Mein Trumpf

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A book about how I perceive the election and our future. I know this can be written better, however, this is what I've written in a short amount of time with limited time.

Submitted: November 08, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 08, 2016



“…Are we a product of our presidential nominees or are they a product of us?”

Chapter 1 - Shan
“What are your thoughts on tracking Muslims using databases here in this country?” The voice echoed from behind the camera. 
With his hands sitting on the podium, the suited man responded, “We should have a lot of systems, beyond databases, and today you can do it. We’re going to have to look at mosques and we need to build walls. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully and we’re going to have to build these walls tall.” He ended with a crooked smile and a nod.
Cheers of applause roared amongst the crowd, the camera shaking as the man’s peers on stage subtly shook their heads in dismay. It was the 2016 U.S. primary presidential election, and times were changing in an almost definitive, and unstoppable way.
As I stared at the TV, my phone rang with the words ‘Papa Bear’ highlighted.
“Assalamualaikum beta,” or hello son as I’ve translated it my whole life. He continued, “What’s going on?”
I respond in a monotonous tone, “Nothing. Just got off work not too long ago, I’m watching the debate.”
Dad quickly coughed and chuckled as he spoke, “Oh that Donald Trump man, I tell you…” The chuckling stopped, “If he gets elected, we’re really in for some trouble. How’s work?” 
“Yea, you’re probably right. It’s awesome, things are going really well. It seems like my coworkers like me and I enjoy doing what I do. It gets kind of stressful and there’s a lot to learn, but I’ll figure it out.”
The conversation continued, father and son. 
I was living my life, a 29-year old man exiting his youth and establishing a career in San Francisco. Life was as normal as it could get, as a matter of fact, better than normal. I had a good job, good group of friends and I was just generally content.
Things outside my life were subtly changing, and I was paying attention, but I never presumed it would have an impact on the way I was living my life.
It was the year 2016, President Barack Obama was finishing his second term of presidency and the primary election for president was going on. Aside from jokes, sports, travel and life, politics started residing as a major part of most of my daily conversations, my social media, my group chats, my text messages and even the occasional spam e-mail I received from my parents.
Presidential nominee, Donald Trump – the current favorite to become the next President of the United States – had an obvious, yet scary rhetoric. “Protect this country at all costs.”
Trump’s opposition, including myself, all initially overlooked his candidacy until it was too late. Trump started his campaign as almost a joke, a small snowball at the top of a giant mountain thrown by a child that didn’t just build, but it created an avalanche which would inevitably wipe his opposition to the floor. It devolved into some serious shit. 
I didn’t see how serious it was at first. Sure, Trump’s rhetoric was outrageous. I know it contained prejudiced and bigoted rhetoric. But I assumed because it was so over-the-top, why would anybody want to vote for this man?
The hysteria occurring all over the internet and on the news brought out the emotions people had been feeling. Feelings not revealed since before Dr. King had been assassinated. A public outcry of hatred, bigotry and prejudice. 
The Ku Klux Klan started making their presence public in California again, maniacally boasting their support for Trump. They protested in the city of Anaheim, which resulted in several members as well as several outraged Hispanics of the community, to wind up in the hospital because they were fatally stabbed. 
I experienced racism individually in my life, but never had to grow up with it occurring in the public, much less hear about it entrenched in politics. Maybe I was naïve or maybe I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but the inherent curse of racism within the U.S. was becoming obvious and Mr. Trump was the anti-hero leading the charge.
This was all a telltale sign of things to come and what could I do besides bitch to my friends, complain with my coworkers, rant on social media and try to generally dissuade my immediate friends and followers on the internet not to vote for this man. I had a passionate disdain for Trump and I started to grow slightly fearful, but I turned this subtle fear into humor like I do with everything in my life. I didn’t anticipate it becoming as serious as it did.
January 2017 was here.
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That smile of his looked more crooked than ever and the only thing more crooked than his smile were his intentions.

