Trump Election Shows We Have A Strange Way Of Turning Desire Into Punishment

Instagram / @realdonaldtrump
Instagram / @realdonaldtrump

I briefly recall sitting about five months ago in the living room, telling my boyfriend I am positively sure Donald Trump will win the elections. We plunged into a four hour debate, him trying to convince me he won’t – because Americans have much more discernment now, and me insisting how, same as everywhere, the rural or poor, uneducated population has the greatest influence because it is in itself the easiest to be influenced.

 There are two aspects revolving around poverty and uneducated population:

  1. It is constantly revealed to us that it’s profoundly indoctrinated and turns people more into harmful beliefs and behaviours.
  2. The same population is told to make the most of life and enjoy it better than the wealthy.

Claiming the two faces of this coin doesn’t make any sense after all, since it’s dramatically clear that the lack of education and means to survive will constantly enrage people and make them decide out of anger and fear. Which are the two emotions mostly triggered and addressed in electoral campaigns. Because even when the speech is empowering, underneath strength fear surfaces. Fear of not encouraging crime. Fear of loss of the world as we know it. Fear of things getting worse instead of getting better. Fear of not making the wrong decision.

In the great scheme of things, where we think everything was decided upon already behind public scenes, some of us wishfully thought that after having a black president, America would’ve chosen a female president. But that is just conspiracy gone sour.

Trump’s election not only feels like a push back to the middle ages, but goes further on to spin us into a Neanderthalian, Flintstonian version of the world where men grab women by their pubes and drag them back inside the cave to assert superiority.

The resolution of a nation – wishing for the good and turning that good into danger – is a bizarre punishment for the instilled belief that we must choose the smaller harm between two wrongs. It’s still the eldest who don’t miss a chance to vote  – not even on their death beds  – and it becomes hard to wrap around one’s head the reason why so many young and considerate people skip voting as if it was a side dish they didn’t enjoy.

We naturally believe we have evolved and developed systems to protect us from poverty, famine, war and any kind of danger, but we may as well accept we still make crucial decisions based on our reptilian brain, on our fight or flight instinct. For those of us who manifest no interest comes in a sort of freezing that embeds the inability or unwillingness to make a decision at all. So we go with the wind instead of putting on a wind breaker and defending our interest better. We let others decide for us, in spite of our wishful thinking, our desires or will, and we hope for the better while punishing ourselves for having to witness the worst coming into shape.

The question why the eldest traditionally vote in higher numbers than their younger counterparts popped out at Brexit as well, with the aftermath falling over the shoulders of Millennials and their perceived lack of engagement around political events. This map travelled the Internet today with the speed of light.

Today we talk about Millennials as a spare group of upper class intellectual yuppies, boot strappers, talented, confused, skilled and slightly depressed mass of folks whose spending habits are questionable, who all have access to Internet, information, education and goods while shifting from family allowance to paying for their own rent. We label them activists, eco-friendly and highly interested in the benefit of society, while on the other side, we conjure them to stop being so ignorant inside their bubble. We have this half hopeful – half judgemental way to look at Millennials while reassuring ourselves they are supposed to make the difference, the change we want to see in the world. But Millennials are also the many people you never befriend on Facebook that you know exist but you stay away from or block because they protest against homosexuality, promote machismo, abuse others because they think they’re entitled to, openly admit to racism, anti-Semitism, cruelty and white supremacy in the tiniest details, curse, bully, steal or devalue others with the fierce school of conscience of someone who has never questioned anything. Millennials are also most young people you know who can’t read or spell correctly –or at all, who haven’t ever used birth control, who grew up on the street or in foster, or in a household where at least one voice of authority taught them violence is the way to work things out. Millennial is also the poor, the homeless, or the rich kid who relies on their family for resources and who may have never questioned their stability or future because that future seems improbable to shake. Millennial is also the Orlando assassin. Millennial is also the peer who will make fun of you for talking politics or considering a scary future because they have chosen an “it is what it is” contemplation of life. Millennial is also your ex lover or cousin who voted for Trump. Or the nice, kindhearted friend who didn’t vote at all.

Knowing this contributes to the pressure of being part of a generation that has to live up to the expectations of their forefathers while figuring what’s best for them and never being able to own their own house.

A story I read back in spring in an American newspaper exposed today generation’s habit to profess their beliefs and political choices in passionate social media manifests. The same author blamed Millennials not for being extremely declarative in their grandiose intentions, but rather for their unwillingness to break the bubble and express their intentions outside their closed circles of friends, family and peers. It pointed out at both the ease with which we express ourselves and our suspicion to convince people we don’t feel familiar with about why we think something is good.

We protect our beliefs from the outside world in a way similar to overprotecting a child and keeping him locked forever so that he might not get hurt by life. In reality, we trigger and harvest the same ignorance, judgement and anger. We act passive thinking we’re actively doing something for the community, but instead we avoid to engage with people who might have other beliefs, and stay in our supposedly safe, narrow, comfort zone. And in the meantime, everyone we refused to approach, from the eldest who worry more about taxes, health and retirement than about what pub to land tonight, to the women for whom the great depression is having no funds to raise their kids rather than not being able to pay for a therapist, to all the people we despise for their lifestyle, choices, values or music preferences – they will all most probably vote whom their instinct suggested. Because they don’t have the time, the means or maybe the education to inspect further. The blame doesn’t fall on them, but rather on those of us who let things happen because it is easier to bathe in our own existential ennui.

What makes the justice in life, after all? And if justice exists, is she blind, cast in stone with a sword upon the many heads of insurgents? When “we”-s cease to exist, “you”-s and “me”-s aimlessly grind once against the other, each to their own struggle to conquer back lost paradise or to escape purgatory.

In the end, in life, we only truly fight for love and freedom. Justice never comes, because we cannot have first if we battle the first one against the second.

On a slightly fun note, it would be lovely if this election brought Kim Kardashian back on social media. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ioana Cristina Casapu is a book author, photographer and producer living life in transit.

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