Though I am not a Trump supporter, and though I don’t vote, I have swung nearly all my male coworkers into Trump’s camp. It (my intervention) happened because they are all in their early 20’s, all in college, and therefore subjected to a deluge of Bernie Sander’s propaganda. (This was back before the Dem National Convention.) Every day they would come in and talk about “that idiot Trump”, and then say that Sanders was the only logical person, the only sensible person, etc.
My problem was that they hated Trump for all the wrong reasons. So I had to talk them through the logic.
- Trump is decidedly not an idiot. He made 4.5 billion dollars from 1 million dollars, and there’s no evidence of Ponzi schemes, fraud, or other skullduggery.
- Walls aren’t stupid and they do work. Ugly though it was, the Berlin Wall kept many, many people within. The walls of houses do keep others out. Fences do keep people out.
- Sanders was the voice of a hippy-dippy generation that utterly failed and which even the hippy-dips had abandoned.
By the time we got to the national conventions the men (the women never involved themselves in the conversations after the first time I scoffed about Sanders) were reluctant Trump supporters. They say things like, “I hate to say it, but Trump is the only one that makes any sense. I feel dirty now.”
I’ve also seen some limited success on the entertainment front. We talk about movies and TV shows a lot and they always ask my opinion because they want to hear something fresh. They expect my criticism to be wholly new to them–and therefore exciting–even though they assume I won’t like it and especially that they won’t agree.
In my mind, I had thought I had utterly failed to get through. But one of them, after seeing Suicide Squad, said, “The whole time I was watching the movie I was thinking ‘Cane’s right: They’re just trying to get me to look at Harley Quinn while a bunch of stupid shit happens.’ I still enjoyed the movie though.”
I was glad, but a lot of what I had said about the ubiquity of anti-heroes (which I now realize I haven’t written about here) still sailed right over their heads…
…until today. Today I bought a Powerade and my boss (another 20s man) said, “Need some electrolytes? Plants crave electrolytes.”
“I’m not drinking anything from a toilet, that’s for sure!”
The Suicide Squad fan was there too and we all laughed. In that moment, it dawned on me that I could use Idiocracy to demonstrate why I resist (what I call) the Culture of Disrespect which permeates our popular media. “You know how in Idiocracy the guys in the future are lulled into a life of masturbation and Ow My Balls? They just sit around all day being entertained by elaborate pratfalls explosions and jerking off?”
“That’s Suicide Squad, and you are the men of the future. These movies have no heroes and the plots are janky, but you keep watching for the elaborate stunts and hot chicks because…because nothing.””
“You’re an asshole, Cane. Damn it, you’re right. You’re a total asshole.”
“You know what else?” I continued in sudden inspiration, “You know what else is like Idiocracy? Trump.” It had suddenly appeared to me that Donald Trump would be a President Camacho. “He’s a billionaire reality TV star whose popularity is predicated on his bank account and upon spectacle.”
“Dude… Oh man, that sucks. You’re right!”
“He’s still better than Hillary. Even Camacho had the brains to put a smart guy in charge of the crops. Hillary is the Brondo corporation. She’s the Brondosaurus..”
Tonight, when I got home, and after I listened to the end of a Google Hangout, I wondered if anyone else had made that connection and I googled Idiocracy Trump. Someone had: Mike Judge.
“I didn’t want Idiocracy to get popular by the world getting stupider faster,” Judge, who now runs the show Silicon Valley, said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I guess I was 450 years off! But yeah, it’s a tad bit scary!”
Judge had specific examples about how exact plot points from Idiocracy are now real. This past March, the CEO of Carl’s Jr. said he wants to test out completely automated restaurants. And in Idiocracy, there’s a Carl’s Jr. kiosk that malfunctions.
At the end of this year, a coffee shop called Fellatio Café will open in Geneva, Switzerland that offers oral sex alongside your caffeine boost. In Idiocracy, that place is simply Starbucks.
And of course, there’s Donald Trump, our current Republican nominee for president, who has appeared in pro-wrestling matches and puts an emphasis on entertainment rather than policy. Sounds a lot like President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. (Judge tried to make Camacho-themed videos pegged to this year’s election, but Fox turned him down.) [emphasis added]
Trump was in a wrestling match. Dang.
To tie all this together I finished our conversation with this: “Camacho isn’t the hero we need, but he’s the hero we deserve.”