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?