Thanks, Donald Trump, Now I’m an Alcoholic


I have a friend who lives in Sweden. She is American, has a great job and is upbeat, kind and just really nice – someone you could ask to collect your grandma’s pension and also stop by the pharmacy on the way for incontinence pants size XL. I like her a lot. She is also sporty and lives an admirably healthy lifestyle, so it came as something of a surprise when she announced to her Facebook community that after the election, for the first time since college, she had been consuming alcohol for five days straight. Not that I would hold that against anyone, it’s just more the kind of thing I would do. But that only shows how much the world has tilted off its axis. The most stable, grounded people on the planet are needing to drink to cope with reality.

At around 9 on the morning of 11 November 2016 I had a friend call and ask if she should come over with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. It was a tempting prospect. Then another suggesting we all convene at our favourite bar at lunchtime and get straight into the vodka. And while I didn’t do either of those things, I was pretty unrestrained around the number of G&Ts I allowed myself before, during and after dinner. And it hasn’t really stopped since. As anyone who knows me knows I’m unabashedly enthusiastic about a cold glass of Chardonnay (or Chenin or Sauv Blanc if you have nothing else), but I’m not a particularly big drinker, and almost never drink alone. That was, however, before an orange madman became the leader of the free world. Since then, the staff at Ultra Liquors in Green Point have become ever more pushy about my getting an Ultra card so I can score points for the large purchases of booze I’ve been making of late.

Come 6pm (and sometimes 5:30. Okay, 5) it’s balls to the wall at our house. We pour ourselves tall glasses of whatever’s going and gaze at our sliver of ocean and proceed to get pretty blotto. And it’s jolly and, frankly, the only way we know how to deal with what has happened. Because anyone who is not a complete idiot knows it isn’t good. A lot of brilliant and insightful things have been written about Trump’s win and I don’t presume to have anything of significance to add, but I am chastened by how divisive this election has been, even personally. I generally try hard to understand other people’s views, but when it comes to supporting this man’s take on the world, I have had to take a long and unpleasant look at who I’ve been calling ‘friends’. Because through his politics runs a strain of indecency which is so intrinsic to his character it is beyond rehabilitation, and it runs counter to all the values I nurture and hold dear. I simply cannot respect anybody who supports him.

And while I have no doubt Hillary is capable of ruthless ambition and behaving every bit as unscrupulously as her male predecessors, she still inhabits the world as a woman which means she has a certain sensibility and whatever she would have done in her presidency would not have involved screwing the girls of the world over. Unfortunately we can’t say the same thing for the apricot hell beast (a description I stole from Twitter and hold dear). Yesterday I collected my daughter from soccer practice and we found ourselves behind a bakkie where a man sat holding onto some garden furniture so that it didn’t fall into the road. First I felt sorry for him – what a stupendously kak job – but when he stopped at a stop street we pulled up close and he looked straight at me and proceeded to do lewd things with his tongue. As I sat there in my car with my daughter right beside me. Not even vaguely embarrassed. And sadly, this is the world we live in, and this is the kind of behaviour Trump thinks is cool. It happens so often when you’re a girl you reach a point where you don’t even tell anyone anymore.

And I won’t go into how genuinely frightened my friends in same-sex relationships are and the immigrant thing and the Muslim thing which makes my blood boil and also makes me realise that I’ve been living in a bubble where I thought the world was an okay place and that, give or take the Middle East and Putin and Syria and Zuma, we were pretty much on the right track. But I hate that I have to look at this leering, ominous dinosaur of a creature and know that he has just been given huge amounts of power to make decisions that, one way or another, will affect every human on the planet, especially minorities like my daughters and I. It’s all just a bit barking.

Some years ago I sat at the bar (surprise, surprise) at Trump Towers in New York and the Donald himself came down and scanned the room with his small, watery eyes no doubt looking for a girl to ogle. In those days he was just a rich, hairy joke. The thought of him running for president, never mind winning, was ludicrous. His eyes fell on me and he did one of those up-and-down look things reserved for men who are so arrogant and smug it’s rendered them impervious to the feelings of those around them. I wasn’t pretty enough to hold his gaze for long, but it was enough to make me feel uncomfortable and diminished. I realise that my value, in Trump’s world, will be even more negligible than it was before. And so we sit here asking ourselves how this crazy thing could have happened. Anyhow. What’s done is done and clearly the world is not what I understood it to be. I don’t know whose fault this is, nor on what spectacular level we messed up. But I find, reaching answers to these complex and troubling questions is made easier by leaps and bounds when you’re completely schnockered. So till we can find a better solution I say, bottoms up.

