The Christmas decorations are still up at my house. On New Year’s Day, I usually I de-Christmas-fy the house, clean things up, and replace all the holiday clutter with the regular clutter.
We do not believe in empty horizontal spaces at our house.
I usually look forward to my bright, fresh New Year’s Day ritual, and look forward to a better year than the one that preceded it (and man, did 2016 not set that bar very high), but not this year. While 2016 was a nightmare, I fear 2017 will be exponentially worse, in ways we can’t even yet imagine. So, I’m stalling on taking the Christmas decorations down because I’d like to pause here for as long as possible. Christmas feels safe, and the imminent future does not.
It’s been two months since the election, and I’m still unable to wrap my brain around the reality of “President Trump.” That thought leaves me aghast. Flabbergasted, flummoxed and gobsmacked. Yes, we need to dust off our lesser-used adjectives to express our shock and dismay, because we’ve about worn out “horrified.” We need to coin a new word that captures the feeling of dread and despair that the majority of the population is experiencing as it grapples with the notion of putting the country in the hands of an outrageously self-serving narcissistic megalomaniac with the emotional maturity and self-control of an overtired toddler. Hmmm…. I have an idea.
Come up with a new word that expresses our collective feeling of stunned prescient dread, and I’ll come up with a prize. Never you mind what that prize is, I’ll come up with a good one. You just get busy inventing words and email them to me, and I’ll declare a winner. There’s no word yet in existence for it, because this perilous situation has never occurred before. Sure, I’ve been bummed out or angry or disgusted over past election results, and very vocal about it, but, eh, you brush your hands, cringe a little, make the best of it and move forward. This time, however, it’s not that a Republican won. It’s that Trump won.
Now before one of you Trumpanzees starts crowing, “Get over it! Trump won!” — allow me to disabuse you of your erroneous misconceptions. Democrats aren’t moping about like spoiled babies because Trump won. We’re in a stupor of despair because he’s about to become president. The election wasn’t a freakin’ football game, you nearsighted nincompoops. You act like your team scored the winning touchdown, and now you’re waving “We’re Number One” oversized foam hands in the losers’ faces as you file out of the stadium hootin’ and hollerin’ and rolling a few cars over.
It’s not about what happened — it’s about what’s going to happen. We “sore losers” are taking note of Trump’s outrageous and unpredictable behavior thus far, from dissing the CIA, to appointing wildly inappropriate people to cabinet posts, to spraying outrageous Tweets like an out-of-control lawn sprinkler, to sucking up to Vladimir Putin like a lovesick cabana boy, and we’re collectively dismayed. The tone for the next four years is being set.
Those who think Trump will magically start acting more presidential come Jan. 20 are delusional. Once he’s president, all the restraints will be off. He’ll feel entitled to do whatever he desires, and with a Republican majority, he’s got a blank check. Which puts Congressional Republicans in quite a quandary, doesn’t it. For eight years, Barack Obama was their excuse for accomplishing less than nothing. With Trump as president, they can have everything they ever wanted.
Be careful what you wish for, Republicans.
What will Republicans do when Trump says he’s about to bomb North Korea or start jailing women to prevent them from having abortions or appoint David Duke to the Supreme Court? Congressional Republicans will be forced to endorse Trump’s madness or openly defy a Republican president. Won’t that be fun! In fact, watching Mitch McConnell & Co. squirm for the next four years is possibly the only thing I have to look forward to.
But, you point out, look at all the column material!
Quite the contrary. I’m already on Trump overload. I already can only watch the national news through one squinted eye and when I feel the anxiety boiling, I turn it off. Ditto for Facebook. My news feed is a non-stop waterfall of anger and outrage, and I’m drowning in it. You can only mitigate Facebook overload with cat videos for so long, and then you have to just walk away from the computer and go curl into the fetal position for awhile until you can exhale again.
I saw this cartoon of a guy with the top of his head exploding, sitting with his doctor. The doctor tells him, “You’ll have to pick your outrages more carefully during the Trump presidency.” Bingo. That’s where I’m at. I can’t maintain this level of anxiety, resentment, incredulity and disgust 24-7 for four years. It will consume me. I could write 10 columns every day before breakfast just on whatever brain vomit Trump spews out on Twitter that morning. When he’s not busy tweeting, he takes so many missteps on his path to the White House, it looks like he’s doing the cha-cha.
I just cannot react to all of it.
So, going forward, I’m keeping the Trump columns to the absolute minimum, for the sake of my own sanity. I’m only going to write about him when I simply cannot stop myself. I must turn my attention elsewhere — anywhere — to keep my anxiety under control.
Expect lots of horse columns in 2017.
But, lest anyone interpret my relative silence about Trump as an indication that I’m softening up to him, I think I’ll end every column for the next four years with #NotMyPresident. Because he’s not, and never will be. Think of that hashtag as my perpetual black armband of protest.
OK, let’s talk about horses now.
— Email Debra DeAngelo at firstname.lastname@example.org; read more of her work at www.winters
express.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com