For the last few months, I’ve had a new hobby: American Politics.
Actually, that’s a lie. It’s less American politics I’ve been consumed by and more Donald Trump — specifically, how much I hate him.
I can’t even begin to tell you how fixated I have become on the US election between Hillary Clinton, aka the most qualified person ever to run for President, and the man Rosie O’Donnell accurately describes as “the orange anus”.
I’ve had a few people ask me on my Facebook page why I’m so fixated on the US election campaign. It’s another country! Who cares!
And I’ve thought about this a lot myself because I really am fixated.
People who are scared of flying often describe a sensation of having to use their mind to keep the plane in the air during a flight. Like, if they stop concentrating for a moment, the plane might crash.
I feel a bit like this with this election.
The fact it’s in another country is almost irrelevant. It’s true that I wrote barely anything about our own election. I can’t even tell you how long ago it was. And that’s because the stakes felt so low. Turnbull and Shorten were both self-described feminists; intelligent men with a long history of experience who both believed in marriage equality and a republic. Basically, they were both pretty close to the centre.
LISTEN: Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester discuss Donald Trump and the most jaw-dropping moments of the election. (Post continues after audio.)
But with Trump and Clinton, that gap is so wide, so extreme, I feel like the stakes are IMPOSSIBLY high. America is the biggest superpower in the Western world. It has the capacity to impact all of us, not just economically, but also to start wars, finish them, and set the moral tone.
The American President sets the tone in many ways for the entire world. That’s why Obama – as the first African-American President – felt like a great step forward for diversity and tolerance and equality.
And why a narcissistic bigot like Trump would be a massive, dangerous step backwards into a dark abyss of hatred, bullying and fear.
As more than one person has pointed out, Donald Trump should see a psychiatrist… not just the nuclear codes.
So lately I’ve been averaging at least an hour a day listening to podcasts about the American election and I am constantly visiting The New York Times and The Washington Post and Slate online for regular updates. In fact, when I wake up in the morning they are the first websites I visit in search of something new to fuel my loathing for this repugnant, buffoon-like Oompa Loompa of a man.
Clearly, Rosie and I have a lot to learn from the goddess Michelle Obama, who says, “When they go low, we go high” and has never once mentioned Trump by name.
I feel a bit bad about the insults, but look... he started it.
This is the man who has called Mexicans rapists. Said America should have a total ban on Muslim immigration. He’s called women pigs, sluts, dogs and bitches. He’s sexualised and trash talked his own daughters, saying he’d be sleeping with Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter and when his daughter Tiffany was a baby, saying he hoped she’d grow up to have tits as big as her mother, his second wife Marla Maples.
He’s a name-caller. He makes fun of people with disabilities. Of grieving mothers who have lost their soldier sons. Of women. Soooo many women.
In Donald Trump’s sick world, there are only two types of women: those he wants to fuck and those he finds disgusting. He refers to women in both categories as ‘it’. He is the worst type of human. A misogynist, a racist, a bigot.
Donald Trump is a hater.
Anyway. The other thing that happened to me a few months ago is that I made a new friend.
Her name is Amelia Lester and she’s lived in the US for the past 15 years working most recently at the New Yorker where she was the Executive Digital Editor. She went to America when she got a scholarship to Harvard because she’s super smart and her first day at college was September 11, 2001.
So she’s incredibly well versed in American culture and politics while still being very Australian. She came back a few months ago to start a new job here as the editor of the Good Weekend - the magazine that goes inside The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturdays.
She and I have bonded over American politics. We’re constantly Whatsapping each other links. She’s as obsessed as me with watching what seems like a cross between a slow motion car accident and the worst kind of reality show.
I invited her into Mamamia to watch the debate with me and we spent much of it clutching each other’s arms in disbelief. I shrieked a fair few times. And pumped my fist and shouted COME ON HILLARY BRING IT HOOOOME more than once.
You can listen to our conversation about the most jaw-dropping moments of the debate, how the hell Donald Trump came to be this close to becoming President, why there is such hatred for Hillary amongst some voters, and what impact the disgusting video of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women will have on his campaign, in the link embedded earlier in this article.