By Trevor Busch
Travelling from the far reaches of our galaxy, visitors from another world take a brief pit stop in our unrefined backwater of the Milky Way to refurbish their quantum slipstream drive on the far side of the moon. Having tired of their collection of all nine seasons of the X-Files (considered to be classic comedy amongst the Beta Reticulans), the little green men decide to test the local entertainment fare by tapping into one of our communications satellites, hoping to catch the latest episodes of Game of Thrones on HBO before hitting the galactic superhighway once more to reach their holiday destination, the molten sulphur pits of Alpha Centauri.
But instead of indulging their passion for fantasy violence on GOT, they mistakenly stumble across a news broadcast detailing the latest American election — and the usually-boring earthlings have suddenly produced fertile justification for our visitors to extend their layover for a few more days at their lunar service station, if only to investigate the suspected extraterrestrial parentage of the Republican Party’s star candidate, Donald Trump.
As they stare down through the clouds on the broad expanse of shield-shaped North America, one wonders what our Beta Reticulan observers must think as they cast their omni-directional gaze upon Trump’s glowing countenance, fresh from his latest controversial statement about minorities or religious groups, ready to move on to the next throbbing crowd of supplicants and supporters, weepingly enthralled by the Trump vision of America, and perhaps more disturbingly, the Trump vision for the world.
Do they shake their heads in wonder, as some of us do? Do they laugh at a situation that seems almost carnival-like in its unreality, until they recognize how bereft of mirth its implications actually are? Do they marvel at a populace so detached from an introspective assessment of themselves and their nation that they become increasingly more ridiculous with each passing day?
Perhaps their fleeting glances, surreptitious observations, and distant judgements serve only to convince them of the wise conclusion to charge up their slipstream drive and turn their vessel back into the solar winds to put as many light years as possible between the troublesome earthlings and some of the more progressive inhabitants of the cosmos.
As one of the billions of mere earthlings on our little globe that are forced to gaze upon the spectacle of an American election from the outside looking in, we can relate. And while the Beta Reticulans can fly off to investigate the next spatial anomaly hiding behind a supernova remnant or dark matter nebula, unfortunate Canadians stuck back on Earth behind the non-existent ramparts of the 49th parallel (Trump will probably have us building a wall there, too, before long) could be compelled to consider the implications of a potential Trump presidency for North America, and indeed the world.
While the camp of the democrats have chosen their candidate in Hillary Clinton — whose political tack always seems to conjure up visions of a fierce cat lady defending her property from the ministrations of overzealous bylaw officers — probably isn’t what many would describe as their first choice for a star candidate, there appears to be a theme of better-the-devil-you-know streaking through elements of the American public in the lead up to the election, rather than a Hillary-is-our-anti-Fascist-saviour sentiment securing votes for the Democratic Party.
And while endorsements of the Clinton camp have been slower in forthcoming, endorsements for the Trump campaign have been flowing in non-stop from undemocratic havens across the globe, not to mention white supremacists, and even jihadist terrorists.
Many supporters of ISIS — curiously, since Trump has virtually promised to rain military hardware down on their heads throughout his entire term in office, should he be elected — have been observed online endorsing the reality TV star as the ultimate ticket to the self-implosion of the United States through crazy pronouncements and policy choices.
Across the pond in North Korea, where an isolationist Stalinist-style regime (complete with recent executions of top-ranking officials via anti-aircraft gun, according to reports) still holds ultimate power, newspaper columnists have been praising the Donald as a “wise politician”, no doubt based on Trump’s threats to withdraw U.S. military forces from South Korea, an eventuality that has probably been the most central goal of North Korean military strategists since the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.
In Russia, there have been allegations the Putin regime has been releasing stolen emails to damage the Democrat campaign, which would seem to be veiled endorsement of the Trump camp. In Red China, there have been suggestions that much of the Chinese leadership would prefer to see a Trump victory, as this is apparently viewed as a potential opportunity to further extend Chinese authority internationally at the expense of America, due to the perception that a Trump presidency would see many American allies turn their back on the superpower through bumbling mismanagement and arrogant intransigence.
Back in the good ole’ U.S. of A, an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan has weighed in with their support, apparently because “a lot of what he believes, we believe in,” while the white nationalist American Freedom Party have also thrown their support behind Trump, suggesting that “Diversity is a code word for white genocide.” Virtually the only fringe party to nominally deny their endorsement — albeit rather half-heartedly — has been the American Nazi Party. This organization has decided that an official endorsement of Trump might actually be detrimental to his campaign, while blaming any allusion to that association on a conspiracy by the “jews-media” to create “clones of little Hitlerites” through the perpetuation of a “typical kosher big lie.”
And that’s just a few of the highlights. Granted, let’s take the time here to acknowledge Trump has also marshalled the support of tens of millions of Americans, but the virtual rogue’s gallery of extreme right luminaries lining up to throw their collective sieg heil behind the presidential candidate is more than a little disturbing.
Taking a flight of fancy for a moment, let’s look into the crystal ball and see if we can discern what a Trump presidency might mean for America and the world.
First and foremost, freedoms and protections afforded to every American regardless of race, colour or creed are likely to become only as valuable as the sheet of parchment they’re written on. Trump has regularly shown his true colours on this front on numerous occasions, suggesting that only his definition of what constitutes an “American” will be afforded the freedoms currently enjoyed by all, while blacks, hispanics, Muslims and other ethnic, political and religious minorities had better get ready for a race-relations reversal that could take America back to a segregationist 1950s — if not a worse situation, hard as that might be to fathom. What’s more, Trump literally makes no bones about his plans — and millions of WASP-ish Americans apparently love him for it.
If that isn’t a disturbing enough thought, next cast your speculative powers on the prospects for foreign policy. As noted previously, some nations are endorsing Trump because they believe he would be a consummate disaster for American prestige, power and influence throughout the globe, opening up the door for mid-range powers to test the sovereignty waters in trouble spots around the world. Trump’s pledge to “make America great again” will have a tough row to hoe if other nations view his ascension as open season to advance their own foreign policy or territorial goals. More than this, however, the suspicion remains that Trump’s own bombastic intransigence and uncompromising personality will leave the Americans embroiled in dozens of petty conflicts around the world, perhaps based on little more than their president’s wounded pride in dealing with insult on the world stage.
More darkly, though, Trump would seem to be the type of personality that enjoys shooting first and asking questions later, regardless of consequence, which is an incredibly dangerous proposition for a world leader backed by a vast arsenal of conventional and nuclear weapons. It is unfortunately not hard to picture Trump authorizing a military campaign against an enemy that may have done nothing more than insult his hairstyle. While this might be an exaggeration (or not), the prospect of the man with his finger hovering above the proverbial atomic button, ready to get downright genocidal on his enemies — perceived or otherwise — might be welcomed in some quarters, but is hopefully looked upon with baleful horror by most global citizens, especially those who might end up on the business end of a 40-megaton sunrise. In that case, sticking out a thumb to the passing Beta Reticulans while they speed by in their shiny flying saucer might not be a bad idea, even if it involved some unsavoury probing of one’s nether-regions, or some Scully-esque cranial implants. That is, if Trump hasn’t ordered a full-scale nuclear assault to wipe them from the sky.
Because who would really put that past him?