The 45th President of the United States

Here’s the deal. I’ve written, easily, over two thousand words regarding this subject. And every time I’ve gotten to about five hundred or so words, I’ve straight up deleted everything that was there. All of it, gone. Countless hours trying to express how I felt about the election. The highest position held in civics, the president of the United States, is now held by Donald J. Trump, someone with absolutely zero experience in civics.

The first couple of posts I deleted was some sort of virtual hug garbage, letting everyone know everybody is still going to be fighting the good fight, this isn’t over, blah blah blah. Some of the other posts I wrote were a deconstruction of what went wrong with Hillary’s campaign because somehow hindsight makes Mr. Charlton a political science genius. All of what I what I wrote previously was obnoxious and/or had already been said.

To the people who were rooting for Trump; I hope your candidate succeeds in the next four years. I earnestly mean that. I can’t vote for the man, being Canadian and all, if I had the chance, though, I certainly wouldn’t have. Democracy doesn’t care about my opinion, and America voted for Trump. As he is now the leader of the world’s superpower, I hope he follows through and makes America and the world a better place.

To the people who were rooting for Clinton; I’m sorry she lost. I wanted her to win too, but to be honest, I was still angry at the Democratic party for nominating her above Bernie Sanders. If I were to have voted for Hillary, it wouldn’t have been because I thought she was a great candidate, it was because I thought Trump would be worse. A lot of people felt the same way I did,  and being the lesser of two evils is unfortunately not a solid platform to campaign on. You have to remember, Trump’s campaign was a grass roots campaign. The facts show that regular people were backing Trump’s campaign, while most of Clinton’s support came from corporate sponsors and a lot of media that worked to promote her.

Will Trump do a good job at running the country? I’ll be frank with my opinion; Probably not. He’s released his first hundred days in office, a list of some of the things he hopes to accomplish when he first arrives in office. The problem is a number of items on this list put him at odds with much of the established government in place. Being the president isn’t like being the CEO. And now that he’s in place, all the people who campaigned for him are headed home. Their job is over. For Trump, his job is beginning. The house, the senate, and the presidency might belong to the Republicans, but if the last year is any indication, then there’s a lot of internal bleeding that will take time to heal, and four years isn’t that long.

People have confused a few things about the government, democratically elected governments, at least. You see, if you live in a democratic nation, like the United Stated or Canada, then you are the government. Yes, you, sitting at your keyboard and stuffing cheetos into your gob, you’re part of the government. Unfortunately, people have forgotten that. Not only have they forgotten that, they’ve forgotten voting is literally the smallest contribution you can make to your own government. If we’re having an issue getting people out to vote in the first place, then how likely are they going to have any further involvement in their government? Out government isn’t made up of lizard men, it’s made up of people like you and me.

We pat ourselves on the backs for voting. “I did my civic duty!” It’s the bare minimum of your civic duty. Today also happens to be Rememberance day here in Canada, the day when we honor our veterans. It’s always weird to me that so many of us will pick up a weapon to fight for what we have, yet so few of us would take the time out of our lives to make even the smallest sacrifice. I’ve heard too many keyboard warriors proudly state they’d be the first in line if someone invaded out home and native land, and then proudly state they didn’t vote because they had better things to do.

I’m no different. I’m not pointing my finger at you, I’m pointing it at me. Seeing captain pussy-grab take hold of America awoke something in me, a fire that screams “Goddamnit, Mr. Charlton! You are handsome, charismatic, and pretty smart. Why aren’t you running the show?” I might have to start small, work my way up. But if Donald Trump can become president of the United States, then I can surely become the mayor of a small hamlet somewhere.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. The hamlet vision I have in my head is a lot more like a sitcom than politics. “Mr. Charlton, we need to see you immediately! There’s a problem at the Chili Cook-Off!” The episode would end up with me, drenched in delicious chili.

p.s.s. I’m hoping it’s not spicy chili. I got super hot sauce on my bathing suit area once. It was as terrible as it was hilarious.

p.s.s.s. I will now resume writing my shitty book. I will see you at the end of the month.

