Won­der Women

GT (UK) - - CONTENTS - PJ BREN­NAN @pee­jay­bren­nan

I left New York City for Lon­don in 2007, so I missed out on most of the Obama hype.

Don’t get me wrong, I was still say­ing ‘yes we can’ – just from 3,500 miles away.

On Elec­tion Night, my room­mate, Brid­get, woke me up cry­ing, ‘He did it! He did it!’ We night and ac­tu­ally lis­tened to a ra­dio broad­cast on one of our com­put­ers.

It was a spe­cial mo­ment for a lot of rea­sons. But pri­mar­ily it meant we were ded­i­cated Obama meant change, full stop.

And boy, was the rest of the world proud of us! cou­ple of months and then thank­fully woke up one day and went, ‘Nah, they’re creepy as hell.’ That’s what we were all hop­ing for, and, in a lot of ways, it’s what we got.

For gay peo­ple? Well, we got the right to marry on a na­tional level, and at such a speed and cer­tainty that, at times, it seemed sur­real. lied to us. In the face of the most re­sis­tant Con­gress in his­tory, he pushed for a bet­ter Amer­ica and set an agenda that made good on the prom­ises of the 2008 elec­tion.

But pol­i­tics is cycli­cal. And it’s been eight years, so that can’t be a good thing, can it?

En­ter Trump. He’s been danc­ing around the po­lit­i­cal scene for some time now, but in the past year he’s ba­si­cally be­sieged the Repub­li­can you can chalk it up to the cycli­cal qual­ity of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, but in re­al­ity, this is more. This is the frac­tur­ing of a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal party.

For those of you in the UK, it’s shock­ing, isn’t it? I’m friends with enough Brits on so­cial media to see that you all think we’ve lost our fuck­ing minds. This man is a racist, misog­y­nis­tic bully, and over­all bad per­son. He’s not ‘telling it like he is’ – he’s be­ing a dick. And the whole sit­u­a­tion has de­volved into a trav­esty, with other Repub­li­can can­di­dates now will­ingly par­tic­i­pat­ing in the re­al­ity TV show that is the Trump cam­paign, re­plete with name call­ing and bitchy asides about dick size, à la Real House­wives.

Here’s the thing: Amer­ica hasn’t lost its mind. Half of the pop­u­la­tion didn’t sud­denly wake up racist and in­tent on rais­ing a wall to keep peo­ple out of a coun­try that their im­mi­grant an­ces­tors built. I’m not say­ing these jerks aren’t out there. They are. But in fact, they’ve been around for a long time and for po­lit­i­cal gain. For decades, the Repub­li­can deeply racist, deeply ho­mo­pho­bic, deeply hurt, poor white vote. Trump is the nu­clear mon­ster ver­sion of what’s been go­ing on for a long time.

We know it’s a hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion, but it’s been lead­ing up to this for a while. And it’s about time too, to be hon­est.

It might look crazy to you guys, but for a lot of Amer­i­cans, this is the bull­shit that’s been kept be­hind closed doors and in veiled cam­paign speeches for far too long. This is like pop­ping a pim­ple. A re­ally bad pim­ple, like a YouTube video of a pim­ple be­ing popped with mil­lions of views. It ain’t pretty, but we’re all watch­ing, and for what­ever rea­son, it feels kind of good.

The shit’s out on the ta­ble, now. Trump has has re­lied upon but de­nied ever em­brac­ing: the big­oted vote. What­ever the out­come of the elec­tion, what’s al­ready tran­spired has been game chang­ing.

I don’t be­lieve Don­ald Trump will be­come A lot of peo­ple seem to like him, but there are a lot who ve­he­mently don’t want this at all.

Take the Repub­li­can lead­er­ship race it­self. Repub­li­can es­tab­lish­ment are both vil­lains, but hope­fully they take each other out.

This all might seem scary, but there’s an op­por­tu­nity for cathar­sis. Taken along­side it’s safe to say that, at the very least, the Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal scene is on the verge of a pro­found shift. And con­sid­er­ing how stuck in the mud it’s been for all these years, that can only be a good thing.

For decades, the Repub­li­can Party has will­ingly em­braced the south­ern, racist, ho­mo­pho­bic vote. Trump is the nu­clear mon­ster ver­sion of what’s been go­ing on for a long time.

Yes, Trump is a prob­lem:

We’re try­ing to fix it.

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