Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

Second season

When my daughter asked me recently, “What happens if Donald Trump wins?” I said I just couldn’t imagine it (even though, as I noted, I couldn’t see a good reason to think it extremely unlikely.) The mind recoils from such madness, though as I have also noted, Berlusconi is a good precedent, and it took nearly a decade to winkle him out of office. Berlusconi with nukes and the NSA.

But while I tried to find a reason for confidence, there was always a nagging voice telling me: People are going to want to see how this show ends. This was the voice of the Sanders supporter quoted in the NY Times back in June who said he would probably support Trump in the general election because Clinton would be boring:

A dark side of me wants to see what happens if Trump is in. There is going to be some kind of change, and even if it’s like a Nazi-type change, people are so drama-filled. They want to see stuff like that happen. It’s like reality TV. You don’t want to just see everybody be happy with each other. You want to see someone fighting somebody.

The showman Trump had set up an outrageous spectacle that ended on a cliffhanger. If you vote for Clinton, the Trump show gets cancelled, and you never get to see what would have happened.

That dark side won (though not a majority, apparently — now the Republicans will never agree to get rid of the electoral college). The Trump show has been renewed, and we’ll all be watching it — living it, really — for at least the next four years.

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