It has mine. You see, I had a nice little list of fun people all lined up on my Twitter feed prior to the US election thing, and then, over the next few months, I found myself reading nothing but accusations of racism, white supremacy, Nazism, transphobia, misogyny, rape, child porn, Pizzagate, Pepegate, Pussysnatchgate, etc to the point that I’ve had enough altogether. Oh, and media from each side accusing the other of being fake news, liberals berating everything else for putting Trump’s rump on the throne, Barron Trump is apparently going to be a serial killer soon, and most of Hollywood come out to tell everyone else that they too are like everyone else, and Madonna and Ashley Judd are going to usher in a new millennium of love and peace, if only those hateful white men aren’t holding their heads down and oppressing even them. Oh, and Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter – I don’t know what matters anymore, to be honest.
I hoped that after the inauguration, people would calm down. No, it’s still the same thing. With Trump in power, America is now a tyranny. If you listen to them, Trump will line up all non-white non-straight people in the lawn of the White House and has a tank run over these people. White males will start raping all women on the street, pulling off hijabs of piteously weeping Muslim women as these white male scums kick those women’s innocent trans babies to death. Democracy will be overruled because President Trump somehow cheated his way to Presidency, and by 2018, America will be a nation comprising only of white straight men, as everyone else would have been sent to concentration camps, shot down by Barron from the top of a clock tower, forcibly pressed into Trump Tower’s harem wing, or walled away in Mexico.
The previous paragraph would seem like nonsense that even the most extreme far-right or far-left side would recognize as hyperbole, but trust me, that’s the thing I see being Tweeted with utter seriousness every day, so much so that I begin to un-follow the people on my Facebook and Twitter friends list, one by one, until I have probably only three people left on the list.
Now, I am living in a country where the government is very obviously corrupt. I live in a country where racism is legitimized, to the point that you can only get government handouts, contracts, etc is if you are of the right skin color or you pay a hefty amount of under table money. I live in a country where Islam is the dominant religion, and trust me when I say that the happy Islam espoused by Americans, where everyone is fair and given equal treatment, is nothing like Islam interpreted by actual religious fundamentalists. Malaysia is still considered somewhat a moderate Muslim country, but the states run by the more fundamentalist Islamic leaders have already implemented segregation by sexes in public venues, public transport, and more. Anything considered un-Islamic is banned or subjugated heavily, to the point that the government skirts very closely to denying people of other races and religions their fundamental rights. And no, trans people are not allowed to change their sex on their documents, even after surgery, and the Muslim religious authorities will persecute them if they come out to the public. What is worrying is that, right now, they are pushing for even greater shariah law in the country – right down to stoning women and cutting off hands – and the central government, besieged by plummeting public support, allies with these fundamentalists to bolster its own power.
So, when I see Americans screaming that America is never great, or is no longer great, because white people will kill everyone else with Trump’s approval, I can only roll up my eyes. These people have clearly never lived in a situation where their rights are actually in danger of being taken away from them. I mean, I would hesitate to call Malaysia terrible myself, because when compared to some other countries, it’s still better. But there are very few countries in the world that let members of the minority and LGBT+ people enjoy as much freedom as they currently do in America. So for them to start acting like that, and breaking windows, burning cars, and generally acting like violent spoiled children – oh spare me the tears and temper tantrum. Get angry, yes, but spare me the hyperbole. Have these Americans so little faith in their country that they think Trump can easily turn the country overnight into his personal Auschwitz paradise? Is the US constitution so easily broken? I hope not, because if the answers to these questions are yes, then the rest of the world are totally screwed.
So yes, criticize Trump, loathe him, hate him. But surely, there’s a way to do this without acting like loons that fling hyperbole rarely backed by evidence? And it’s not just Americans. Everyone in the world just keeps parroting the same boring hyperbole. “I’m so scared for the Muslims in the US now that Trump is in charge!” they would go, and well, here’s my eye roll to such insincere, irrational virtue signalling. The whole thing is dreary and tedious, and worst, it seeps into outlets that have nothing to do with politics, so there is hardly any escape from it.
At any rate, my social media life these days are mostly on YouTube and Pinterest, because I can’t take much of Twitter and Facebook anymore. Anyone else have the same problem?