Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Or maybe a better title for this post would be “Mental Anguish in the Time of Trump.”

I love politics. I have been following political news since before the days of Watergate. I’ve always found it fascinating to follow the actions and words of our national leaders. Even when I have vehemently disagreed with a President or Congress, I’ve enjoyed the arguments, the discussions, the matching of wits with those who disagree.

I don’t feel that way anymore.

Now, like so many other Americans, I am overwhelmed with what is happening to my country. I’m anxious, even afraid, for the first time in a very long time. But that’s not all.

I was talking all of this over with my husband, the other day. And I realized that what feels unbearable to me right now is the uncomfortable combination of rage and helplessness that hits me in the face every single day.


I am feeling true rage about our President and those fools in Congress. Tearing away every kind of protection that our government has put in place for us. Regulations designed to keep our air and water at least marginally safe? Gone under this administration. I’m old enough to remember when our rivers were on fire and our harbors were so toxic that falling meant an immediate trip to the Emergency Room.

I’m enraged that Donald Trump is sending us back there.

Angry doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about Trump’s one sided assault on our insurance system. Congress couldn’t find a way to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, so Trump is taking a machete to it. It doesn’t matter how many people will lose coverage. It doesn’t matter how many people die.

Trump wants it to happen, so he’s making it happen.

And the list goes on, of course. Impending nuclear war with North Korea threatens the whole world, but Trump just keeps on tweeting. The United States will ignore its allies, pull out of legal treaties, go to war with anyone who annoys the man in the Oval. The NRA will keep its stranglehold on our government and more and more innocent people will die.

And then there are the lies. One after the other, day after day after day. Trump lies, lies, lies and lies some more. EVERYONE knows it. The entire media knows about it, but when they call him out, he screams, “Fake! Fake!” and repeats whatever lie it was.

That’s what brings me to the feeling of helplessness.

I am used to contacting my Congressional Reps. I contact them by mail, by email, by phone, when I think that there is an issue that needs their attention.

But what am I supposed to do now? My Congress people agree with me! They know that Trump is dangerous, unhinged, dishonest, amoral. They’re as scared as I am.

Should I march in the streets, the way I did at the Women’s March in DC and the anti-Nazi march in Boston?

It feels good when we do it, that’s for sure.

But NOTHING seems to change.

When you are living in a country that has suddenly been turned on its head, what do you do? When you find yourself going through your daily life under a President who make up his own facts, threatens the press, mocks his colleagues, admires the worst among us and lies with a completely straight face….Well. What are you supposed to do to ease that sense of fear and rage?

I feel completely helpless.

We are dealing with a completely surreal situation here. Our President wakes up every morning and tells us things that are simply untrue. He’s contradicted by those who know the truth. He repeats his made up facts. And he repeats them again.

Up has become down. The sky is pink. Trump’s agenda is, according to him, “ahead of schedule.” No President in history has been as successful as he is. No President was smarter. Or a better negotiator.

Facts no longer matter. The truth has become as malleable as hot taffy.

What are we to do?

I no longer believe that I can do a single thing to make things better or safer for my family. Now my goal is to find a way to maintain my own mental health as I sit back and watch our leaders fail to cope with the fact that we have elected a madman and he is taking us on a path of destruction.

Rage and helplessness.

Not a good mix. Not a great way to move through middle age.

What do we do? How are you holding onto your fragile sanity in an age of total insanity?



30 thoughts on “Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light

  1. I agree with every word that you have written. I am mystified that the GOP members of congress and the senate are doing nothing to stop this evil man and, yes in my opinion he is evil and deranged and we as a nation are in deep trouble. That goes for the rest of the world too. It is a dire situation and Trump keeps up his crappy tweeting about un Jong. Two bullies butting heads until one of them explodes. Trump is a racist and that shows in so many ways. Axing every thing that Obama put in place. I’ll stop now because my bp is rising.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know that we can do anything other, than cringe. Now he wants to censor NBC News just as Nixon wanted to put the ax to the Washington Post. And he wants to crank up coal mining and therefore pollute the air and water and increase black lung, asthma, etc. I am horrified on a daily basis. Each day brings a new wrinkle to stew over. He makes a stupid announcement literally every day.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great writing. You have penned exactly what I feel. This is beyond partisan politics. However, I hold on to hope, and that hope is the Mueller investigation will matter, our laws will matter, the truth will matter, and that Democrats/Independents and perhaps some Republicans will shift the balance of power in Congress in the 2018 elections. I really believe Trump created a culture war that has morphed into an ugliness that none of us expected to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Corinne. I have honestly never in my adult life felt so helpless. My kids were active in Occupy Wall Street, and I thought that was great. I have marched, written letters, joined causes….now? I just want to crawl under the covers with my puppy and my grandkids and wait until it all just goes away.
      I keep wondering how people felt in Germany in the 1930s. Did it all just sneak up on them, as it is with us? I used to ask, Why didn’t they stop it? Now I ask, “How could they have stopped it?”

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful job articulating this, Karen. It helps to name it. I, too, feel there is little or nothing I can do, and am trying to avoid most news (except reading the NYT, where I frequently succumb to the temptation to ‘click’ – but not always). I’ve reached a point where I know I only have so many years left, and I want to get on with it and enjoy my life. It’s hard enough with the stresses and challenges that come with getting older – watching and experiencing this breakdown of our culture is just horrific.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess that’s it, Jo, I just want to enjoy my life! I’ve worked hard, like you, and just want peace and a little bit of security. But I look at my grandkids and think, “Oh, oh. I have to do something!”

      Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t know! I wish I did….truly, I believe that the real rift in this country is between the elites who control industry/media/government and the rest of us who simply get by every day. We seem to be in a situation where the GOP is more afraid of losing its control than it is of going to war, undoing all of our protections and seeing the end of democracy. I am also afraid of what will happen when the masses have had enough of this. I am honestly afraid.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. From here in Australia, you have my deepest sympathy. I have NO IDEA what you can do; your entire country seems to be in a big orange-haired mess, and so many innocent regular folk are suffering/gonna suffer. Don’t even start me on Puerto Rico. And yes, absolutely for our children and [potential] grandchildren, what the hell can we do?? I’m scared too, and so is my gorgeous, sensitive, kind 17 yr old son, who is deeply worried about world politics… I guess to keep talking & writing gives us a sense of connection and community? G


    • Yes, you are absolutely right!!! We have to keep writing, and reading each other’s thoughts, and sharing our fears and our hopes. Please assure your lovely son that he is not alone: My two adult sons share all of his fears and worries but are now working toward making the world a better place. Our hopes rest on our kids, and their friends. If only we can ride out the current mess…..!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Whenever I read posts by my American friends about Trump I think of this quote by Ghandi,

    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

    It doesn’t change your present, but I think it’s a comforting thought. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

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