I have noticed lately that every fourth year is a lot longer than the intervening three. This is partially due to the fact that this is the leap year and therefore contains an extra day – February has the cheek to add an extra day even though it’s in the middle of winter – but the real reason this particular year is so incredibly long is that it happens to be the year when Americans elect their president. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of democracy and the idea of chucking your ballot into a box to say “good luck” to your chosen candidate and “bugger off” to the rest, but for some reason or other, the good people residing in the United States of America have decided to make this contest into a year-long event. This would not be so bad were it not for the fact that the rest of the world, containing 95% of the members of the human species, also decides to fill 95% of available space in their newspapers with speculation and analysis concerning the aforementioned American election. In contrast, the main (parliamentary) election in my own home country of Norway, home to almost 0.07% of the world’s population, has never generated as much as a comma in any foreign newspaper.
Now I am also, through this very blog, part of the world’s media, so it would seem foolish not to write about the election at all. As you may have noticed by now, the main topic of the blog is beer, which also happens to be the most wonderful and diverse drink on the planet. It has therefore surprised me very much that neither of the two main candidates have, as far as I can tell, ever mentioned what their policies are regarding the juice of the barley. It is therefore my duty, dear readers, to investigate this important issue, and to write about it.
I had no idea how to approach this task, so I basically googled “how should I approach this task”. Evidently, Google has some clever algorithms, because it simply suggested “google it”, which I really ought to have thought of myself. Anyway, having been enlightened, I proceeded to google “Trump beer” and “Clinton beer”.
Trump’s first google hit was that gay bars in Pennsylvania and Maryland have apparently decided to boycott Yuengling beer because of the brewery’s support for Trump – it seems that Yuengling has taken the step of actually endorsing Trump, and that this has caused a bit of a backlash amongst the drinkers who don’t share the brewery’s view on this matter. Next comes the story of a Chicago brewery not quite as fond of Trump that renamed some leftover beer they had “Chinga Tu Pelo”, which is Spanish and translates to “fuck you hair”. Nice.
Clinton’s results weren’t quite so interesting. She apparently went for a beer sometime in May to showcase the fantastic American craft brewing industry, and was pictured pretending to like some mysterious concoction that looked a bit like a chunk of black hole in a glass. The only other noteworthy hit on the first place was that someone had come up with the ultimate election night accessory – a Chillary Clinton Can Holder. What more could beer drinkers want whilst either celebrating or drowning their sorrows?
So there you have it – neither candidate has made a big effort to win the beer drinker’s vote, and neither seems to have spent much time in pubs drinking beer. Herein lies the problem, I think. The campaign will be remembered mostly for being the nastiest in democratic history, with each candidate spending most of the time telling the unfortunate voters what a terrible person the other candidate is. Beer drinkers don’t tend to act like that, mostly because we’re a sensible bunch, but also because we realize that there are more important things in life than politics, such as beer. In fact, I am convinced that televised political debates would be much less venomous, as well as much more fun, if they were conducted in a pub serving great beer. You only hear the truth from children and drunk people, they say, and I could imagine the debate ending after like the seventh pint when Clinton and Trump embrace and declare their love for one another whilst agreeing to move the White House to an old brewery in Wisconsin from where they will share the presidency and brew great beer. Then they would invite all the world leaders over for a giant beer festival where, simultaneously, no boring lager would be served and all the world’s problems would be solved.
On this optimistic (though perhaps ever so slightly unrealistic) note I shall wish you all a happy November 8th, regardless of which country you may reside in and whether you have the opportunity to vote today or not. Remember, though, that if you’re in the supermarket, the pub, or perhaps somewhere else where different beers are on offer, you can always vote for your favourite beer by exercising your power as a consumer. Vote and drink wisely, my friends! Cheers!