Since November 9th I’ve lost my damn mind more than twice a day.
Usually three of four. Sometimes five.
Usually I lose my damn mind driving to work when I have to hear nothing but Trump news on BOTH NPR stations and then more Trump news alluded to on the other eight stations I flip between.
During the day I hear a series of fearful “telephone game” questions about immigration, education, war, and health care or did-you-hear comments either from my high school students or coworkers, who are also in the same state of I-cant-believe-this-shit-is-real shock.
My wife—the amazing political nerd she is—always has fresh news to report, and is often my own personal breaking news report before BREAKING NEWS takes over the networks.
And these days, most of it is actual BREAKING NEWS.
If I make it to after-work drive-time radio without hearing something so damn awful about you-know-who, I’m good. But that only happens once or twice a week. Actually every day there’s something new to feel sick about—a damn tweet, a damn possible scandal, a damn not-very-Presidential comment—we now have to put up with this shit.
Every. Damn. Day.
I’m beginning to understand why the Bizarro versions of me hated Obama so much: Obama is and was the model of statesmanship, humility, and nobility, and now we have a used car salesman who is going to run the games that run the world.
There was one day I forgot about it until roughly 2:45 p.m.
For someone who hates the media, he’s been on television and radio every day since 2015.
For someone who hates liars, Vox reports, he lies every five minutes.
For the whitey white voters who wanted Hope and Change in 2008 and 2012 and then changed sides to become red hat people, he’s really “their” president if you pay close enough attention.
He’s not in it for me.
Me. Literally, me. He’ll block me or disavow me or marginalize me in an instant—it doesn’t matter that I’m an American, patriot, or paying attention—he’s done it to everyone from Congressman John Lewis to Alec Baldwin to Meryl Streep to kids on Chicago streets to whole sections of America that “have nothing to lose” by voting for him.
“Slash and burn” always works, right?
But I’ve resigned to the idea that we’re all just Matrix slaves in a post-apocalyptic hellscape where we’re tricked into contemplating Kobayashi Maru riddles using the following leadership model:
- Anything I say is true
- Anything I lie or fib about, mislead with, misrepresent, or slightly embellish can be explained away or accepted into the record as true after I say it
- Anything I do is above reproach and I never ask for forgiveness or admit wrongdoing
- Anything I say or do I can simply say I didn’t say or do (even though proof or facts are real things, but only for my side, which is the right side, you’ll see)
- Anything I say or do can be justified even by the harshest of my former party critics—and all those party-line politicos will gladly eat shit by the bagful, whoever they are
- Anything I say or do can be justified in meme form by formerly level-headed friends or mine
- Anything I “double down on” or flat out deny won’t be able to touch me, ever (because we can always settle out of court)
We’ve been dog whistled, gaslighted, and lied to for the past 18 months, and I’m not ready for the next four.
And I’m done listing the ills of King Donald J (while simultaneously wondering why “nobody” is doing anything about it) and defending Hillary’s popular vote along with her record, why liberalism and progressivism is good, and why it’s good to be a kind and magnanimous American.
Aren’t we all done with that?
The real kicker is that those who voted for him—from the rural elites to the moderate deplorables to the truly deplorable deplorables to your best friend from high school—probably haven’t been glued to the news like I have since November 9th.
I’m willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, however.
I assuming that they haven’t been working in secret online groups and planning the Resistance like me and the legions of cohorts and new Facebook friends—I’m assuming they aren’t. I could ask, but they don’t seem like they care about my anxiety and paranoia about America’s downfall, and the fact that I feel like I’m living in the wrong Biff timeline from BTTF2.
In fact they seem like the type of people who know everything, and aren’t afraid to tell you why you’re wrong, even though they charge our side with doing the same, from the old, tired GOP party lines to the new, tired GOP offering nothing of any value at all.
At all. I actually have no idea what the GOP stands for. Every time I think I know what they stand for, I end up at a loss.
And BECAUSE the rich, elite party of lawyers and anti-government government workers who are the GOP and Tea Party have been at odds about how and when to properly dismantle the government as we know it—
BECAUSE they’ve opposed Obama since before he was first elected, undermining not only his presidency, country of origin, religion, and intent—
BECAUSE they’ve allowed a possible tyrant or child-king to run their party (and hopefully not the country) into a new ground that is scarier than the old GOP cliches—
BECAUSE you KNOW if Democrats had done any of this, we would never hear the end of it—
I’ve reached a new level of despair past hatred, disbelief, grief, skepticism, and melancholy.
But I have a small amount of hope left.
Just a bit.
We shouldn’t fear the President-Elect in a Representative Republic and Democracy—we just shouldn’t
As a public school teacher and writer, I have a new target on my back because of who is in power.
As a man, teacher, husband, father, citizen, liberal, reader, taxpayer, writer, editor, and Facebook meme n’ thread-creator/commenter, I’m waiting for the madness to subside, for journalists, politicos, and common sense moderates to stand up and be defended by rational voices who will help write the history books.
I’m waiting, but I have a sneaking suspicion it will be for a bus that isn’t built yet, let alone on its way.
Yes, this is really happening.
There is hope, however.
Plenty of countries have seen dictators come and go.
Plenty of states have seen despots impeached.
Plenty of people are ready to march, fight, protest, debate, and stand up for what is objectively and historically right.
Scores of people are paying attention—especially those in power and powerful opposition.
Thousands of leaders are being born today.
And our government, while at its most powerful, surveillant, and intrusive, will be reclaimed by the people again, one day, whether I get my damn mind back or not.
Jeremy McKeen and his damn mind can be read every week on The Good Men Project!
Photo: Unsplash/Online Meme
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