I don’t know how so many people can manage the stress of the Trump years. It’s awful, isn’t it? I mean, we have a lunatic sitting in the White House with his finger on the proverbial nuclear “button,” which sits alongside his “Diet Coke” button. He’s a raving nut job, who never should have been there, and given what we see every day, why can’t we just “get rid of him”? I get it. I mean, if wishes were fishes as the old toddler saying goes…
Well, I’m here to tell you what you need to know to relax and survive these dark days in the life of our nation. And let’s be clear; when history is written about the Trump years, the verdict will be that we as a nation fucked up royally when we allowed such a snake oil salesman into the White House. Historians will look back and wonder if we suffered some sort of collective brain damage when we saw a loser like Donald Trump winning a major-party nomination and didn’t go to the polls, en masse, to make sure the least qualified asshole to ever win a major-party nomination was not elected.
This column isn’t about blame, but if it was, there is a lot of blame to go around, including everyone who voted for Trump, everyone who switched their vote from Obama to Trump between 2012 and 2016, everyone who voted for Bernie in the primaries and voted for Trump or a “third party” candidate in the General. Everyone who spent most of the 2016 election cycle trashing Hillary Clinton, and everyone who repeated the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy stories from the 1990s because they “didn’t like” Hillary.
(Here’s a clue; you’re electing a president, not inviting them over for dinner, you don’t have to “like” them. You do, however, have to make sure they can do the job. In a race between Hillary Clinton, who starred as a First Lady, and as a Senator, and as a Secretary of State, and Donald Trump, who was, at best, a shitty businessman and an even worse human being, if you call yourself an “activist” and didn’t see the importance of making sure Hillary won, well, you’re not all that bright.)
So, now, we are stuck with Donald Trump as “president.” If you fit into any of the categories above, save your whining because you’re to blame for this circumstance. I mean, if you learn nothing else from the 2016 election, it should be that ALL elections have consequences. You should also have learned that the Supreme Court is always an issue in every presidential election and that competence is FAR more important than the candidate’s level of personal perfection.
Since 2016, you should have also learned these additional lessons;
- That getting rid of a shitty "president" is hard as hell. It is designed that way because no political faction or party should be able to oust a legitimate president that they simply don't like. Imagine what would have happened to Obama if impeachment and removal was easy-peasy.
- That there are no election do-overs. First of all, presidential elections are not actually national elections. They are a series of 50 state elections, which means changing the results of an election is virtually impossible. And since there are no "do-overs," everyone must understand the importance of their effect on the election. You don't get to drag Hillary Clinton through the mud for a two-year election cycle and then claim "I voted for her" as a method of absolution.
- There is nothing to be gained by supporting your favorite Democrat in the primaries while all trashing other Democratic candidates, as if they were Republicans. I'm not talking about differing with them on policy. I'm talking abut personal attacks. If you're a Bernie supporter and you think the best way to support Bernie is by slamming Pete Buttigieg, or even Joe Biden, you are a slow learner and profoundly immature. You don't do Bernie a service by tearing down his 22 opponents; you're actually making a second Trump term more possible, and that won't relieve your Trump stress.
And that is actually why we’re here. This is how
The first way to eliminate a lot of your Trump-related stress is to realize the odds are likely that he’ll be there for the full four-year term. We keep waiting for a savior to pull us out of this fire, like Robert Mueller, but this isn’t the Marvel Universe. There are no massive heroes who will fly into the White House and fly the Giant Orange Toddler out of there. There is only another year and a half left, and knowing that there is an “End Game” should make you feel less stress. If it doesn’t, you need to change your attitude.
The second way to reduce your Trump stress is to commit to making sure the Fat Orange loser, well, loses. Keep in mind, there are 20 investigations ongoing as we speak, and NO ONE has claimed you can’t indict an EX-”president.” Think abut this; when we defeat him in the next election, there is a great chance that every day will bring almost weekly press stories announcing “Former “President” Trump’s” arrest on one crime or another. He will be a failure as “president,” and his reputation as a businessman will have tanked by then. The “Trump” name will be synonymous with “failure.”
Another great way to reduce your stress is to turn your attention to other things. For example, the Democrats “50-State Strategy” means you need to adopt a local congressional campaign or help a local politician with vision, preferably a woman or a person of color, win their race for city council or school board. Or hell; you can run for office yourself. Whether you help another candidate win or you run yourself, you will replace a lot of that really harmful Trump stress with the good stress of doing something for your community.
Most importantly for your well-being, you have to commit to “Vote Blue, no matter who.” There are 23 Democrats in the field, and all but 1 or 2 of them are excellent candidates who will make a great improvement over Trump as “president.” And the best part about getting rid of him at the ballot box is that it’s less politically charged than expecting a Republican Senate who held a SCOTUS seat open for a full year, just to satisfy his “base” to convict and remove a guy they seem to feel is an “unwitting asset.”
Another stress-reliever comes with realizing that nothing in government happens instantly, unless Republicans are gathering together to declare a brain-dead woman “alive.” Seriously, the Terry Schiavo situation was the fastest I have ever seen the federal government move on anything. There are processes that have to be followed when the government wants to do anything. And this is a good thing, for our protection, so government cannot railroad someone into jail on a whim. Due process is a thing, and it’s a good thing. Democrats asked for Trump’s tax returns and the Treasury Department and IRS both said “no.” That means Democrats will have to fill out subpoenas and demand them, that’s all. They will eventually receive those tax returns; it just may take a few extra weeks. Once you accept that, the less stressed you will feel. Put down your “instant gratification” tendencies and realize; the world just doesn’t work that fast. I mean, how would you like it if the IRS wanted your tax returns and there was no mechanism for you to object?
This is not rocket science. Once you make yourself realize we will endure another year and a half of this shit — if he doesn’t blow us up first — and you commit to getting rid of him the easy way, you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel. And if you do your part to replace several local Republicans with Democrats, or even local Democrats with better Democrats, you will feel a sense that Trump will be gone someday.
Consider how bad George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were — and they were worse, in some ways, than Donny. They’ve been gone for more than a decade now, and the memories are faint. Trump will become a distant bad memory someday, if we do out jobs as liberals and make sure he and the GOP lose their shorts next year.
Now, that is a stress reliever.
Originally published at The Pragmatic Progressive.