I Hate Politics, Too
I’ve wanted to write something for the past month but haven’t been able to. I feel like I’m walking around in a daze, smiling when I want to scream. Part of me has been too afraid to put into words exactly how I’m feeling, and part of me has been hoping maybe I won’t have to if I just wait it out long enough.
The last thing I wrote on Medium was a list of all the things I was scared of happening if Trump got elected. I deleted it on the day of the election under some weird superstition that I was jinxing things. Now it looks like maybe deleting it was jinxing things. Or maybe writing it in the first place was.
I got several messages after that about how I shouldn’t write about politics. I had gotten a few of them throughout the year and then a few more and a few more. I felt annoyed at the time because I think if there’s something I feel strongly about, I should be able to write about it.
But even though I disagreed with those messages, the self-censorship started to set in. And now I’m even starting to see their point.
I voted for Hillary Clinton. I voted for her because I like her but even more so because I agree with the majority of the Democratic platform. But I also voted for her because I am sick of fucking politics and I wanted life to go back to normal. And life would have mostly gone back to normal if Hillary Clinton had won.
Two weeks before the election I told my husband how scared I was that Trump was going to win. He said there was no way he would win, because if he won, up would be down and down would be up and nothing would make sense.
And now here we are. And nothing makes sense.
I feel like I should be panicking every second. I look around and wonder why no one is panicking. And then I tell myself I’m being silly, and life is going to go on and we’re all going to be fine. But then I read something else and I’m terrified again.
I had to quit Twitter and Facebook. I was going to bed angry and couldn’t sleep. Angry about what people who I knew were saying, angry about what people who I barely knew were saying, angry over what people I hated were saying.
One day, after a morning of binging political news and opinion and opinions about news and news about opinions and opinions about opinions, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had to walk away. I was staying at my parents’ house so I went outside to the backyard and stood there staring at the pool, trying to calm down.
Looking around, my eyes fixated on a spider stuck in the middle of the pool, desperately moving his legs trying to get back to something solid it could crawl on. I thought to myself, “Wow. Look at this little guy. He’s frantically waving his legs, thinking it’s helping somehow but it’s not doing anything. He’s in the exact same spot he started in. The only time he ever moves is when the wind moves him, and he has no control over that.”
And that’s how I felt. Nothing I was doing or feeling was helping anything. I felt as good or as bad as the last thing I read. I signed a dozen petitions. I sent emails. I called Congress. I went to a meet up. I made plans to protest on inauguration day.
But the train isn’t stopping. And it’s definitely not turning around.
I fell into a pattern over the past month of posting and deleting, posting and deleting.
I posted about my fear of Trump’s growing power and how scared I was he wouldn’t let go of it easily, if ever. A friend said I was giving her a panic attack.
I posted about the effort to sue the electoral college over evidence of voter fraud. A friend told me I shouldn’t believe what I read from the Government, Google or the mainstream media (oh ok cool so no one then).
When I posted about evidence of Russian interference, another friend told me Wikileaks wasn’t politically motivated and had nothing to do with the election at all.
There’s no forward motion. I’m being whipped in circles. And I’m starting to settle on the side of the nihilists. They want destruction because they want anarchy. I just want everyone who voted for Donald Trump to get what they deserve. But then I remember most people didn’t vote for him, and they shouldn’t suffer. Even in swing states that gave him electoral victory, the difference was a total of 80,000 people. 80,000. Out of millions. And here I go in circles again.
If I’ve learned anything out of all of this it’s something I’d always known: I can’t depend on external forces for my own peace and sanity. I voted for the status quo so I could stop waking up scared having no idea what was going to happen. But no one knows what’s going to happen. And only I have control over how I choose to spend my day. So I’ve started meditating again. And I’m searching for ways to meaningfully help the people who I know will suffer under this administration. And I’m looking for things that transcend politics, because as much as I want to talk about it I’m not sure it’s doing any good.