23 thoughts on “Thanks, Donald Trump, Now I’m an Alcoholic

  1. I dont know how this will be perceived, but whilst The Donald is quite obnoxious and revolting to some women including moi, for the things he does, says and behaves, to me there are bigger issues than me as a woman at a distance and that is the atrocity and hardship of wars
    and the suffering of children and women alike. I have just seen Trump on YouTube denouncing the wars in Syria and Iraq, whilst Obama and Hillary with her long history of wars, starting with her husband and the Bush’s, are still warring in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libiya, Sudan, Somalia, all oil-rich and the Ukraine to keep Russia looking bad. Americans had to choose between the lessor of two evils. As a local described, choosing between a heart disease and cancer. America has become a hated country among the ‘truthers’ ie John Pilger, Julian Assange whom Hillary wanted to drone out and Americans Ken o Keefe, Richard Gage and Paul Craig Roberts to name a few, all reputable professional upstanding men. They are nothing like the NWO-owned media spreading their lies.
    When one sees once peaceful countries being totally destroyed and thousands killed and children maimed daily for oil in order to keep America & UK and it’s western coalition in perpetual first world status, I would welcome Trump who has not YET killed anyone and promised to focus more on internal issues, to continuing wars in countries they have no business invading.

    There is not a single government or president who has 100% of the people behind them.

    1. I think Tish is right. The lesser of 2 evils. Hillary would have been a bigger disaster even than Trump. Sorry Susan – first time I have ever disagreed with your sentiments.

    2. I think it’s humorous when people try to intellectualize American politics. The truth is that at least half (and I’m being very generous here) of those who voted for the Donald don’t even know where Syria is. Let’s not forget that the average American loves their military, like to talk about service and wars, idolize war heroes and veterans and will shoot you up if you dare suggest they give up their guns. (I’m not talking about the population of New York or California etc. Born in Tennessee, grew up in Alabama and Ohio. Trust me, there’s a reason why I left for good 20 years ago).

      The election of the Donald may make sense to your intellectual self because you know all about the war in Syria and CAFTA and whatever else in your opinion Hillary would have done to screw up the world. For the white, uneducated, blue collar workers that propelled the orange top to arguably the most important political position in the world, it was more about things you won’t believe: the promise of building a wall to Mexico (never going to happen), bringing all the jobs back from China (he’s going to start with his own companies, right?), claiming he’s different from the establishment (yes, he screws people directly, not indirectly) but most importantly, more about nothing. My take on this whole fiasco is that it was just time for red.

      (The Clintons and the Bushes together in one sentence…and on the same side? Wow, that’s certainly a first, the Trump anti-establishment pitch no doubt). Anyhoo, we had to endure 8 years of Dubya after Clinton (W actually won the US election twice!!). Then Obama brought us back to blue after people got tired of red. Now US is painted red again. I really hate to disappoint your intellectual reasoning but nope, that is not the reason the Trump has trumped. I feel bad for Hillary. I voted for her because I felt that we at least knew what we were in for. With Trump, it’s anybody’s guess. And don’t get me started on his arrogance, bad-mouthing and bullying ways. Politics was always dirty, but this went lower than low. And then America rewarded him. Now he can change the whole country to UST! If the next generation learns from this, God help us all. And the lesser of two evils? Really? How can you be so sure if Trump has no history in government? Because he said so and you believe his rhetoric? The man made enemies of people and entire countries every time he opened his mouth!

      Most of the people who voted for Trump would have voted for him regardless of what he said, did, wore or screwed. You are doing them (in)justice by making this election sound rational (well, the people of America sat down, discussed Syria and said “who do you think will be best in this Somalia and Brexit situation, Mable?”, then chose the person they felt would portray the US in the best light and reconcile us with the democratic world). I’m not trying to mock anyone but we need to put this into perspective. Your reasons for wanting Trump to win has absolutely nothing to do with why he won. But you wanted him? Now we all got him. Let’s see where your predictions of a lesser evil are in 4 years.

      I’m afraid I’m sticking with Susan on this one. As my drinking levels slowly return to normal, I am extremely grateful that I presently live outside of the US, which makes it much easier to pretend that it was all a ridiculous nightmare for minutes, even hours, at a time. And when that doesn’t work, I can roll into the fetal position and say “wake me up in 4 years and HOPEFULLY it will all be over!”

    1. Zuma is being held to account as is done in SA, unlike western governments who are answerable to nobody and gets away with murder…..around the globe.

  2. If SA has survived with Zuma, I think the U.S. with survive Donald (and I am an American, whose views have stayed under the radar since I didn’t vote). My glass has also been perpetually full in recent weeks, but for me it’s been the #FeesMustFall issue. Keep on keeping on, Susan!

    1. And do you think Donald is the one to drain the swamp, Pam? And have you seen who he is – as we speak – putting into the swamp?!

