On paying attention

Megan Garber over at the Atlantic recaps the recent South Park episode (s19e2), which manages to address both immigration and the current rise of Donald Trump —

Here, though, is the heart of the episode—the scene that distills all the satire into one political message. One of South Park’s Canadian immigrants—who are also, it’s becoming clear, Canadian refugees—explains over a dinner of poutine and pie how President Trump happened. And, by extension, how Canada met its dystopian fate.

Holding back tears, the well-dressed refugee recalls,

“There were several candidates during the Canadian elections. One of them was this brash asshole who just spoke his mind. He didn’t really offer any solutions, he just said outrageous things. We thought it was funny.”

His wife sobs, hugging her young son.

He continues:

“Nobody ever thought he’d be president! It was a joke! We just let the joke go on for too long. He kept gaining momentum, and by the time we were all ready to say, ‘Okay, let’s get serious now, who should really be president?’ he was already being sworn into office. We weren’t paying attention! We weren’t paying attention!”

He breaks down, weeping. The whole family weeps. Everyone weeps.