that comes from deep within the establishment, like the Hillary, doesn’t sound like change, but more of the same. in 2008 Obama said Yes, we can. Could you? Not really. He was great, in his own way, but not even he could. So people (in Italy then, and in the US now) thought: maybe this bizarre tv showman with odd hair, feeding my fears and talking nonsense, can? Hop on the subway, go to a bar: more than half of the people you see, actually believed him. It’s pretty amazing, I know. The Silvio also was a master in contradicting himself, insulting everybody, disrespecting women, doing everything in his power to sound like the unlikeliest of candidates. And it worked, then and now. Some people don’t seem to mind. Sometimes it happens to be the majority of people.
Q: Is it going to be a four years nightmare?
A: Yes and no. Nothing drastic is going to happen, for now. The change is going to be slow, pervasive, subtle, and it will ultimately weaken the fabric of political debate in America. You’ll end up discussing surreal ideas, defending the undefendable, and generally feeling that time is going in the wrong direction. Expect plenty of presidential airtime, and quite a lot of saying one thing and then do another. Expect conflicts of interest, and favors to his family, friends and allies. Expect bizarre foreign policies: the Donald, just like the Silvio, is not going to have an easy life on the international political scene, they are both vain and act on impulse. With one essential difference: the Silvio had no muscle, while the Donald is now commander in chief of the US Army. The Silvio was Putin’s best friend (not just political ally: they hung out, took holidays together, went to their children’s weddings), and so will be the Donald: I don’t think Angela Merkel is his type (as it wasn’t Silvio’s, who described her as an “unfuckable fat ass”). Also, I’m afraid it’s gonna be more like eight years than four. The Silvio took 20 years and endless scandals to get rid of, and his ghost still haunts the italian political discourse.
Q: Gee, that sounds very bad. But maybe the Republican party will force some moderation, perhaps they will actually try to make America great again.
A: That is one of the problems. Let me get you in on a secret that is well know all over the world but in the US: America was never actually great. It has been very cool, quite big, at times huge, but never really great. What’s more, we heard that slogan before: Mussolini wanted to make Italy great again, using ancient Rome as a model, not to mention Hitler. You all (Donaldians, Hillarites and everyone else) you should realize that a happy America is a smaller, nimbler America, great but not necessarily the greatest. But the answer to the question is: No. He’s going to make himself great again, rich again (apparently he’s not as wealthy as he wants us to believe), perhaps even young again. I don’t think he cares much about the stature of his country – just like Silvio didn’t.
Q: This sounds horrible: should we emigrate?
A: Good luck with that: last time I was in the US (Obama administration), I was told I faced jail time, and later a permanent ban, if I exceeded my (3 months, tourist) visa, even by just 24 hours. Expect the same in Europe, minus prison: you are great americans, after all. You could go to Canada, or even better, you could make Canada great again. But wait: Canada is already pretty great, despite being the butt of your jokes. Perhaps this could now change.
Q: I’m devastated. Is this the end of the world?
A: Nah, you’ll survive the Donald, we all will. And remember: the main sources of inspiration of a truly great american, Hunter Thompson, were fear and loathing. Useful concepts, in these dark times. My advice is: get a season ticket for your local comedy club, you’ll need it.