- Norman Young
What (would have) Happened
Travel back in time with me to election night 2016 and consider an alternative history of that decisive moment. What would have happened if Hillary had won? This is an important question, don't you think? After all, how can we properly judge these last four years unless we put it in context by considering the alternative? Come with me back to...
...3 years, 358 days ago...
It’s election night, 2016. You’re tired from a day’s work. The television is tuned to a news channel and everything is progressing just as you expected it would. Talking heads have been saying for weeks that Hillary’s win is inevitable, so you’ve simply assumed that they must be correct. You know it takes forever for the final results to come in, and so you head to bed, confident that you already know the election outcome.
On your way to work the next morning, the radio confirms that the inevitable has happened: Hillary Clinton is now president of the United States. “Good for women,” you think to yourself in a humanitarian reverie. After a few minutes, however, you grow tired of hearing the term “historic” from the boring NPR host, and so you thump the radio knob. You wonder privately, “we put Obama in office for 8 years and ended up with riots in Ferguson—will Hillary’s presidency really do any good for women?”
Later that night, after work, you decide to turn on the news again. James Comey is waxing eloquent about “the integrity of the FBI” through the election process. As you start to doze off from boredom, you find yourself wondering about the guy standing behind Comey with a really creepy smile on his face. You’ll never know that the guy’s name is Peter Strzok. Nor do you care. That’s enough news for tonight.
...fast-forward one year…
A lot has happened. ABC cancelled its debut of Roseanne, one-upped by a FOX reboot of Married with Children. Bud Bundy is transgender now, apparently. It bothers you a little bit that this liberty was taken with a classic show you used to enjoy. But, you would never say so out loud, these days, when being labeled a “transphobe” could cost you your job. A conservative friend recently told you about the release of Trump’s new book, A Crooked Election, where Trump claims that the beloved Obama administration spied on his campaign. Nobody believes him, of course. Neither do you.
Lately, your wife has been super-excited about Hillary Clinton’s new social media campaign, called #MeToo, where female celebrities share stories about how they, too, have been empowered by her presidency. Ashley Judd, for example, recently tweeted this out:
Oh, and by the way, Weinstein would soon go on to win another Oscar.
...fast forward another year...
ISIS has carved out an “autonomous zone” in a substantial portion of Iraq and Syria. When protests erupted in Iran over high fuel prices, they were quickly stamped out by ayatollahs, and Hillary praised Khamenei for his exemplary leadership. Per the usual arrangement, Joe Biden was put in charge of Ukrainian affairs to “combat corruption.” While he always seemed like a nice guy, to you, you have found yourself wondering why Ukrainian corruption doesn't seem to improve on his watch. Israel is more isolated in the Middle East than ever before. Netanyahu petitioned America’s Congress for a third time to leave the Iran Nuclear Deal after Sunni powers increased anti-Israel hostilities in order to better deal with an empowered Iran.
Bill Clinton recently returned home from a speaking-tour with Prince Andrew where they advocated together for better Western relations with Turkey and Iran. Murmering soon began online about the fact that, during the tour, Bill’s private jet landed on Thomas Island, the private residence of Jeffrey Epstein. Hillary took to Twitter to denounce the rumors as part of a “vast, right-wing conspiracy.” She even resurrected a term that she coined on the 2016 campaign trail—“fake news”—to refer to the "ridiculous" anti-Clinton stories being pushed by alternative media sources. Big tech and social media mega-corporations eagerly joined forces with Hillary to stamp out the rumors. No hashtags with the word “Epstein” ever trended. No paintings of Bill in a dress ever saw the light of day.
...fast forward another year…
The country has been on full lockdown since March. No travel ban from Europe or China was implemented, so a surge of caronavirus cases swept across America at around the same time it spread in Italy. Google, Facebook, and Twitter scrubbed a photograph of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton in Chinatown from the internet, but you can remember their February campaign against anti-Asian bigotry like it was yesterday. Federal lockdown procedures were decided upon by a task force of Democratic governors brought to the White House by Clinton. After deciding upon Andrew Cuomo’s plan, millions of elderly Americans died under mandatory quarantine inside nursing homes across the country.
Hillary’s popularity suffered a bit, despite the 90% friendly media coverage from “objective” journalists like George Stephanopoulos. Several Democrats even floated the idea of launching a primary campaign against her, but were quickly shut down. Michael Bloomberg personally financed his own primary campaign, but was forced out when a dossier of unverified allegations against him surfaced at the FBI.
...okay, back to the present…
Whew! What a relief it is to come back to reality, am I right? And I didn't even mention the North Korean nuclear war, the demolition of the Jefferson Memorial, or the mandatory racial-bias training being implemented by the "1619 Project" at all Zoom elementary schools.
Now go cast your vote.