Chapter 2 - Seth
A large scoop of buttery mashed potatoes was dug from the white porcelain plate as it headed towards the salivating mouth of Seth Basin. Before he could inhale this extravagant serving of food, he was interrupted.
“Seth! Please take smaller bites,” Seth’s mother said with concern. 
Seth giggled, “Sorry. At least you know I’m being genuine when I tell you I love your cooking,” he retorted with a charming smile. “I’ll miss your cooking, mom.” 
His mom candidly smiled, buoyed by her son whom she was so sad to see go off to college.
“You’re living less than 30 miles away. UCLA isn’t far enough from home for you to have any excuses.”
“What about studying?” Seth responded.
“Never stopped you from spending time with us before.” Said Mrs. Basin. 
“What about…” He hesitated so he could think, “when I’m on dates?”
“Are you saying dates plural? Can’t you just settle down with a nice girl? What ever happened to Amy? She was smart, she was pretty, she was…”
Seth interrupted, “She was crazy mom.”
“So why’d you ever date her?”
“Because she was hot!”
Seth’s dad walked in the door overhearing the conversation through the open window. He hooted a loud laugh, “Takes after his dad, I’d say!” Seth laughed and Mr. Basin sustained his conversation as he continued to laugh, “Thanks for cooking, honey.” He gave his wife a kiss on the cheek as they welcomed him home.
Mr. Basin turned on the television and tuned into the news to see the Secretary of State and soon to be presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton – wife of the former president Bill Clinton – was speaking about her thoughts on foreign policy.
“I can’t take this woman seriously.” Seth’s father uttered.
Mrs. Basin turned the television volume down, “Scott, you don’t need to speak like that. It sounds sexist when you put it like that. I don’t like her either, but that doesn’t mean you need to express your thoughts in such a chauvinistic way,” Mrs. Basin responded with a look of contempt.
“You’re right, I’m sorry. You know I didn’t mean it like that.”
Footsteps could be heard in the distance. The family dropped their discussion to hear the footsteps coming. 

The door knob turned.
“Hey Basins!!” sprung in the young, goofy brute wearing a large grin on his face. 
“Yo!” Seth shrieked back. They gave each other a synchronous handshake.
“Hey Jordan, keep it down. Are you carrying a damn megaphone on you?” 
Jordan laughed and answered, “Good to see you too Mr. Basin! Mrs. Basin, how you doin’ on this lovely afternoon?”
Seth’s mom responded, “I’m good sweety. How are your parents?”
“Same ol’, same ol’! They send their regards. They’re really worried about me and my future, but I keep telling them not to sweat it.”
“They’re worried about you going to UCLA? Why?”
“Because Mrs. Basin, I decided I wanted to join the military instead,” Jordan said nonchalantly. 
Scott replied, “Military, huh? I guess if anybody your age is going to make it through boot camp, it’s you, Jordan. Does this mean you’ll stop barging through my door unannounced?”
“Don’t consider yourself that lucky Mr. Basin, you know I’ll be back!”
Without asking, Jordan grabbed a plate and started putting together a combination of everything littered on the clothed table such as buttered garlic mashed tomatoes, sautéed spinach, braised short rib, a warm and crisp homemade apple pie with a bowl of crème sitting to the side. He even poured himself a glass of wine, despite being underage. “Mrs. Basin, how Seth is leaving this level of cooking is beyond me. Thanks for the hospitality folks!” 
 Scott then sighed, chuckled and turned the volume back up on the television from the dinner table as Jordan started plowing into the home cooked meal, too focused to speak any further. 