  3. I voted, and I voted for Hillary, but not with elation, I would have voted for her before Benghazi, which was so disgusting, with no feeling (which as a women and a mother she should have cared) but we do not know the complete truth what happened and living here in America I have learned not to TRUST….anyone, media, Government, people, you surround yourself with the good, when you find them. (is that not sad) I came here to give my children a better life 26 years ago….now I don’t know!! Trump is this rich (but low class), disgusting, rough, horrible, full of Botox, full lipped, hair flipped person. American love rich, any famous person, singers, actors and they all want to be like them. Money does talk. Okay now down to earth again….we Americans still need to stand together and hope that this President does a far good job….till 2020. So sorry for the rant sometimes when you reach 60 you start blurting things.

    1. Susan, As always I love love love your blog! So insightful and funny! Having a good laugh in the morning is almost as good as a good cup of coffee (almost!). I read it aloud to my husband (in Colorado) and I enjoyed it a second time!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

  4. 52% of women in the US voted for Trump. The main reason why they voted this way is that they value their pro-life beliefs more than they value their feminist beliefs.

  5. I’ve been drinking with a much more serious purpose since last week’s election. But, what actually drives me to the bottle even faster than any mention or thought of Donald Trump is the contention that somehow he represents the “lesser of two evils.” Clinton was not my preference in the Democratic primaries, but I never considered voting for either of the pitiful 3rd party contenders and the idea of a President Trump did and does terrify me.

    The damage he will be able to do to American institutions such as the Supreme Court and the Federal judiciary will last a generation. That means more money poured into politics anonymously, religious rights superseding civil rights, women’s reproductive rights turned back over to the states and courts friendly to every authoritarian impulse that the Republican Party is willing to indulge.

    Environmentally, Trump will be a disaster. Pipelines – no problem. Drill baby drill. Frack baby frack. Renewable energy will be set back a decade in the US. Sarah Palin won’t be Secretary of the Interior (I suspect). It will be someone far more dangerous than the cartoon character that Palin has become. Someone who will insure the corporate profits come before the environment. Global warming – get serious – it won’t even be discussed in Washington (might ever be illegal to discuss).

    Social safety net – don’t get me started on the damage that will be done to Social Security and Medicare. They won’t be fixed, they will be gutted so Wall Street and the health insurance industry can increase their profits.
    Trump is not the lesser of two evils. Anyone who thinks that way has enabled an American tragedy.

  6. An excellent post, Susan, and just about sums up my own views on the whole shitstorm. Was reading another blog on this recently and the writer was saying that until last week she thought she lived in a world which was built with safeguards in place, was there to protect her and hers. But that now she realises that isn’t the case and that is actually how millions of others live every day (blacks, muslims, lgbt etc) and so one small sliver of an upside is a teeny bit of a better understanding of what that feels like.

    PS But why reference you and your daughters being minorities? You’re not minorities, you’re majorities (I think it’s still approximately 52% of people on the planet are female?) albeit not treated equally. And about to be treated a whole lot worse, I fear …

  7. I think you have been living in a bubble. People the world over are not happy. Not happy with the arrogant elite thinking they know best, not happy with the whole liberal pc brigade who labels people who do not agree with them as bigots and racists! What rubbish. Brexit and the Trump victory are not surprising – people want to have some control back and they want to be listened to.

  8. Here in Oz, we have watched the whole US election with growing dismay and what was worse, the worst-case scenario played-out.
    Unlike Anonymous above, no-one I know is happy with the increasing xenophobia and conservatism that is creeping back into mainstream society around the world. Our government here is making horrible decisions in our name, treating refugees as prisoners, sucking-up to the US administration and hoping for a wonderful relationship with Mr Trump; I for one dread this happening as he appears to be a very odd man with very odd ideas.
    I have wanted to cut our ties with Britain for some time, but watching the schmozzle that was the US election has made me seriously reconsider what it means to be a Republic and maybe we here,should just stick with what we know.

  9. We’ve been in America since 1978 and never thought this kind of calamity could happen here. To say we’re horrified and terrified and mystified doesn’t begin to cover it.
    I’m really angry at the over 40% of people who didn’t vote; I’m upset that Hillary Clinton is leading by +- 2 million in the popular vote; I can hardly believe that this person [who has no real beliefs of his own, aside from his ego] will get to appoint up to 4 Supreme Court Justices which will affect the lives of my descendants.
    This “short-fingered vulgarian” (Graydon Carter) is the most serious threat to global stability of my lifetime. To entrust the leadership of the world to this thin-skinned, petulant, boorish man who appeals to the resentful, disaffected, low-information, intolerant-of-the-other voter is ominous. He was best described as “a sociopath with a short attention span and minimal impulse control.” And this is the man who will be given the nuclear codes and access to the doomsday button. We are appalled and petrified and working through the stages of grief to come to terms with this ominous, inexplicable result. I fear it will take a long time to get to acceptance.

    1. Oooh! I have an idea! Maybe Britain will take us back. We’ll promise to put the “u” back in colour and honour and drink tea at 4 pm. We’ll even call soccer football. Please, your Majesty, give us a re-do!

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