A quick disclaimer: this post is a joke (with minor The Selection spoilers), and I don’t actually believe that all of these dystopian futures will happen. (Although Donald Trump won a presidential election, so who knows?)
In all seriousness, I think that this election result speaks to harmful attitudes that are a real problem in Western society, and that’s not funny at all. I might be Canadian, but I can see those same problems in my own country, and this election outcome will definitely affect us.
That said: humour is my best coping mechanism when the situation hurts and is scary, and we all have to live each day, so. I hope this premise brings you the amusement it does me. (Also: these dystopias are probably present in more books than I’ve listed, but this list is just from my past year or so of reading remembrance.) (Also, if you need some cheering up, here are some women who made history in the election.)
Underwater (global warming) dystopia: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and A Thousand Pieces of You
Trump’s climate change policy is pretty terrible, but the US isn’t responsible for enough emissions for this to really come into effect. And the ozone layer has been doing better after the changes we’ve made, so even if he takes that as a challenge, the effect wouldn’t be instantaneous. So on this one, we have time to prepare. Everyone get your snorkel license and learn to pilot a submarine.
Bread and circuses and reality TV competitions to satiate the masses: The Hunger Games and The Selection
People have already been making this joke for a while.
2016: Trump won’t win.
2017: President Trump can’t do that, can he?
2018: You watching The Hunger Games tonight? I hope my District wins.
— Eric Smith (@ericsmithrocks) March 2, 2016
But seriously, I don’t think it would start with a Hunger Games. Maybe it would start with a show to hire staffers (because he’s going to get the best people in there, right?). Still, that’s just where it begins. Better get your strategy ready to outwit, outplay, outlast your fellow plebs.
Corrupt post-WWIII monarchy: The Selection
While I could see Trump both starting WWIII and using his personal wealth and influence to marry a kid into a royal family and create his own corrupt monarchy named after himself, it’s unlikely he could manage both in one generation without anyone noticing. Although it high-key feels as if he won the presidency without most of the country noticing, so why not?
Big Brother is watching: The Hunger Games and The Giver
I don’t think this fits with the demographic of people Trump appeals to; they generally want the government out of their business. But Trump is a mess of contradicting himself and people are already rising up to protest in droves, so who knows! This might be just the solution he’s looking for to MAGA. (Plus it’d totally complement a reality TV dystopia with plenty of daily clips.)
History is overwritten: The Giver
For this one, I have to borrow from 1984 a little more than The Giver does. The society in The Giver has gradually overwritten history to create “sameness,” but 1984 overwrites to an extreme, where realities of global politics are rewritten from day to day by the government, and buy-in is enforced by everyone. This is already part of Trump’s whole campaign. He can deny something he said even a couple of days ago, and there are many who will work to justify this behaviour and enact his version of reality. (I mean, Pence’s whole stance in the VP debate was basically to ignore that Trump was the source of any controversy while Kaine increasingly freaked out at the reality-dodging.) So this is already happening. Yay?
Caste system: The Selection and Red Rising
Unlikely that this will become explicit, but cutting taxes will overwhelmingly benefit those at the top, while those at the bottom will receive pitiful returns (and may watch their healthcare and other social safety nets drift away into the wind). We won’t see the castes named, but the divisions between people have become more clear over the course of this campaign. And certainly we women have been reminded of our place as sexual objects, am I right?
Continental coalitions: Cinder
Given Brexit (unrelated, but also a trash fire) and Trump’s dislike of NAFTA and enmity towards Mexico (and international organizations of allies like NATO), we’ll be looking at a more fractured world, not a more united one. But to be fair, Cinder also takes place in a post-WWIII dystopia. Trump has to start that first before we know how the dust will settle. Maybe Russia will annex us!
Again, in all seriousness, I hope you’re doing okay out there post-election, America. Best of luck (and please don’t let your new POTUS bomb us) from Canada, eh? And for my Canadian friends, it might be disappointing how blandly diplomatic our PM has been about Trump’s success or that we’ve got a contender for party leadership who wants to “deliver Trump’s message”, but there’s always this epic subtweet from election night:
In Canada, immigrants are encouraged to bring their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens. pic.twitter.com/MOuStZbSX7
— Canada (@Canada) November 9, 2016
In any case: we’ll be back to Top Ten Tuesday and books-sans-politics next week. Thanks for tuning in!