We’ve had four years of staring at his orange face, a face only a mother could love (we won’t bring his sister into this). The intensity of the orange sometimes varies – sometimes it’s apricot, sometimes it’s tangerine – but it’s always within the orange colour spectrum. The fact that he’s superglued a Peruvian guinea pig to the top of it only heightens the horror. Or at least my horror.
That face, that singular face, has pervaded every living breathing part of my life. Last night I sat down to dinner, a delicious Chicken Tikka Masala, and I got caught staring at it looking unnerved; the thick spiced buttery orange-coloured sauce – orange sauce, good grief I’m eating Chicken Trump.
Turn on the television. He’s there. Turn on the radio. He’s there. Four years of The Donald. Four years of divisiveness (and evasiveness), finger pointing, lies, delusion, self-obsession and late-night tweeting (maybe that should be LATE NIGHT TWEETING !!!!)
I’ll always struggle to comprehend how Donald Trump got there in the first place. I honestly thought that ‘grab them by the pussy’ would put a full stop on it but sadly, America – vast, complex, sprawling and divided, didn’t. This complicated country wanted change and was willing to gamble on a man who, ironically, went bankrupt in Atlantic City.
This one term President was never going to go quietly. To be thought of as a loser strikes at the heart of his narcissism. But fortunately, all the bullshit in the world could not save him. The thing is, like it or not, he has left his mark. He has left a very conservative mark in the Senate and in the Supreme Court.
His mien has also left its mark. The leader of the free world, and any other country, should always aspire to lead with grace and decorum. Whether we agree with their politics or not, they should have our respect – however grudgingly, they should be ‘presidential’.
They should not be the kind of person whom 25 women have accused of sexual assault and harassment over the past 30 years.
I’m hoping his departure will signal a return to (some kind) of decency.
But right now, that feels like a pipe dream. I was hoping Covid would cause us to look inwards, to remember what it is to be human, and by human I mean to care for humankind, and I was hoping Trump’s prolonged lack of dignity would instinctively cause us to kick back against the crudeness his time in office will be remembered for. Of course, it hasn’t. Yet.
Last week I was abused by a man in a black Range Rover for doing a legal U-turn. The roads were tumbleweed-empty and he was speeding. My U-turn must have put an extra six or seven seconds on his journey. Then there was the woman in the butcher shop who gave me a royal bollocking for inching too close to her while inspecting the honey and soy pork ribs. While she shouted at me like some deranged diva, everyone in the shop looked on in silence.
It wouldn’t be fair to blame Trump for the rudeness in our society. He doesn’t have a monopoly on crass and boorish behaviour, but I can’t help but shake the feeling that his omnipresence has loosened a kind of moral grip and made it more acceptable to behave like an ‘asshole’. He’s certainly made it easier for racists and sexists by being their poster boy.
I’m also not completely at ease with a narrow Joe Biden victory, or even Biden himself. Dynamic is not a word that springs to mind when Biden approaches a podium to speak but, despite this, I couldn’t help but get swept up in his powerful and unifying victory speech, and the words of vice-president-elect Kamala Harris before him. What a contrast to the previous four years.
I’m hopeful president-elect Biden will conduct himself in a way befitting a leader, and a sense of calmness returns. Whether he will heal America and regain the trust of the working class remains to be seen, but at least he won’t revel in the chaos and stoke division. And that’s a start.
For now, I’m enjoying the end of Trump’s reign to the sound of The Angels “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again”.
And yes, I’m shouting out the sweary bit during the chorus.