I’m so sorry you had to see this.
You see, most of us Americans are downright embarrassed by this election. We’re ashamed of how our media have suckled on the cult of personality and normalized useless Twitter tirades. We’re appalled that the last two years have made the sobering job of picking our president a disgusting wrestling match rife with flying feces. It’s been like a terrible reality TV show where players are not just denigrated and fired on camera, but humiliated and kicked. It’s the Jerry Springer episode that was too base for primetime, the one where a scorned woman is belittled and pushed around on stage by a mobster entertaining his goons.
This whole “show” has starred in all his glory the Ugly American: the entitled white bully who thinks it’s OK to say or do anything he wants. He embodies every sickening trait of our country. He’s the imperialist who wants to steal another country’s oil. The beer-bellied boss who harasses his secretary by patting her on the butt saying, “You need to go on a diet, honey.” He’s the drunk uncle at an interracial marriage ceremony who rants about how the Chinese are taking our jobs. The guy who thinks all women are gold diggers. The one who excuses the man who beats up his wife, but despises the man who marries another man. He’s the guy on the bus who wears an oversized red trucker’s hat (made in China) and boasts about how we kicked Saddam’s ass. The guy who forwards emails depicting the Obamas as a family of chimpanzees. He’s the co-worker who casually says all Muslims want to kill Christians. The one who thinks Sean Hannity is a patriot who speaks the truth. He has wrappers from fast food stops in his big gas guzzling pick up truck and calls Vegans liberal elitists. He trolls online articles, spraying misspelled insults like a dog marking a fire hydrant. He belches his opinions, not based on facts, but on some YouTube video entitled “Tru Conspiracys.” He revels in the current election, for it has given him a huge spotlight and galvanized his kind by legitimizing violence and hate that had been lurking in the shadows.
On second thought World, I am glad you’re seeing this.
Because despite how repugnant the Ugly American is, he’s getting us to talk about who America really is.
Most of us are actually a reasonable bunch. We may disagree and get into heated arguments on say, the role of the federal vs. state government. But we generally respect facts and evidence and science. We don’t applaud when others hint at assassinations. We know the difference between boys talking about girls in locker rooms and old men boasting about sexual assault at their workplace. We teach our kids to be kind and considerate. We have block parties where we invite everyone on the street. We ask our Iranian cabdriver when he moved here and try to understand his plight, if just for a few minutes. We consider it a teachable moment when a gay couple moves into the house next door. We help the old woman in the store by pushing her shopping cart. We’re regulars at the authentic taco truck near our work. We see someone fall down and we rush to ask, “Are you OK?” We send emails to our co-workers who are sick with “Get better soon!” We bring food to our friends who are new parents. We have puppy play dates with our neighbors. We walk miles to raise money for cancer funding. We cry when we hear about another mass shooting that took the life of a little kid. We cringe when we see someone interrupting others in a debate. We are furious when he hear about a black community leader being shot in his car for no good reason. We are upset when we hear about cops killed by a madman. We surely have our biases and our pet peeves. We are not perfect. How can we be? There are nearly 320 million Americans from all walks of life and every corner of the globe. Most of us are tolerant and decent.
I know it’s hard to believe after seeing this terrible reality TV show starring the Ugly American, but I ask that you turn away from him and social media vitriol and political pundits. Rather, TUNE IN on election night. Heed the numbers not the mind-numbing spin. Check out the stats at FiveThirtyEight. Pay attention to the popular vote and see the electoral map reveal itself.
If ever there was a way to repudiate the Ugly American, it is this election. Voters will show that he is actually in the minority and in so doing, will turn “The Apprentice” into “The Biggest Loser.”
Sure, even when his highly-rated show is canceled, the Ugly American will still roam among us with his hateful rhetoric and entitlement. But we also know that the tide is turning, and people are speaking up about what is right and what is wrong.
In this digital age, democracy is mighty messy, yet it is still a worthy experiment. History will soon render her verdict with Poetic Justice and Karma proudly by her side. And Lady Liberty will be starring in her new show with at least a four-year contract.
p.s. You should come visit next year!