Seth’s phone vibrated on the table and as he grabbed it and skimmed the content, his eyes widened and his jaw was agape. “Dad! Change it to channel 4. Something just came up!!” he said concerned. 
Scott changed the channel unperturbed and unaware of what Seth wanted to show to him. Jordan dropped his silverware on the ground in shock with a sudden strike of anxiety and shaking in his limbs. The family gazed on in silence. 
There was a domestic attack of terror miles where the Basins lived in San Bernadino, just South East of Los Angeles. Every station was airing the attack, reporters trying to squeeze out every bit of information they could out of the police chief. Seth then reached toward the pocket of his jeans, stuck his fingers into the tight right pocket to grab his phone out and he immediately opened his web browser to navigate to his favorite news webpage to get more details. 
San Bernadino Shooting: At Least 11 Killed and 14 Hurt. Suspects Still at Large.
His eyes quietly scrolled through the article as he read through the details of what little information was out. He explained out loud to the family and to Jordan what he had read. There were two suspects, race unconfirmed who were reported to have fired assault rifles in a large crowd at a nonprofit center within the city. Everybody in the house was in shock. The nation hadn’t heard of an attack of this caliber in the U.S. in a long period of time, and when Seth had assumed nothing would happen in the U.S. following the infamous terrorist attack in Paris, he was proven wrong – although he didn’t jump the gun on who may have committed this heinous attack.
With his eyes beset on the television, “It was probably those fucking towel heads!”
“Jordan!” responded Mrs. Basin in astonishment.
“Honey, he could very well be correct.” Mr. Basin calmly replied. “I wouldn’t it put it past them to commit an attack like this. As a matter of fact, with the sort of weak presidency we have at the moment with Obama, it has only weakened our national security.”
Jordan chortled, “Sorry Mrs. B! I didn’t mean to curse in your household, but I’ll bet you anything when they find the assholes who did this, they’ll probably be Muslim.” 
Mrs. Basin sighed and seemed to hope otherwise. They all continued to watch throughout the day until the reporter stated aloud, “Police are currently in a fire fight with the suspects, who are now reported to be of Middle Eastern descent.”
“The boy was right, Kim. I had a feeling.” Scott stated with confidence. “We need a president with some damn balls.”
“Like who, dad?” Seth asked.
“Whoever it takes, bud.”

Chapter 3 - Shan
Terrorist attacks continued, not just within the U.S., but all over the world. Islamic terrorism became worldwide spread and the global community was starting to associate radical Islam with your daily grocery shopping, family-loving Muslim who can’t decide whether he or she wants to watch The Daily Show or a rerun of Seinfeld. This stigma of Islam wasn’t hated within the religion alone, people were starting to associate their hatred with other ethnicities for their problems also – it was the beginning of Nazi Germany all over again, but when anybody would make that comparison, they’d retort that it was an exaggeration.
“We need to build a wall!” Trump shrieked with an echoing roar of support in the background. “These Mexicans are rapists! They come into our and they steal, and they murder, and they sell drugs, and they rape!” Trump slammed the back of his right hand into the palm of his left as he continued to list off generalized accusations of a single race.
The Mexican population was outraged also, possibly just as angry as the domestic Muslim population, yet Trump was inevitably going to win this race and there was nothing anybody could do to stop it. Trump had the support of a vast majority of an angry, old, white America just East of California and just West of New York who associated themselves with extreme political conservatism and deemed change as absolutely necessary after President Obama implemented the Healthcare Act. 
Then there were the supporters of Donald Trump who weren’t white. The occasional Hispanics, the African American, the Asians and even the occasional Middle Eastern. They supported him because he always announced that it wasn’t a time to be “politically correct.” He used his lack of political correctness as ammunition for his hatred, his prejudice and his racism. 
“The big problem this country is dealing with is being politically correct. I don’t have time to be politically correct!” Was one of Trump’s responses. This was his way of saying he could demean and generalize a single ethnicity. I understand that was a problem with some people, but now it was becoming popular amongst a large amount of the population.
Maybe I was just ignorant, but I didn’t see a problem with the U.S. The only problem I saw was that people saw that the U.S. was in great need of change. I know there were issues, but people galvanized Universal Healthcare like we were in the 1950’s fighting for Civil Rights.  
The way I viewed it, was that the world was in more general trouble than the actual nation of the United States. At the time, scientists were claiming global warming was occurring at an accelerated pace, the most revolutionary invention, which provided the general populace with an unlimited access to information was being used primarily for jerking off and spreading hate rhetoric on social media, the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer – you know, the typical liberal bullshit you either love or hate to hear about.
It was significant to me, but then again it felt pointless to fight for it. You can have endless feuds over the internet, through group chats, in in-person dialogue, with friends – or shit – even at work sometimes.
Those were the problems I thought were significant, but people didn’t see those as significant issues. They couldn’t have, considering Trump had such a large portion of voters with support. Even if he did get elected, there was still the system of checks and balances, or so you’d think. 
Any type of regime nowadays was as easily influenced as its leader could force upon its people – or I guess as I learned back in my Political Science classes, violence is just the norm in history. How far are people willing to go? I was reading comments on the internet about “dropping nuclear bombs on the entire Middle East because it would remove the problem,” but half the time these people were older, white Americans with the occasional ethnic person from time-to-time, or so I would see after browsing the comment’s photo from Facebook to his profile.

