Rolling Stone Australia


Henry Rollins on How America Ended Up with Donald Trump


Henry Rollins on How America Ended Up with Donald Trump

The entire world watched in different shades of hilarity and horror as Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. With this extraordinarily less-than-capable man as leader, America is now a caricature in the grotesque.

Last month, Trump was the President-elect. He did his first press conference. I knew it was going to be bad but I had no idea it was going to devolve so quickly and completely. Through the cacophony of questions shouted by members of the media, Trump talked about himself in the third person, trashed Hillary Clinton, and never answered any question completely. He dodged, changed the subject and generally made a buffoon of himself. He even brought in members of his staff to cheer for him. At one point, Trump took a break and a lawyer read a statement about how the President-elect was not in conflict of interest with all of his companies. It was without question the most bizarre press/president experience I’ve ever seen.

I have tried but can find nothing redeeming about the new President of the United States besides that he is now the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of comedy. Humorists all over the world will have such a great time. In the real world, the U.S. and, in many ways, the rest of the world, is in for a rough ride.

You might wonder how the country that gave you Jimi Hendrix and the Stooges could possibly elect such a one man disaster. This is my theory. At least since the Reagan administration, there has been a concentrated effort to dumb down the citizenry of America. When your main sources of income are warfare and incarceration, you need an electorate that is perpetually hostile, undereducated and ready to engage.

Trump, or someone like him, becoming president was as inevitable as it was unavoidable. He is the proof that the country has not changed all that much since its earliest days. America has always been steeped in brutality, elitism and inequality, yet, by turns, great generosity, heroism and decency. As in any country, the citizens must take the good along with the bad, but beyond that they must actively seek to better themselves and by doing so, better those around them. This will be the test of the United States as it enters into one of its strangest chapters.

America is now one of those bad reality shows. This can happen to any country that puts profits ahead of all else. Don’t let this happen to Australia.

Henry Rollins' 'A Fan's Notes' column features monthly in the print edition of Rolling Stone Australia. This article is from issue #784 (March 2017), available now.


Topics: Henry Rollins   Donald Trump


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