This is the last dying breath of the America that was. All we have to do is sit tight, watch the show, and live through it to see the America that will be. It's a demographic certainty.
2016 was a wrenching year. And as the shambles of Trump's first weeks roll into the disaster of triggering Article 50 next month, my soon-to-be-demoted British (soon-to-be English?) passport cannot save me from the madness of 2017. All I can do is hope that we, and the world, come out of the other side of these next four years more understanding and contemplative than damaged. The well-trodden alternative is ugly.
I josh and daydream about backup Brexit plans - Dublin, Calgary, Wellington, Cape Town - but in all honesty, I don't want to leave London. I have no desire to leave my global city, my friends and my life to rebuild again. So I pray we find our way as a lonely, little island in a big, competitive world, that I continue to be gainfully employed and London doesn't turn into Birmingham-on-Thames.
I keep positive by thinking about the long game. Ever since humans stopped hunter-gathering and began putting down roots, they have been on an inexorable journey towards a global world. From small villages to towns to cities to nations to international economic and political unions, look past the wobbles and the trend is clear.
Dissect the 51.9% who voted for Brexit and see that 73% of 18-24 year-olds voted to remain. By the time article 50 is triggered, about 300,000 leave voters will have died, replaced by about 365,000 new remainers, bringing that margin of victory down to 50.4%. Remainers aren't going to suddenly turn xenophobic and insular. And there's a whole slew of UK-born children of EU-immigrant parents nearing voting age; they won't be forgetting the ties that bind.
Look at the details of Trump's 2.9m vote loss to Hillary Clinton and see the crumbling white-haired, white-skinned wall that even America's rural-skewed electoral system can't hold up much longer. Since 2015, more non-white babies have been born in America than white. America's biggest states are already at or approaching being minority-majority, and by 2045, whites will be in the minority nationwide. The leaders of tomorrow will have no option but to be open and inclusive if they want to have a political future.
My friend, PD, has fittingly taken to calling Trump "the Cheeto". With every erratic, base-pleasing order coming out of the Oval Office, with each passing alternative fact, fabricated massacre and Brexit lie, I think about the generations that are just becoming politically aware. I think about how they will look at Farage, his mechanic May, and Trump and reject them and the regressive parties they represent for years and years to come. Like the Alamo, I hope these collective memories will outlast those who were actually around to bear witness to the disaster, and we'll long hear yelled out the (figurative, ballot-box) battle cry:
"Remember the Cheeto!"
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