By Nicky Reid aka Comrade
Exile in Happy Valley
Rarely a week seemed to go by during the Trump years when the sky wasn’t falling. The cable news already has a tendency of covering every single day like it could be the last, but this was different. Even powerful people seemed legitimately confused and nobody seemed to know what the fuck was going on. COVID turned the whole country inside out and the sporadic government lockdowns only seemed to make shit worse. Riots raged through cities large and small while the police declared war on their own citizens. The borders became a warzone while ICE dragged children from hospital beds and locked them up in glorified dog kennels.
At the center of it all was a demented orange president with seemingly zero game plan and an administration that couldn’t shoot straight. Most of the time they seemed to be shooting at each other; leaking sensitive information to the press, plotting wars that never materialized, sabotaging each other’s peace deals, and getting shit-canned left and right. The system literally seemed to be eating itself and the press seemed to vacillate between covering the spectacle with heartless glee and hyperventilating in a corner with a brown paper bag like the rest of us.
There was a very sick side of me that took a degree of sadistic joy in this myself. I’m not proud of this, innocent people were getting fucked, but after decades of holding the public in the palm of their hands, the establishment appeared to have lost all control of the narrative. Trump’s cantankerous ship of fools did awful things to poor people across the globe like any other administration, but they were too incoherent to do anything substantial on the world stage. Trump kept all the old wars he pretended to hate raging but he failed to start any new ones and it wasn’t like he didn’t try.
He did quite literally everything but invade Venezuela and Iran, but even despotic douchebags like Maduro and the Mullahs always seemed to get the drop on him. Everything Trump tried fell apart and the establishment was beside themselves. They seemed to take out their anger out on Trump by insisting that he was a puppet of the Kremlin even while Putin’s supposed puppet was shredding Soviet era peace treaties left and right like an Enron ticker tape parade. None of it made any sense. All I knew was that there were no new boots on the ground in Caracas or Tehran and the whole world seemed to finally be waking up to the fact that this empire I’ve despised since I was 13 years old was a five alarm dumpster fire.
But your average American isn’t a craven anti-imperialist anarchist like me. By 2019, the whole goddamn country was exhausted by the confounding hijinks of the Trump junta and was desperately seeking something old and reliable to comfort them by the fire of their smoldering super-state. Their miracle came pre-packaged by the equally exhausted elites in the form of Joe Biden, who was sold to the country across nearly every corporate news medium as the human personification of warm milk. Redneck country was still mad as hell and hopelessly in love with Trump’s strange populist cult of personality, but the suburbs rejoiced in a childlike opportunity to turn back time to the wonder years of the Obama era. But this prospect was what scared me most.