With the American Presidential race gearing up for its final push, many people across the world are becoming increasingly anxious, fretful and maybe even a little excited. For some, though, the excitement,charisma and theater may already be a little overwhelming.
They say that the first step to getting help with an addiction is by admitting that you actually have a problem. Battling the temptation itself comes next. The difficulty for a News Obsessive is that the raw drama flowing from the current American election cycle has become very more-ish indeed – a big barrier for anyone seeking to enter simple ‘no-news’ sobriety.
The obstacle is substantial. With a perma-smirk so assured you could hang a picture frame from it, Donald J. Trump’s bulldozing – no, monster trucking – through mainstream America and the consciousness of the Western world is hard to run from.
In a bid to fight back, social-media platforms are meme heavy with Terrible Trump buffoonery and lampoon him at every turn. The left, the center and even a significant chunk of right-wing media commentators lambaste the empty policy performances of Trump every time he commands a crowd.
I’m struggling, myself. The truth being that I have a terrible thirst…and a taste for Trump.
Forget about the lower league preoccupations of Corbyn & Smith, Teresa May’s tedious Grammar gamble and even Boring Brexit (the biggest anti-climax since a Shaw’s Bridge café owner finally got his ageing mistress into the bedroom). Donald Trump is the only political show in town at the moment and I cannot – will not – pull myself away from this slow, most gruesome and engrossing of car crashes.
I’ve been here before. Back in the mid 00’s George W. Bush had me hooked on his outrageous oversteps. “How can 59,017,382 people be so dumb?” wailed The Daily Mirror as he secured a second term. It was true. “What a head case!”, we collectively cried.
But I loved Dubya and his laissez-faire disregard for foreign perception – the eternal cowboy. It may be wise to remember that cowboys often end up wandering alone; isolated, off-course. So tragically cavalier.
Yet the prospect of Donald J. Trump becoming The next U.S. President has me boisterous. I’m rowdy for the republican, pumped up for the presidency and, Holy Mary, I’m hyperventilating for Hilary!
24 hour news, breaking stories, breaking non-stories, getting the developing picture, developing a headache. Aroused by an appetite of needing more, I’m wired to the server and there is no release, no respite.
Our own dramatic news hounds pale in comparison to those over zealous champions of hyperbole in the American homeland. CNN’s paternal Wolf Blitzer, Santa beard and spectacles in tow, along with the statuesque Anderson Cooper (does any hair grow on this man’s face at all?) have become the champion enablers of this obsession.
All, though, are merely the supporting cast; colour characters in the larger performance. And just as the dearly departed Bernie Sanders exits the stage, we are left with the enigmatic villain himself. Such arrogance from Trump. Such outrageous fortune.
Clinton’s brand appears, unfortunately, simply bland. What price those e-mails? What loss a failed family dynasty?
I find myself obsessed with Trump’s use of language. I’m poring over his enunciation, his emphasizing, his repetition. Yet a lot of what we hear is just simple empathy for the disillusioned, with plenty of strong Manhattan ‘rough n’ tumble’ thrown in. The Feeder of the Fearful.
Excitement often takes the form of good, priceless entertainment. Trump is box office: every clichéd turn of phrase another hit, each insult, ignorant remark and gaffe providing another adrenaline rush of outrage and intrigue in equal measure. Can you imagine if he actually wins it? Parody itself personified.
It’s mature to reflect, worry and utter profound claims of foreboding in the shadow of a looming Trump presidency. After all, the very fate of the world is at stake. Or so they say.
The naked, honest truth is that I’m excited, as Trump, with Yeatsian overture, slouches towards Washington to be born. There’s no beauty, of course. How can there be with the blunt racism and the divisive stance of the demagogue? Inevitably I am forced to confront my shallow preoccupation and guilt ridden willingness to see Trump win.
And so, Tuesday 8 November 2016, the evening after the USA’s presidential election, with Trump a very real and possible winner, is the night I may finally succumb to his quiffed, dismissive charm, phone Wolf Blizter and say “Daddy, call work and tell them I won’t be in tomorrow. The internet is imploding, America is smouldering, and Gerry Adams is still retweeting about Ted and his bed.”
Oíche mhaith indeed.
Time for me to have a lie down, too.