I love to write. But there are many nights I hate being an activist and writing this blog. Like so many of you, I was horrified and sickened in November of 2016 and had to do something to resist the presidency of a man I knew, long before he ran for president, was a sleazebag and a liar and a con-artist and a phony. Little did I know his election would turn into a three-going-on-four-year personal detour. Aside from the many hours spent meeting with other activists, conference-calling, organizing, strategizing, promoting, photo-shopping, posting, and protesting, I try to write this blog every night. Decent writing takes time and focus (I hope this blog is at least decently written) and thus the blog has robbed significant energy and time from my other writing projects, as well as my life. I stick with it because it lets me vent the daily anxiety and horror caused by the actions of the Trump regime, and because I hope the blog keeps a few other people in our district engaged, motivated, and aware of what it will take to beat Trump. But even being a news junkie, it’s not easy to come up with a new angle every day while avoiding repetition and keeping the topics fresh. And it’s not easy to hold my attention on such a toxic and nauseating administration headed by such a vile and malignant man. There are times I feel like my efforts are futile and I’m the only one whose life has been so distorted by the Trump debacle.
But then I run across articles like “Trump’s Tax on the National Psyche” by Matt Ford in the New Republic, and I feel better. It’s subtitle:
The corruption and incompetence of this administration has led to a grotesque theft of Americans’ precious time and energy.
Ford goes on to write:
One poll taken shortly after Trump became president found that nearly six in ten Americans thought 2017 was the lowest point in living American memory, surpassing the Vietnam War and the September 11, 2001 attacks. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats said they were stressed about the nation’s future, a view shared by clear majorities of Republicans and independents as well.
Ford’s article was referenced in another article on the same topic by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate entitled “The Demoralizing Reality of Life Under Trump: Every day is the same, but still awful.” She writes this about the Trump presidency:
The actual psychic toll on our mental health is crippling. The lost sleep, the grinding anxiety, the escalating fears don’t just represent squandered time. They start to chip away at your health and at your soul. The healthy response would be to tune it out altogether, but since actual people are actually suffering the brutal consequences, we cannot. And so here we are back in the narcissist’s loop, fueling his need to be at the center because, well, there he is at the center.
She goes on to conclude that:
…the real jeopardy of authoritarianism starts with fatigue. Moral seriousness seems to require being aware enough of the chaos everywhere that you accept being punched in the mouth with it every day.
It’s at least consoling that there are many other people out there distressed and distracted by this grotesque administration. It’s the ongoing anxiety that we have to make some sort of peace with in order to continue resisting Trump. Because if he gets another term, all bets are off. Who knows how much lower our nation will sink. Hell, it’s not even certain that we can recover from Trump’s first four years, assuming we can vote him out and actually get him to step down. But we have to try. We owe it to the generations before us that have sacrificed so much, and we owe it to the generations to come whose lives will be much diminished if we fail. Just know that if the Trump presidency makes you feel like shit, you’re not alone.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”