(Editorial note: this is the article that launched Hunting For Thompson. John simply didn’t know what to do, so he placed his beloved Scotch and Irish whisky/whiskey (respectively) down and used his empty hands to pen the following article in response to America’s 2016 Electoral College results. Bon Appétit!)
I am a drinking man . . . but in the early hours of a new day, well before the approaching dawn, well before the anguish cries, well before the world awoke to the foulest day it will ever know—the Ninth of November AD 2016—I placed the bottle down.
It was clear that no amount of booze would cloud my vision and allow me to escape the horrible reality that CNN was searing into my eyes and mind, and into my body and soul. The trumpet had sounded. Its heart-wrenching, soul-sacrificing, mind-melting squawk was incontestably crystal clear: Donald J. Trump had been elected the next president of the Divided States of America by a minority of American Voters (“no eternal reward will forgive us now”).1
Many thoughts flooded my mind. I could not place them in any logical or illogical order. I cannot recall all of them. There were understandably too many. Too many. Too many to completely comprehend. Here’s a sampling: run, rum, scotch, wine, beer, hide, drink, get on-board or suffer the consequences, no more talk of the agonizing choices of him or her, hunker down now, that is that, scream, cry, “take it easy, take me higher, liar liar, house on fire, CBS, Warner Brothers, RCA, and all the others,” hari kari, hare Krishna, “When the Levee Breaks,” “Paint it Black,” “the lunatic is on the grass”—“GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!”—what shall the majority of voters who did not vote for the ORANGE MONSTER do now that for the second time in my lifetime, the fifth time in American history, the majority of votes cast did not elect the highest office in the land, arguably the highest office on the planet!
Phew! I felt like I was dreaming . . . like I was stuck in a David Lynch film from which there was no escape.
It was as if I was trapped inside an endless loop of Reunion’s “Life Is a Rock” (But the Radio Rolled Me)2 which was a hit in the months following our only national exorcism of the White House which occurred on a hot August night in 1974. That’s when the demonic presence of Nixon was banished to California’s coast; far away from power. But no such luck. I was—and remain— painfully wide awake. And to compound matters, I am awake without a drink in my hand. Inexplicably by choice! “The horror, the horror.”
It was that last thought of too many thoughts that crashed, then drilled and slithered its way through my cerebral cortex, finally taking root in the frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes which garnered my undivided attention. It simply would not fade away. And before the sun shone on November 9th, 2016, and in the following tormenting hours which have since turned into a basket full of deplorable days, the question remained: What shall we, the majority of voters, do now?
I have never before wanted to be a single cell amoeba, but on November 9th, 2016, in the unforgiving predawn hours I actually prayed to be transfigured into just that. So that I could avoid the question: What shall we, the majority, do now?
Delirium tremens (the DTs) would be my only hope of avoiding the question. Its rapid onset of confusion would provide me an excuse, an actual acute ailment, and mommy would write me a note: “Please excuse Johnny from participating and from giving a shit. He is sick and is refusing to take his medicine. He’s even refusing 21-year-old single malt scotch. I’m worried about him.” But even the drinking man’s archenemy would not allow me to be sidelined from the righteous fight before us: resisting being assimilated into Trump’s America. Always remember that the majority of voters did not elect the Orange Monster.
I have always threatened “those” who have clawed their way into my inner circle that someday I would write. My irrefutable excuse when pushed by “those” to write was always: ahem, I haven’t found my muse. That always left “those” looking at me with expressionless faces. Like I was some kind of a contradiction. Like I was a paradox of my own verbal words. That just maybe I was a closeted abolitionist of the printed word. Like I was a single cell amoeba. . . .
Well, no more of that. The muse has been unleashed! Don’t blame me—blame the guards of Hades who opened the gates of Hell and unleashed the orange menace upon the globe. What’s that? You don’t believe me that he, The Son of Perdition, has been unleashed? Read Revelation 13:3-5.
“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded [“grab ’em by the pussy”], and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon [Mitch McConnell] which gave power unto the beast: and they [the Republican faithful] worshiped the beast, saying, ‘who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth [the Oval Office] speaking great things and blasphemies [make America great again], and he was given authority [the presidency] to continue for forty-[eight] months.”
We’re all alone now—you and I—who care about unity and America’s promise of inclusion. They have isolated us. It is us against them. We must muster the strength to overcome the self-fulfilling prophecies within Revelation. We must find a way to not let hate win. To not be sidelined. To not be diminished. To not be marginalized. To not be silenced. To not fade away into our own corners of self-concerns. In the words of General Douglas MacArthur:
“The hour of your redemption is here. Your patriots have demonstrated an unswerving and resolute devotion to the principles of freedom that challenges the best that is written on the pages of human history. I now call upon your supreme effort that the enemy may know from the temper of an aroused and outraged people within that he has a force there to contend with no less violent than is the force committed from without. Rally to me . . . the lines of battle roll forward to bring you within the zone of operations, rise and strike. Strike at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! In the name of your sacred dead, strike! Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled.”3
At this hour, we are in the streets: striking, screaming, crying, resisting the coming dog-days of doom. And the Orange Monster has flipped flopped 180-degrees and is attempting to appease. Beware! Beware! “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
I will steadfastly reject the racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic and misogynistic platform of President-elect Trump and his trumpeters. To that end, and to “those” friends, and to the majority of voters—I shall finally write to do my part; hence, HuntingForThompson.com has been unleashed.
Now, “Stop kidding, will ya, and make us some drinks!”5
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