Just now, something remarkable has happened!
Why is it remarkable? It isn’t. If anything, it’s unremarkable. The only reason it’s remarkable is that it hasn’t happened in such a long time. It might even be a cause to celebrate.
The remarkably unremarkable thing to which I refer is a tweet by incoming US Vice-President, Kamala Harris. It was the kind of boring, trite, full-of-earnest-shite type of tweet that politicians churn out so regularly, especially in challenging times. Harris was just doing her job, tweeting about “healing” to reassure the American public of her administration’s commitment to providing relief from the pandemic – or at least the part of it that doesn’t believe in QAnon. Although maybe those QAnon quacks are the ones that need Kamala and Joe the most.
Normally, political speak irritates me, but the fact that Kamala Harris and her colleague, incoming US President, Joe Biden, are proving themselves to be comfortably controversy-free thus far is actually a good omen. As an Irish person with American friends and relatives, it’s nice for me to know they now have a reasonably well-adjusted president who doesn’t go around grabbing women “by the pussy” or tweeting in all-caps at strange times of the night, or inciting insurrectionist mobs. A pessimist by nature, I won’t go so far as to say that I feel good about America’s future, but I do think that anyone is an improvement on Trump. So, Biden-Harris it is.
All MAGA talk will be gone with Joe, who doesn’t believe in using overly emotive language – except when speechifying about how much he loves his home town Delaware, or when he quotes Irish poets. (Just on that poet quoting thing, can one of you guys over yonder tell him we have other poets besides Seamus Heaney?). Joe and Kamala know that MAGA is impossible; America has never been great, nor should it aspire to be. History has taught us that greatness in nations is impossible without colonisation, suffering, and small-mindedness on a criminally large scale. Greatness is a product of tyranny, and that is too high a price for any nation’s people to pay. To this day, the jury is quite literally out on whether or not Trump was a wannabe totalitarian with sinister designs on the United States, or if he was merely coasting along on the giant wave of his ego, bolstered by money and yes-men.
One thing’s for sure, Trump’s presidency was never boring. It was a constant roller-coaster of international headlines screaming: “Oh no what the f*ck has he done now?” From the day he was elected in 2016 to this morning when he finally vacated the White House, he has never been dull, not even once. During his four years in one of the world’s most prestigious jobs, Trump became a caricature of himself – and he was already pretty ridiculous – morphing before our eyes into a straw-wigged, bloated, power-blinded, Tangerine Nightmare spouting blatant lies and whipping up unsavoury personal scandal like a Southern Mama might whip up a Key Lime Pie. (I had to Google Southern desserts to get this reference correct, and now I want to eat my way all around the Southern states…)
I read somewhere recently that Trump was the ultimate postmodern president, and quite possibly we got him because we deserved him. At times, when I heard the man formerly known as President Trump speak, I wondered ‘is this guy for real?’ Headlines from recent history tell me I’m not alone. Plenty fell for his celebrity credentials, but he turned out to be a crude caricature. Now the powerless are left to pick up the pieces – it’s an old story, constantly reproduced. Men in power and their egos. When the trail of controversy Trump left behind is long forgotten, will he be remembered as the man who turned the presidency into performance art? Will video clips of his speeches be displayed in galleries alongside, say, Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm 0? Will Trump’s name be mentioned in the same breath as the Russian dissident punk group, Pussy Riot? My limited knowledge of art, performance, and politics tells me that Trump’s most significant legacy will be his ability to find the intersection between the three and drive a stake through it. Most of us still don’t know whether he’s insane or just criminally profane.
Either way, he’s gone now – exiting (ironically???) to the strains of YMCA by the Village People – and a new era of ordinariness and predictability is here.
Kamala and Joe are two safe pairs of hands, although let’s not make any glowing predictions quite yet.
ENTER BIDEN & HARRIS
*audience breathe a sigh of relief as the drama is finally finished