Japan Trump Biden 2020

Election 2020: Japan’s Trump

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has just won the 2020 American presidential election.

3 weeks after I landed on the Japanese archipelago in early 2020, I met a friend for life. Kazushi was a tall, worldly man, well-traveled with a linguistic toolbox that could flatten you with a thousand unprecedented phrases. Kazushi filters the English language through his big-brain Japanese lens in a way that makes you think of painters globbing over an old rotoscoped movie reel like American Pop or A Scanner Darkly.

Kazushi spoke highly of Donald Trump! He was also able to go into detail about Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Mayor Pete, the Democratic Party’s superdelegate question, libertarianism and third party candidates, and just about anything else under the Western, American sun. Kazushi loves Bob Dylan. He loves The Beatles.

Several things shocked me about this.

Firstly, how the fuck does he know so much about the politics of my country that we could have a deep discussion about it without me thinking that I had to, even once, explain or lecture?

Secondly, Kazushi is a fairly liberal-minded individual. So why did he seem to prefer Trump?

The answer is in international geopolitics. Trump is good for Japan, because Trump is bad for China. And it turns out that a lot of Japanese people feel the same.

Kazushi was able to express his opinion and reasoning behind it. I understand his point of view and respect his opinion. Kazushi was also humble and polite about his opinion. Speaking with him was a pleasure; moreover, it was an enlightening experience.

Domestically, Donald put a lot of stress on America’s Democratic system.

I’ve heard it said that Donald was a symptom of problems we already had, but not the cause. I’m not so sure about that. Even if he wasn’t the cause, he actively exacerbated small problems. Technology was his facilitator.

I’m talking big tech, like, say, Youtube algorithms. In other words, things weren’t so bad until everyone became convinced about how bad things were. And people started getting convinced right around the time that technology started putting on its big boy pants.

But if we go back a couple of decades, we can trace this partisanship to a fracture in partisan journalism.

In the 1990s, journalism fractured. Fox News realized it could pander to a base. In time, competition solidified on the left as well (CBS, MSNBC). The situation only got worse after 9/11.

Speaking of the 1990s, Ross Perot was (and remains) an interesting figure. He saw the corruption, the inconsistencies, and the incompetence of Washington. Voters rewarded his honesty and straightforwardness with a large allotment of votes.

While waiting for the results from the Trump/Biden election to come in, I watched this debate on Youtube. If you have the time, I recommend doing the same.

Here is why I watched the video: it seemed like 2020 Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and whatever the fuck other states would never make up their minds. So I found this video and harkened back to a simpler time.

One thing you notice in this video is that no one is cutting anyone else off. All three debaters are allowing each other the respect they deserve. Wow.

When I watch this debate, I find myself wishing Perot had won. It’s like watching a movie, but your friend shared spoilers, and you saw, but you decide to watch the film anyway. Perot’s rhetoric is clear, informed, and meaningful. Clinton and Bush are clearly full of shit.

What’s both scary and interesting is how similar Perot’s message is to Trump’s. If you were to remove the stability of character, trustworthiness, and sincerity of Ross Perot, you might just be left with a Donald Trump stump speech.

No, it’s not that simple. There are other differences, especially socially, as in racism. But there are stark similarities. Maybe some people are mad about Perot, even unconsciously. Maybe they are chasing the dragon, and Donald Trump has been Ross Perot’s ghost.

At any rate, Kazushi was not the only Japanese person who expressed a desire for Trump to be reelected. Across the board, young and old people in Tokyo have told me that they hope Donald Trump wins. All I can tell them is I’m happy they weren’t able to vote.

Sometimes, if I am good enough friends with my Japanese interlocutor, I also take a moment to poke fun at Shinzo Abe. What a maroon. At least Americans can vote. Japanese prime ministers are fucking appointed.

Then again, at least Japanese society functions cleanly.

This article is anecdotal. Formulate opinions responsibly.

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