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The Buckhorn

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Brace for impact: We’re all stuck on the speeding Trump train

Week before last, I was sound asleep, and suddenly jolted awake, shredded with anxiety. Those of you who don’t have an intimate personal relationship with anxiety may need some explanation: It’s one hyperventilated breath short of a full-blown panic attack. Your heart pounds, your breathing goes quick and shallow, your eyes flash open wide, and every muscle in your body is locked and loaded for fight or flight.
In the wee hours of that dark night, I lurched awake with a gasp and saw an apparition: Donald Trump’s face in a brightly colored square, floating across my visual field like a shimmering, sheer flag.
Was it really an apparition? The residual of a dream? I’m not sure, but I can tell you this: My trepidation over the concept of a Trump presidency is just that intense. But maybe my anxiety is out of control (again). It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
When I’m unsure if anxiety has taken over my brain’s reins, I do a reality check: I ask others if they’re feeling the same way. So, I made a Facebook post about my nightmare apparition, asking others if they were having nightmares too, or was it just me.
It wasn’t just me.
A flurry of people “liked” the post and even more commented, nearly each one saying they’ve been plagued by nightmares and anxiety since November 9. There’s some comfort in knowing I have plenty of anxious company, but on the other hand, if so many people are having the same experience on the astral plane of our dreams, together, in the heart of our collective unconscious... this can’t be good. It’s prescient, and it’s foreboding.
A few more days passed without any more nightmares, but this week, my anxiety started bubbling again. But I was fully awake this time, so I know exactly what triggered it: the report that Trump feels it’s unnecessary for him to participate in daily national security briefings. Yup, that did it. Our lives are in the hands of an individual who doesn’t have an attention span longer than a tweet, and if that doesn’t set your heart pounding and your brain spinning... what the hell is the matter with you?
So, I did a reality check on my first reality check, and posted, “Who else had screaming anxiety this morning?” That post got even more likes and comments than the first, and some were truly striking: “My heart feels flat.” “I am still in WTF disbelief.” “Numb and sickened... no sleep for weeks.” And so on, and so on, and so on.
In other words... our collective dread and horror over the impending Trump presidency isn’t decreasing, it’s escalating. And, the real issue isn’t that so many are feeling this way, it’s that we have no power to do anything about it. Sure, we can post on social media, we can march and protest, but we saw how much good that did when the cowardly members of the Electoral College failed to do their jobs and prevent the disaster we’re facing come Inauguration Day.
Why even have an Electoral College at all if it serves no purpose other than to reduce the value of votes in California or New York to a fraction of a vote? If you live in California, pound for pound, your vote matters less than a vote in Wyoming or Montana. The system is institutionally undemocratic and unfair. A vote should equal a vote, period.
I was hoping for a miracle on Monday, but it failed to materialize. This Trump thing is really happening.
It feels like We the People are all stuck on a train that is hurtling full speed at the sheer rock of a looming mountainside. We all know what’s happening, and where we’re going, and as Inauguration Day approaches, we’re in that weird phase of a crash where everything goes into slow motion until just before impact, and then time snaps into hyperspeed, and BOOM... nothing but wreckage and carnage and... fade to black.
Since the Electoral College failed miserably to do what it was designed to do, namely, keep dangerously inexperienced and unqualified candidates with multiple conflicts of interest from becoming President, the only other thing that could save us now is providence — for this impending situation to be so universally unacceptable, so catastrophic for the greater good of humanity, that God or Nature intervenes.
Will that happen? Will God and/or Mother Nature flip a switch on the track and turn the train away just in the nick of time? I’m hopeful... but also, not so much. God and Nature both tend to let happen what happens, for reasons of higher order than mere human minds can grasp.
In other words, this train is picking up speed. We’d better brace for impact, people.
While airing my burgeoning dread on Facebook about the mountainside that looms ever closer, someone commented that I should just get over it, and face the fact that Trump won. Pull up my big girl panties and just deal with it.
And therein, you can see the disconnect. It’s not that Liberals are distraught over the fact that Trump won the election (not anymore, anyway). We’re distraught over the fact that he is about to become President, and all that this implies.
Get over it? “It” hasn’t even started yet.