 

Clinton Vs. Trump Vs. Taxes

There was a debate recently between the two presidential incumbents. Hillary Rodham-Clinton and Donald J. Trump. I haven’t actually watched the debates. What I have done, on the other hand, is read the transcripts of the debate instead. This is not only a faster way of absorbing this clash of titans, what it also does is remove any kind of charisma and showmanship from the verbal sparring match, and leaves only the words. If you want to fell smarter and fulfill the role of smug asshole in your group of friends, there’s no better way than announcing that you only read the debates.

When asked how they prepared for the debate, Hillary responded by stating she’s studied the issues facing our nation. Trump responded by telling the press that he, along with some of his friends, sat down over burgers to prepare some solid zingers. This sums up what this entire election is about. One of these people is prepared to be commander in chief, the other is prepared to host an episode of Saturday Night Live.

I wrote about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the past. I’ll be honest, I was scathing towards Hillary and pretty light towards Donald. Both articles were written at a time where Bernie Sanders was still competing for the Democratic nomination. I’ve been doing a re-examination of why I was so harsh with Hillary and gave Donald a free pass. At first, I thought it was maybe some weird inherent sexism that might have been lying dormant in me, but I’m usually pretty self-aware of any kind of privilege I might be lugging around. It was definitely in part because I really wanted Bernie Sanders to win. But now that Hilary is the nominee, Bernie is backing Hil-Dog, and the first debate is over, I’m certain I know why I was so critical of Hillary and not with Donald. I fell like I can  criticize Hillary as a politician and an adult, whereas I can only criticize Donald as a faux  celebrity and an unruly teenager stuck in the body of a 67-year-old man.

About half way through the debate, Trump’s tax return came in the conversation. Trump hasn’t actually released his tax returns to the public yet. Nominees, for decades, have released their tax returns to the voters. This is to ensure the future president doesn’t have any conflicting interests between business and public service. The New York Times recently got a couple of pages of his 1995 tax return, and in that year Donald Trump took a financial hit of almost a billion dollars. This is incredibly significant because it would mean Trump could forgo paying taxes for over the next decade and a half. I’m not under the impression that Trump did anything illegal, but fact remains that he’s tight-lipped about his finances. In the upcoming weeks, that’s going to bode terribly for his campaign. Unless he reveals his tax return, he’ll jeopardize his presidential candidacy.

Looking back on the history of these two candidates reveals a lot about their character. Hillary Clinton spent decades working for various charitable events. When she was the first lady of Arkansas, she co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, worked with the Children’s Defense Fund, and served on the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Legal Services. Not to mention she practiced law during this entire tenure. Donald Trump, on the other hand, hasn’t spent any time doing any kind of volunteer work. He’s purportedly donated millions, but his actual time is spent being a business man. He’s a cut-throat, ruthless business mogul who specializes in real estate. That’s totally fine, but it leaves him woefully unprepared for the presidency. Because, on one hand, you have someone who’s dedicated most of their life to public service, while the other dedicated most of their life to themselves and their business ventures. .

Donald Trump, plainly put, cares about Donald Trump. That’s it. He’s not interested in public service, he’s not interested in politics, he’s interested only in what benefits Donald Trump. He’s always been that way. It’s his entire persona. I’m certain Hillary wants to be the first female president and earn a massive place in history. Her beginnings in politics were someone who championed the rights of women and children. She was someone who fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. She had to fit the mold of politics in order to accomplish her goals, as all politicians do, unfortunately.

The debates were a perfect allegory of the battle for the position  of commander in chief. You have someone who’s been preparing for a long time and has put a lot of thought into what they’re doing. The other person’s trying to win by being louder and more entertaining. It’s a contest being the class nerd and the class clown. Sure, Donald isn’t part of the mainstream political crowd. He just happens to be from the old family money, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, coke-out one percent. There’s still two more debates, though. Maybe Donald can forgo a tanning session to actually prepare this time around.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I’m now backing Hilldog.

p.s.s. To those who think Donald is better because he’s more honest and down to Earth, he’s a billionaire who spent the better part of the 80’s doing blow and lingerie models. He’s got more in common with the Wolf of Wall Street than he does with you.

