For the first few years after my divorce in 2001, I considered blind dates as cherished as Christmas presents. So what if she wasn’t the one? And so what if she ate her beans one a time? And so what if her left ear was a hair lower than her right? And so what if and if and if . . . I still enjoyed going out with someone I knew nothing about, then a weak later, repeat.
The straw that crushed the blind-dating scene’s back for me made its appearance when a woman told me there was another one of her, in an alternate universe, but she visits occasionally to chitchat. Check please!
I stopped going on blind dates for a few years, until a friend insisted I had to meet this woman.
“But I don’t do blind dates,” I gently told my friend. She and her husband had tried to set me up before.
“Karim, she is amazing! We don’t know a whole lot about her, but you have to look at this,” my friend said, showing me a picture.
“No thank you . . . seriously, but I don’t . . .” my words halted in midair like they were tied to a Pyramid. I stared at the most beautiful woman ever. The eyes, the lips, the cheeks, the hair, all qualified her to be a cover model.
“She’s also smart, has a PHD in something,” my friend said.
I was sold.
When the cover model walked into the restaurant, the place hushed. To say she was gorgeous was like saying the earth rotates around the sun, or at the moment had stopped rotating. She sat down and we began to chat over a glass of wine. I asked where she was from and what she did for a living, and she did the same. It was a lovely two-way conversation. When I mentioned the fact I was a writer, she asked for whom. I named a few media outlets including the Huffington Post. When she made a face, I raised my eyebrows questioningly.
“So you’re liberal; I happen to be a fascist,” she declared, with eyes proud and strong, and determined lips I knew right then I’d never taste.
I was in disbelief. For someone to be a fascist is one thing, but to admit it like it’s an award you won for a good deed is another. She wasn’t just a fascist, she was damned proud to be one.
The Italian thing of beauty I was dining with had me puzzled. I did know that Mussolini was also Italian, but seriously?
“You realize you’re an immigrant yourself?” I managed, with much difficulty, to utter.
She smiled, shrugging her pretty shoulders as if to say, “You’re never gonna touch these.”
I recognized that I had been on this earth for fifty-one years without anyone admitting they were a fascist. I was sure there had been a few, but saying it out loud at a restaurant, on a first date . . . that was a bit, or a lot, much.
She asked if I knew what fascism was, then continued to tell me the whole world needs to embrace her ideology. “We need more leaders like Trump,” she added.
That was when it hit me: The Trumpification of America and the world is official.
It is now accepted, recognized, and even cordial to say you’re a fascist, a white supremacist, a nationalist, a populist, a totalitarian, an autocrat, or an authoritarian. It is all right to say you prefer one race over the other.
Ten years ago, and other than the KKK, all that was in the closet, or so I thought.
Now it’s a prideful moment to have voted for Trump, and to belong to the Trump movement: a sick combination of ideologies that protects the rich and abandons the marginalized, the poor, the immigrants, or anyone who is different.
Speaking of different races, there is a direct correlation between the skin color of humans and the amount of Ultra Violet Radiation, UVR, they receive. People who live in places closer to the equator are more likely to have darker pigmentation than those in the Northern and Southern ends of this tiny planet we call home.
Don’t take me wrong – I am all for free speech. I adore living in a country where I can say what I think and not end up in a dungeon. But does free speech give someone the right to discriminate against others?
Does free speech give one the right to empower the superior while purging society from the inferior?
Does free speech, as George Orwell stated in 1984, give any the right to be bullies?
Does free speech mean only the fittest should survive?
Does free speech mean tyranny and oppression and dictatorship and autocracy should overcome democracy?
And finally, does free speech mean the movement Hitler loved will continue growing?
My blind date and I did order dessert that night, mainly because I wanted to dig deeper and discover the “why.” What I found out was more curious than the reason itself.
The “why” didn’t matter, but the fact she was proud of it did.
I left that night without a goodnight kiss, but with one more definition for a word I have come to despise:
Trumpification: when exercising your will to hate others becomes a good thing.
For more, visit The Huffington Post