So Donald Trump won the US elections, and predictably everyone is freaking out. However, as usual nobody’s asking the really big question, the kind of question that in this day and age you can only see answered properly on Kpopalypse blog – what does a Trump victory really mean for k-pop? Read on to find out!
I wasn’t 100% sure that Trump would win, but I knew right from the start that a Hillary vs Trump battle would be close as fuck and that it could easily go either way, and however you Americans voted, I can’t blame you as it wasn’t an easy choice. On one side you’ve got the moronic circus clown who really doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing, and on the other side you’ve got the crazy warmongering hawk who knows what she’s doing just a little too well for comfort. For anyone who wants a pretty good breakdown of why Trump’s victory happened, I recommend the explanations offered by Blaire White and Jonathan Pie who both have fairly contrasting political views yet came to very similar conclusions. Clicking the links will certainly save me from explaining it all to anyone curious, which is great, because I don’t really want to write about it, it’s been done to death all over the Internet.
This blog instead will cover something far more interesting, which is Trump’s policy positions and the possible effects on the world of k-pop. What does Donald Trump’s stances on popular issues mean for you as a k-pop fan? Will you be affected positively or negatively, or not at all? Time to speculate pointlessly about it and waste your life worrying about something you can’t change… sorry, I mean, time to find out and have lots of fun reading this post! Yay!
Note that this is NOT a list of what I think about Trump’s policies (because nobody cares), but how these policies (if enacted) might affect k-pop and k-pop fans. So we’re going to leave boring-as-fuck moralising and “are these policies right or wrong” completely out of the equation, because you can decide that stuff for yourself. Instead we’ll just focus on the policies themselves and possible outcomes of nine different facets of the proposed Trump platform.
Donald Trump wants to impose steep tariffs on Chinese imports, a “protectionist” policy which is unusual for a Republican candidate. Chinese tariffs is an interesting concept when you consider the sheer volume of shit that the USA imports from China and how that will all now increase in price as the cost of the Chinese tarriff is passed onto the consumer. Assuming that this goes through as Trump intends, people in the USA who like their k-pop as a physical product will find that the cost increases depending on where they buy it. Those crazily flamboyant k-pop album sleeves that we all love are mostly made in China, however the products are then usually shipped to Korea first. Assuming that the tariff applies to online sales which is how most people buy their physical k-pop, if you’re buying from a Korean online retailer you’ll now get a better price than if you buy from a Chinese online retailer. That is, if you can even afford to buy k-pop stuff at all after having to pay for tariffs on your clothing, stationery, shoes, phones, whitegoods, computer peripherals, TVs, and all the other pointless shit you’ve become addicted to buying cheaply over the years thanks to the Chinese whipping their workers to make it all for you on the cheap. Of course k-pop fans in countries other than the USA won’t be affected by this and will laugh it up while buying all the cheap Chinese shit instead. To confuse things even more, Donald Trump also plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal specifically set up to create global trade competition with China, which means that the cheap labour-exploiting shit in China probably isn’t going to be replaced by cheap labour-exploiting shit from some other country anytime soon.
USA fans buying physical product – worse off
BUILDING A WALL
Speaking of Chinese, they’re have lots of experience in wall-building so rather than hiking their import tariffs, perhaps Trump should consider hiring their workers for his planned wall on the USA/Mexico border. Nobody knows yet what Trump’s wall is actually going to look like, but the Chinese probably have a few ideas and could help. Imagine a long line of sexy stone pillars stretching across the American continent, decked out with huge murals of T-ara, China’s favourite k-pop girl group. Large paintings of Jiyeon’s cyclopean beams that stretch kilometres may be the first k-pop-related artwork to be visible from planetary orbit. This could actually improve Mexico/USA relations as more Mexicans become thankful to the USA for helping them discover T-ara, which would also then increase the flow of income back into Korea and T-ara’s pockets, improving the health of k-pop overall.
Mexican k-pop fans – health improvement
T-ara/MBK Entertainment artists – health improvement
Donald Trump wants to stop all Muslim immigration to the USA, or so he says, although I can’t think of a more easy-to-circumvent immigration control, after all how is anyone going to prove that you didn’t convert from Islam to some other religion a week before applying for your US visa. Be that as it may, a lot of Muslims however are k-pop fans, as k-pop’s less-risque approach to pop music visuals is a little bit friendlier to the values of conservative religions than Miley Cyrus swinging nude on a wrecking ball or Nicki Minaj twerking, etc. This has been one of k-pop’s strengths globally – the hiding of most of the sexuality in k-pop behind coyness and dog-whistle messages gives it the ability to be exported to highly religious countries, providing much-needed fap material for cultures that face a fap-deficit (at least on the surface). Trump’s planned barring of the USA from new Muslims entering means that (presuming it works as intended) the concentration of k-pop fans in the USA isn’t likely to increase in numbers through immigration large enough to allow k-pop to break through into the commercial pop sphere in a big way. East Asian immigration to the USA is still quite small and won’t bring in the numbers alone to crack open the world’s biggest music market for k-pop. This might frustrate attempts by hopefuls such as CL to crack the USA market who already has an uphill battle with some of the k-pop fandom’s more psychotic religious bullies (who in a unique twist of behaviour for religious types actually want people to stop using shithouse religious songs in their music). It won’t affect the overall number of people consuming the music globally however, Muslims will just continue to access k-pop wherever they happen to be just like anybody. This change is therefore ultimately only likely to affect YG.
