So loyal reader(s), I don’t know if you  heard, but there was an election in the United States a couple of weeks ago. If you are American, please don’t be offended by my use of the the word “damned” in my title for this post, it’s just that the United States has just had far too much of my attention for too long. Trump was the train wreck I just couldn’t look away from. Hence the use of that–um–“damned” word. As a Canadian, I know that a lot of my fellow country people refuse to visit the United States because of the bizarre politics, but as a friend of mine once said to me: “the United States has the best of everything and the worst of everything,” and I think he got that pretty much right. There are a lot of amazing things to see down there, and I’m not going to let politics keep me from seeing them. Hopefully, I can get down there if COVID ever ends. And I won’t lie, I will feel better about visiting a country run by Joe Biden or Kamala Harris should she have to take over, more than one run by The Orange One.

So it is at this point that I’m going to elucidate on my thinking regarding the giant political chasm in those Damned United States. Now I’ve heard the odd American tell those of us from other countries that, not being American we’re not allowed to have an opinion American Politics. Well, if you think that, you don’t get to say that your president is the “Leader of the Free World” and you certainly don’t get to have so much influence over world affairs. But then you have no control over that, do you? So as long as your country has that kind of influence, we who do not live there, are going to have an opinion. And that’s not to mention that the culture/political wars that are happening in the US are seeping into Canada. I’m looking at you Alberta. And Saskatchewan. And large swaths of my home province of Manitoba.

The first thing I want to say is: to anyone who has a friend or a family member who is a Trumpist, don’t let that ruin a friendship. It’s hard to deal with. I know  this from firsthand experience, but think of it this way–they have a mind-virus. They’ve caught a meme, in the sense of it’s initial usage as coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene. I honestly feel like there are a lot of people who love Trump but don’t actually listen to what he says. I’d love to tell those people to read his Twitter feed. It is there that his narcissism, boorishness and even potential psychopathy are on full display. Virtually everything he posts on twitter is about himself, how he’s taken credit for something, how someone has wronged him. I’m not saying this will change everyone’s mind, but if your friend doesn’t pay much attention to politics and just goes with the flow, it’s worth pointing out.

Most of Chris Simonite’s paintings of political figures completed in 2020.

But then there are those Trumpists who love Trump because he “owns the Libs” and “triggers the snowflakes.” I’m not sure what to say to those people. Maybe they just need to think about how they feel now that Trump has lost. And maybe ask themselves the really hard questions like: “how would they have reacted if Obama, or Clinton would have done all the things that Trump did?” There is no real answer here and I’m an artist who mostly wants to sell my work, so I hope I haven’t pissed too many people off with this.  I wanted to write about this as I am continually fascinated by politics in the United States and it has inspired me to create paintings of politicians and share them on Instagram and Facebook and my website. If you are interested in purchasing one, contact me and we can discuss.