I will admit (if you promise not to hold it against me) to watching a few seasons of The Apprentice. And even getting a bit of a thrill visiting the Tiffany Store in Trump Towers in New York. A moment of two of thinking Ivanka had her shit together (and while Ivanka and I may have nothing in common, I am still trying to not hold her father against her).
That was then. Before I ever imagined how bad, how confusing, how downright weird this election could be.
Before I found myself talking about him every day. Every single day. Sometimes with fear, always with puzzlement.
Before I believed he was dangerous.
My mind wanders to a day when he could be our President. Can I simply close my eyes and ears for four years? Will I have to move to Canada? I could go on a world tour to make sure everyone I meet knows he doesn’t really stand for America. Or should I stay and fight for what I know is right, just, good and kind, here at home?
I knew I was in trouble when halfway through Season Four House of Cards I thought, “Maybe Frank Underwood isn’t so awful after all. At least we know what kind of evil he is.”
Trump, and the hatred he cultivates, scares the heck out of me. I am am obsessed. I am in a Trumpression. Yes, it’s related to depression, and certainly to regression. And coincidentally, rhyming with oppression and aggression…it’s a thing, I tell you.
I have tried to stay away from the debates and declare our home a debate free zone. But somehow after reading a few tweets, I turn on the TV and get sucked right in. Steve listens while he reads the live commentary from the New York Times, I follow along on Twitter, and we report to each other. I am embarrassed to admit how often we do this. Shall I admit that we have even done it at the dinner table?
But we can’t help it. We care about the outcome. And we’re trying to figure it all out.
I have tried to imagine how angry, hurt, and afraid someone, thousands of someones, must feel to seek Trump as a solution. How confusing it must be for the media outlets to know how to cover him, to expose the truth, without pandering to him. Many, many times a day I click from my work documents to the news, hoping that the headline will say “Trump resigns, says it was all a publicity stunt.”
I’ve wondered how I can possibly survive the next nine months of this. Sometimes it feels futile, and I am already tired of it. I don’t feel energized about fighting it, and I am afraid to ignore it. It feels like a no win situation.
As my friend Dave (and my dad repeated a few days later) said, “300 million people, and we can’t come up with two great candidates?”
Evidently not, Dave.
So I continue to read everything I can find in every paper and internet site*, looking for an explanation out of this. Yesterday I thought that perhaps we could let him be President for a week (without access to the nuclear button or the Supreme Court), and surely he would be bored after a few days. He could go back to his reality TV world, and leave our reality alone.
After this weekend’s chaotic protests I realized I shouldn’t put my new “Love Trumps All” bumper sticker on my car. I would wear it on a button, where I can defend myself, but my car would be in danger with an anti-Trump message.
I don’t want to give up hope. And I don’t want my friends who are Republicans to give up. I can imagine them not voting for Trump, but also never voting for Hillary. They would sit out this election, rather than cast a ballot for either of them.
Steve said, “I want to believe that America is full of good people, who can see the big picture, and will do the right thing.”
We’re in a Trumpression my friends. What are we going to do about it?
Last week I wrote about Donald Trump here. I’m probably not going to stop. *My go to sources are the New York Times, Slate, Salon, The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo, The Daily Kos, BBC, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, CNN, NPR, The Sacramento Bee, Capital Public Radio, and John Oliver. Maybe I should cut back?
The photo above is a compilation of graphics from Time Magazine and the Sunday NY Times.