“Yo G, check this out.” Mike said to Luigie.
Mike inhaled the blunt in his tattooed hand, let smoke out through his mouth and inhaled through his nose. We were blazing before we went out to dinner to go grub at a quality sushi spot just down the street. 
Luigie sarcastically laughed, “Haha. Okay cool guy,” he mocked.
I was on my laptop at the time while these guys were visiting me from out of town. I picked up the blunt, took a drag, “Dude, I’m high as shit right now.” 
Mike looked over, “Dude get the fuck off the computer man, let’s go.”
I laughed, “Aight, hold up! I’m reading the news before we go.”
“You’re getting high and reading the news?” He looked over at Luigie, “Who the Hell is this guy?” 
Luigie started laughing hysterically and I ended up following suit, “Dude, I’m almost done. Chill out. Look, read these comments.” 

*Dear reader, please note: Comments below are real comments taken from a single thread on Facebook. This took me less than 3 minutes to find*

Luigie laughed in shock, “Jeese dude. What the Hell is wrong with these people?” and then he proceeded to mock them and clown me at the same time, “Damn. These guys are going to see you and think you’re going to commit a jihad.” Luigie and Mike started laughing and Mike followed up, “Haha you’re the kind of guy in Battlefield who runs up to people and detonates the C4 while it’s still in your hands.” 
I started laughing with them, “Ok I would do that, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fucking terrorist!” When the laughing stopped, we got up, we jumped in the car (I admit, I drove high) and we grabbed sushi. 
It was actually really fun to go along with the punches when I was with my friends and we were talking self-depreciating humor. We all did it and we had a good friendship between us. Outside of friendships though, I’m talking about life outside of your circle of trust, it was a bit more serious and worrisome. I admit, I no longer practiced Islam, but I was born and raised with it, so I held it close to the chest because I had an understanding of what it preached.
I never heard my share of racist comments straight to me from strangers, I admit. I did hear somebody drunkenly call me a “sand nigger” when he saw me using my shirt as a sort of du rag at a beach in San Clemente from the chair he was sitting on in a bar when I was a young, punk teenager. I did have somebody yell, “terrorists!” at me and my family from their car as they drove off outside of a restaurant in Costa Mesa. But typically I like to think people typically didn’t fuck with me face-to-face because I’m a big guy who doesn’t look like a pushover, but that’s also my arrogance talking.
My family, including my younger brother, my younger cousin and others from my family did face much more extreme racism in-person. This meant people were calling my young cousin a terrorist and calling the cops shortly after, who then proceeded to arrest him. This also meant my younger brother being inside a liquor store and accusing him to commit a jihad. The truth of it is my family faced the same threats of terror and crime in the U.S. just as much as our accusers did, but people generalized. It didn’t stop with just my ethnicity either, this was common occurrence for the Hispanic families, or the Black families or any family of color. We all thought people socially evolved, but it really felt like we were going backward.

Chapter 4
The domineering stupidity of the election from all sides, although I admittedly only saw it emulating from Trump’s corner, continued to prevail. The election was coming around and on one side it was “Crooked Hillary Clinton killed four soldiers in Benghazi!” and on the other side it was, “Trump and his supporters are racist!” and to some extent they were true, one more than the other.
As the election progressed, I paid less and less attention to what was going on. It was maddening! It’s like watching two people you know constantly arguing about the same thing over and over again, but instead of keeping it intelligent and civil, they were constantly insulting each other to get their point across. That was the election in a nutshell and not for one minute did I think Hillary was going to lose.
One night I was lounging around sick and I randomly thought to myself, “What if elections were civilized? What if instead of attacking personalities, we spoke perspective on our own values instead? Are we a product of our presidential nominees or are they a product of us?”
It was October 2016 and I was no longer attached to the election for the first time in about 15 years. Apathy seemed to be the general trend from every non-crazy” person I knew.  

Chapter 5 – Seth
It was September 2017 and Donald Trump quickly declared an assault on terror in the Middle East. The defense spending and border protection grew astronomically as social and welfare programs were cut. Donald Trump had ironically implemented what he called an adhesive and fool proof law to prevent billionaires from not paying their taxes. Diplomacy, rationality and empathy were quickly thrown out the door following Obama’s presidency.

© Copyright 2020 Shan Mahmood. All rights reserved.

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