Can We Recover from Trump, Pandemic, Wrecked Kids, and Roe?
I was in Jonah’s orthodontist’s office in 2015, when I first realized that Donald Trump should be taken seriously.
While waiting at the receptionist’s desk, a college kid looked up the television mounted on the wall as Trump’s face appeared on the screen. The kid said, “Hey! There he is!” and then explained that he had a summer job in the garage in a Trump hotel in New York City. He said that the garage was getting tons of calls from random people, who made a wrong turn in the phone tree and ended up on the garage’s phone line. These callers were asking to speak directly with Trump, so they could express their support.
That story both tells you something about Trump’s massive popularity, as well as the IQ of some of his supporters.
On November 8, 2016, I stayed up all night watching election results. I wasn’t quite prepared (here’s my prediction on Nov. 1) for the fact that our nation had elected an incompetent, sideshow clown. From that day to now, I feel like we have been living through one traumatic event after another.
The pandemic, BLM protests and riots, vaccines, election nonsense, insurrection, closed schools, traumatized kids, inflation, a war full of evil in Ukraine, a million dead people. Just this morning on the news, there were stories about baby formula shortages, sky high gas prices, and protests outside Brett Kavanaugh’s house because the Supreme Court is going to throw out Roe v. Wade. What’s Musk going to do with Twitter? Is the stock market tanking? Is anyone keeping an eye on North Korea? Houses are falling into the sea in North Carolina and burning down in Florida. What’s next? A zombie apocalypse?
As a world-class neurotic, I’ve used my blog over the years to document my worries, both personal and political. And as a world-class blogger, I have 18 years of archives. Looking through those archives, I certainly had plenty of worries before November 2018. I was worried about housing, the economy, my kids, schools, and my own family’s slow recovery from graduate school. But I wasn’t worried about democracy. I wasn’t worried about journalism. I wasn’t worried about crime or the next wave of the virus or people overthrowing elections or whether a potential Supreme Court ruling was going to trigger a civil war.
And, frankly, I can't deal. I’m exhausted. I find myself turning off the news, spending less time on Twitter, trying to give myself some space from the harsh feelings in the world. I would rather look at nice family with a meat farm in Utah and build my side-hustle. Dealing with the problems in the greater world is overwhelming when there’s so much going on in our home right now — all this craziness in the world has taken a toll on my family. I am struggling to keep my anger about our personal struggles about five feet away, so worries about the larger world needs even more space.
I don’t think I’m alone. I think everyone is exhausted by the past six years of trauma. How do we return back to boring political fights? I can’t be constantly worried about the fall of democracy and the end of the free press.
While we may not have control over viruses, we can create sensible, fair, apolitical responses to the virus. We have no control whether foreign tyrants will invade other nations, but we can decide to not turn every event into an opportunity to score political points. We can not reward those who escalate the drama with “likes” and “hits.” We have to find a way to be aware citizens and participate in the process, without enabling the hyperventilation on cable news or the bat-shit crazy extremist politicians.
“Choose boring!” That’s my new political slogan. And for my personal life, too. We haven’t made plans for this summer yet, but whatever we do will involve some lazy days, blue skies, and frosty drinks.
Some pictures of last weekend. While I am struggling with the realization that helping Ian transition to adulthood is going to be my full time job for a few years, I am also learning that this job can’t consume me. So, I had lots of fun last weekend. And I also posted a bunch of pictures of the windows of my house.
I wrote about autism and IQ tests this week for my disability newsletter.
We’re watching “As We See It,” a show on Amazon about three people with autism learning how to become independent adults. VERY on topic.
ICYMI — I wrote about my student loans here last week.
PICTURE: Fort Ticonderoga, New York (August 2020). And we saw Plaza Suite in NYC last weekend.