CL/YG Entertainment artists – worse off
Donald Trump is a climate change skeptic, who has even said (supposedly in jest) that’s it’s all a Chinese conspiracy to stop US economic development, despite the fact that the first government that took climate change seriously as a political issue was not some hippies or Chinese communists but actually the conservative republican Reagan and Bush administrations of the 1980 and 1990s. However with weather predicted almost universally by climate scientists to get both hotter and wetter over the coming decades, k-pop fappers are a clear winner as idol groups both male and female will also get hotter and wetter, stripping down to minimal clothing to beat the hot, muggy global conditions. Trump’s policies are highly unlikely to change this predicted course and may in fact exacerbate it if he stays true to his campaign rhetoric, meaning that there will be many more fancams and faps to be had. The only question remaining will be whether rising sea levels will be able to drown k-pop fans faster than their own genital discharges.
K-pop fappers – health improvement
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
There’s no doubt that a lot of Trump’s supporters hoped that he would be an advocate of freedom of speech and someone who would stand strongly against PC language-policing, and it’s easy to see how someone would form that impression from watching his campaign rallies. However this “freedom” appears to only manifest so far as freedom of speech for Donald Trump himself, and anyone who agrees with Donald Trump’s platforms and positions. Trump has mentioned that he believes censorship would help fight domestic terrorism and would even like to punish journalists who say nasty things about him – who knew that he was so sensitive? This is hardly the behaviour of a free speech advocate and actually means that in practice he has more in common with the PC language police than he or his followers would like to admit. Trump’s own brand of language policing is probably just going to see Trump’s fans and haters play a tit-for-tat language/culture war where behind the rhetoric they police each other about equally. This heightened language/cultural-tension means that the next time your favourite k-pop idol sings along to some American rap record where every second word is something supposedly offensive, expect them to get even more crucified than ever. The silver lining might be that perhaps the outrage will gradually filter back to Korea and idols may become scared to cornily recreate the stupidity of American slang for fear of offending sensitive Americans who think that the entire world revolves around their crappy culture, finally killing Korean pop’s “yolo fever”.
Idols who enjoy sounding like Americans – worse off
Music fans who don’t enjoy idols who enjoy sounding like Americans – health improvement
Donald Trump has surprised many pundits who misunderstood his intentions and come out strongly in favour of LGBTIQXYZ rights, even advising that legal same-sex marriage is a “done deal” that he has no plans to attempt to change. (Even his VP Pence isn’t as anti-gay as hyped.) K-pop idols who are oppressed for their sexuality in their home country such as Super Junior’s Siwon may therefore seek refuge in the United States as a safe haven of acceptance and tolerance of their LGBTIQXYZ lifestyles. This will give American fangirls greater access to their gay idols and increase the likeihood of them getting their dreams crushed as they realise after the 256th menstrual pad slid under the dormitory door has no effect that oppa will not “turn straight” for them.
Cray-cray fangirls – health improvement (eventually)
Donald Trump is “pro-life” which really is just a virtue-signalling reconfiguration of the term “anti-abortion”, and plans to make it more difficult for people to get legal abortions. This of course won’t decrease the amount of abortions, just the amount of legal abortions, as underground DIY home abortion doctors as a black-market cottage industry in the USA see a resurgence to their pre-1970s levels and shares in metal coat hangers skyrocket. Those wanting to terminate pregnancies may attempt to move to states where abortion is legal, however fangirls attempting to get pregnant via oppa’s DNA-infused merchandise may attempt to move to states where abortion is illegal as an extra defence against parental pressure once mum and dad realise what they did with that U-Kiss necklace. There’s a fanfiction in this somewhere.
Nugu-forever groups selling their DNA for a fast buck – health improvement
Parents of cray-cray fangirls – worse off
Donald Trump is pro-gun so don’t expect any gun control attempts in America anytime soon. Mind you, even Americans who are anti-gun are still pro-gun compared to pro-gun people in most other countries, and that includes nervous k-pop idols on international tours who may cancel events if they hear that someone somewhere near the gig might have access to a gun at some point. If there’s one thing scarier than a BTS fan, it’s a BTS fan who takes their fandom name “A.R.M.Y.” a little too literally, and it’s only a matter of time before an incident like the one that killed Christina Grimmie happens at a k-pop fansigning.
K-pop artists touring the USA and expecting to come out alive – worse off
Although he isn’t as openly bloodthirsty on the world stage as Hillary Clinton (which admittedly would be extremely fucking difficult), Donald Trump has promised to increase the USA’s military spending. However he also seems interested in pursuing a policy which is less focused on global policing and more entrepreneurial, which I guess is to be expected from someone with a business rather than a political background. Trump is reluctant to support the European NATO alliance if the other parties don’t cough up their required chunk of military spending, and also wishes to withdraw forces from other countries that aren’t paying a premium to keep US forces around, including South Korea. The withdrawing of South Korea’s “defence welfare” might mean that South Korea may have to recruit even more idols into military service to bolster their defence ranks against the North, and maybe even expand the time period of mandatory military service. Expect oppa to be away for longer, catch more bullets, and generally look sexier in military gear, but produce less music and maybe also be dead. If I’m really lucky, mandatory conscription will also start being applied to female idols who will also get to look hot in uniform in more contexts than just reality TV shows – or if not, they’ll at least probably perform for the troops more.
Fans who wish oppa would come home sooner – worse off
Fans who want to fap to idols doing military stuff – health improvement
Now you all know exactly how fucked you and your favourite idols might be for the next four years! More Kpopalypse posts coming soon, and don’t forget to have fun and listen to k-pop while you still can!