If I could nominate any of the years I have experienced so far as one that has jumped the shark, I think 2016 would probably safely cruise to winner of the title without a problem. Having said that, it would seem that nothing is certain in this world anymore and 2005 could end up running a strong campaign as underdog and upset the election.
I remember watching the news earlier this year from the UK as the seemingly unbelievable result rolled in across the Internet that the UK had apparently voted for a platform of promises that did not seem to be backed up: that Brexit meant 350 million pounds a week back that could fund the NHS, for example. It felt very much in the heat of that moment (and admittedly on my part from 10 000 miles away) as though a vote had been cast that supported racism and intolerance and that people who voted for Brexit were people who had been lured in by a pile of lies. I felt very sad when the vote was announced and it seemed to be a surprise to everyone – that while there were certainly some sections of the community that were disgruntled, overall and on balance the vote would be to keep things the way they were.
But everyone was wrong about that, and perhaps that is why I was not so certain that the polls had got it right in predicting the American election result – not because I am a political savant, but because I had watched with horror what had happened in the UK and then read and read in the weeks after as the result was discussed and analysed. I felt so desperate and so depressed – even though I don’t live in the UK at the moment – as if the England that I had assumed I knew had disappeared forever.
I can fully sympathise with those in America who may be feeling the same way in the aftermath of a result which appears to have elected a man who will say whatever he thinks will appeal, even as he contradicts himself but after Brexit I took comfort from one apparently inane tweet that I saw. ‘Don’t worry’ it said, ‘Things will work out, they generally do.’ Sometimes, we feel like we are standing on the edge of a chasm but hopefully things even themselves out. Despite the fact that the Republican Party now controls the upper and lower houses, which will make getting policy through a whole lot easier than it has been for the Democrats, I take comfort in bureaucracy.
The first thing Trump did when he arrived on stage to claim victory was to apologise for keeping everyone waiting. ‘It’s complicated,’ he explained. Well, if taking a phone call is complicated, just wait until he gets his first pile of briefings on domestic and foreign issues. I am hoping that bureaucracy will scoop him up in a big warm complicated hug and wrap its complicated arms around him. He will have an army of advisers, now and let’s hope that they deliver advice and that he listens to it.
I walked the dogs this evening around the two sports ovals that were crammed with young kids learning cricket skills. In the warmth of the evening I watched as they were thrown high balls to practise their catching, or stood in the nets to face soft deliveries to help them focus their bat placement and timing. Things looked OK for now: kids were playing, the sun had not yet blown itself up, perhaps things would be alright after all.
Either way, we have a couple of months to get our heads around the idea before he is sworn in and thankfully only a couple of months left of the shark jumping 2016. Let’s hope nobody gives 2017 a pair of water skis for Xmas or access to a speed boat.