How to navigate—and defeat—the presidential horror show
Recently my husband and I talked about what the next four years will bring, and the threat of nuclear annihilation; you know, lighthearted stuff. Like everyone else, the crappy place we’ve found ourselves in takes up a lot of my brain space. As Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches, I have a ways to go to put this in perspective, but I’ve managed to make sense of a few things so far.
While Trump is unprecedented in terms of mental instability and moral bankruptcy, living under a president I find disappointing is nothing new. The problem is that eight years of a rational actor has spoiled me, and going back to the old way feels like being plucked from a healthy, supportive family and placed with a group of serial abusers.
The first presidential election I was old enough to understand involved the re-election of Ronald Reagan, who, at that point, had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. After that was a series of Bush administrations, with the exception of a decent Clinton interlude marred by Bill’s bad behavior.
These past eight years under President Barack Obama made us complacent, which can’t happen again.
Surviving this means being kind to one another and supporting groups and institutions that will make a difference.
With that in mind, subscribe to media sources that fact check their news. Journalism is expensive, and ensuring smart people can focus their time and energy on the truth right now is invaluable.
Or, if you’re looking for other ways to spend your money wisely, donate to the likes of Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union—they all need your help.
Also, be sure to Google things before you share them online, being careful not to reinforce your biases. I’m still seeing so much “news” being shared that is either questionable or just blatantly false. I know it feels good but it’s also dividing us. We have such a beautiful and easy research tool at our disposal. Use it.
If it all feels overwhelming then think about this: On NPR the other day, I heard someone say the Democrats have a head wound while the GOP has a terminal disease. I believe this; young people are increasingly liberal, and as this horror show progresses the GOP is putting itself in a box that it may well not climb out of.
As the next four years unfold, calling your elected representatives, volunteering and engaging in our system of government will be vital and will (excluding nuclear annihilation) make us stronger in the long run.
Unfortunately, it is my belief that Americans on the whole don’t want to be bothered. Though we’ve suffered and will continue to suffer through myriad social and economic challenges, we haven’t had a draft since the 1970s. If the Donald really pushes and jeopardizes American safety, however, the shit will hit the fan.
Speaking of the big D, I wonder how long before Americans start tuning out his personality? We need to watch what he does—not what he says, no matter how shocking. Not only do Americans not want their safety threatened, they also don’t have the attention span to focus on anyone for four years. There’s no such thing as being consistently outrageous, I don’t care who you are, Donald Trump included.
To my politico friends: I would love someone to weigh in on what happens when a president tweets whatever the fuck he wants whenever he wants. Our system of government is only effective to the degree that it works. When the president says whatever, whenever and politicians have to react, then what? Even the past GOP administrations were led by statesmen experienced enough to not run their mouths and kick up conflict before they even took office.
Finally, on a related note, even though I’m not taking my own advice, a social media diet is in order. Especially before bed.
I also don’t recommend watching A Boy and His Dog at any point in the next four years, no matter who recommends it to you.