 

The Three Amigos Bro Out

In the wake of all the world political gaffs lately, it’s nice to see some pleasantries being exchanged for once. The three leaders of the nations representing North America met yesterday, in what was dubbed the ‘Three Amigos Summit’. This meeting included Barack Obama, the President of the United States, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and of course, our own Justin Trudeau. They took photos, shook hands, made small talk, and talked about the three nations.

Three-Amigos

‘Alright, now I want you both to spin me around’¹

They talked about a number of issues, most of the issues were things they could all agree on, relatively. First was climate change. They all want to push for 50 percent of electrical energy to come from clean sources, and they’ve set the target date for 2025, which is less than a decade away. Trade was another hot topic. As the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is currently stalled, they are continuing to renegotiate the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), mostly to adjust for current economic instability. Border control is going to change as well, as the three countries are working on the NEXUS (I can’t actually find what this acronym stands for, or even if it is an acronym) system, which would allow frequent, low risk travellers privileges to cross the borders. A big topic was human rights, most notably towards the LGBTQ community, as well as indigenous women in all three countries.

So I’m awfully glad they sat down to have a yap over whatever they happened to be serving at Parliament Hill. Some big topics came up, Obama gave a nice speech calling Canadians his besties, I’m certain there was a couple of fist bumps and high fives, and maybe, behind the scenes, they had a couple of beers and tequila shots and lamented about how being the leader of the nation was a pretty difficult job.

Does this meeting and what they discussed actually matter, though?

One of the major problems with this meeting is that Obama is going to be leaving the White House pretty soon, and the following establishment might not agree to the same terns that Obama has. It’s hard to say what Hillary will do. She gone quiet in regards to NAFTA, a trade agreement her husband and former US President Bill Clinton championed. She’s decided against the TPP, even though she was behind it during her tenure as Secretary of State. Understanding the fact that it’s a poisonous topic at the moment, she may be turning her back on the idea due to politics, and pull a 180 if elected. Trump, on the other hand, would nullify most of the ideas laid out, especially in regards to climate change, the TPP, and the NEXUX system. All this talk might be just that. Talk.

In a world where building connections and bridges between nations would benefit everyone and make the world a smaller place, Brexit has shown us that many still want to build walls. Hell, that’s one of the reasons that Trump became so popular in the first place, and he’s suggesting a literal wall, not just a metaphoric one. Free trade is akin to a four letter word among both left and right wing demagogues. A war still rages in Mexico over a fail drug policy that’s been in affect for decades. Income inequality still rises in the United States.

Saying yes to change is difficult. It means challenging laws, it means reconfiguring systems of thought, it requires ideals to malleable, it needs research and discussion and planning. On the other hand, saying no is easy. It means there’s no need to grow, to learn, to evolve. Building a bridge is difficult, especially if you’re going to be bringing a lot of people over it. You need engineers, and planners, and lawyers, and construction experts. Building a wall is easier. You need steel and concrete and time to build a bridge that would allow a car to pass over it. If you want to stop a car with a wall, all you need to do is put some shit in front of it.

Brick_wall_close-up_view.jpg

All I had to do was put up some bricks and some mortar, and BOOM, car problem solved.²

Maybe that’s my issue with the meeting of the Three Amigos. They’re talking about how to build bridges, when the discussion that should be taking place is this; why does everyone want to start building walls?

Walls don’t work. Walls are meant to keep baddies out, and they rarely succeed. And in the process of trying to keep the baddies out, you end up stifling the flow of information. In a world where information is power, it’s strange to see everyone give that up for a sense of false security.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s.In a perfect world, they would have all taken time to have an old fashioned wrastle

¹ © Reuters/Chris Wattie

² Image taken from Wikimages