The 2016 Campaign is surreal and carries the dreamy narrative of a novel. Here's my attempt at crafting a pastiche. For context, you will be reading an obscure chapter where biblical symbolism finds its way into politics. Irony will be at play as well, one of my characters organized an event he wasn't in support of. Welcome and enjoy:
Roger Sachar was hidden within the crowd of camouflage. An attorney by day and Manhattan's Young Republican Public Relations Committee Chair by night, Sachar revels at the opportunity "to socialize with like-minded individuals." The atmosphere was focused yet subdued, eyes locked attentively on the projector hanging from the front of the room while patrons firmly stood their ground and quietly sipped their drinks. Few moved, but the young journalist ensured he was one of them. With a drink in hand, Sachar appeared to be doing his best to capitalize on the opportunity. They bumped into each other almost poetically, Sachar said "yes" before the journalist could finish his question. The journalist dove right in:
"How would you convince an undecided voter to vote for Donald Trump?" I asked.
"I wouldn't, Never Trump," Sachar followed with pride.
We met at a watch party for the third and final presidential debate on October 19th, 2016. Fear of being alienated for holding certain political views seemed to move many of the patrons to the watch party.
"It functions as a place to socialize with like-minded individuals without having to hold your tongue," he noted when I asked him if the event leans more political or social.
A pudgy 24-year-old from Brooklyn named Pete echoed Sachar's sentiment. "It's refreshing to speak freely."
Situated on the corner of Bowery and Rivington, Katra Lounge hosted the watch party for Manhattan's Young Republicans. The millennial demo suited the time and place nicely though conservatism seems lost in the artisanal fabric of the Lower East Side.
Dimly lit lights eased the political tension; I bounced around freely. The establishment held around one hundred guests of which I felt like 60% were registered Republicans in support of Trump, 20% were registered Republicans that were "Never Trump", while the remaining 20% was split down the middle between non-Republicans and internationals, whose presence was most intriguing.
German national, Paulina, characterized the debate as "entertaining." Her boyfriend followed before I could chime in."It's educational," he noted sardonically. Perhaps the 2016 campaign has marred America's image of political strength. The allure of hard nose, hegemonic politics may have fallen to the seductive attraction of reality T.V.
"Kill her" came out of the crowd more than once, but besides the violent decree the crowd was calm and cool with the occasional "boo." "She's a nasty woman," from Trump did get a roar, the Republican eruption I was waiting for.
For the Republicans who supported their candidate, economic growth and domestic safety served as their convincing argument for undecided voters. Patrick, a naturalized American who hails from Sweden, contended that the nation needs "dialogue" and not "wars" and- I guess- not Clinton. He and his partner were wearing "Make America Great Again" hats with matching blue blazers.
For the "Never Trump" Republicans like the 25-year-old African American from Brooklyn (who will remain anonymous) "politicians making excuses for the inexcusable" is his greatest concern. He pointed at the projector hanging from the front of the lounge while he spoke to me.
An American creation with perhaps the most American narration, Black Republicanism unfolds into the unplaceable. Pundits' concoctions couldn't isolate a specific demo though individuality seems to center the point of view. The shortsightedness of liberalism, hinged to political correctness, catalyzed the Black Republican perspective. As suggested by my source, the moral high ground of liberalism reduces interpretation. The liberal, God-like, intrusion on topics such as police brutality, he felt infringed upon his voice. To him, all issues move past the reductive binary of black and white - they are beyond race. His countenance seemed to jade when he spoke of his departure from the Democratic party. Resentment took his air. The patronizing backhand of liberalism - Big Daddy - looks to have struck him one too many times.
Turn the page to liberalism: There seems to be a moral pull working within political correctness, a desire to rewrite a certain wrong that was inscribed all the way back in antiquity with the Hamitic Myth.
"Cursed be Canaan;
The lowest of servants
He shall be to his brothers" (Genesis 9:24-27).
Noah cursed his brother Ham by way of cursing his brother's descendants to eternal bondage. The myth is one of the first penned suggestions added to complexion. Canaan, the son of Ham, and his descendants are characterized as having a dark tone. Within the human story, the Hamitic Myth serves as a divine decree for the enslavement of the black body.
Even though there is virtue in liberalism, there is such an idea as being too politically correct. And with Hillary Clinton representing the Democratic party which in effect represents liberalism, political correctness appears like just another ploy. The candidate is surrounded in scandal, as is her opponent. There is nothing divine about Clinton or Trump. Liberalism remains, like bigotry, still a threat to Democracy.
My perception of Clinton has changed drastically from primary season. I was once able to look past the indelible critique of her. As a New York University student, I often went to battle with the fervent Bernie contingent during primary season. But, counter-intuitively, Clinton's close proximity to Trump and not Bernie has made me to see her more clearly.
There is an authenticity to The Donald - the candor of his bullshit - that has led me to admire his machismo though I remain "never Trump." I laughed with the masses when he observed she's "nasty." There is a disingenuity to Clinton that I perhaps may not vote for; 'perhaps' though being a very strong word.
Fiction looms over the 2016 Campaign; WARNING, PASTICHE REENTERING:
Two distant lives, a necessary evil expressed by the onlookers in fear of their party ties ostracizing them, seemed unfathomable in a nation so grounded in freedom of speech. The premise at play didn't sit well with the journalist. Many of the people he spoke to that deployed the safety measure referred to themselves as either "Never Trump" or "unsure." He left disconcerted.