What is wrong with all of us? The day after the election it felt like the air had been sucked out of the earth. Does it feel like we are sighing a breath of relief or are we holding our collective breaths wondering whether a madman is going to press the red button?
I am a psychotherapist and the climate of fear that Trump ran on continues to invade all of us. Forget his unobtainable mythic wall to “keep us safe.” Who is keeping us safe from him? Take the microcosm of the angst-ridden in my office and multiply it by the appropriate algorithm and you have a giant group of freaked out people. I am supposed to be the calm in the midst of my clients’ storms, but like the movie, “The Perfect Storm,” the confluence of Donald Trump and the Oval Office is heading for that precipice from which there may be no return. Donald Trump is an accident waiting to happen and in the world according the “the Donald,” it just doesn’t matter. He can boast and lie and still he feels that he is untouchable. He rather throw his family under the bus than admit to any wrongdoing. Donald Trump does not know how to apologize, which may be a good thing as no apology in the world can undo the wrongs of these first few months.
Trump ran on a platform of fear, instilling fear all over the place. Fear of Isis, fear of foreigners taking jobs away, fear of gays subverting the “natural order”, fear of women with a voice, fear, fear, fear. And those fearful jumped into his stewpot. Now the fear is really beginning to sink in. Yes, more should have given forethought to what a Trump win would really mean. Perhaps we just did not believe this was ever possible. I take solace in noting that as many Republicans revile Trump as Democrats. Hopefully they carry enough sway to sway away from his rantings. This is much more than the control of the Supreme Court, although that is a supreme mess. It is much more than overturning Roe v. Wade. That would set all of us back decades. But abortion has been available to those who want and need it for as long as pregnancy has been around. We can survive that. How odd that we can even consider Mike Pence as a viable alternative? I want to know what all those middle American white Trump thumpers are going to say when they have no insurance. Goodbye Obamacare. Angry yet? And how will we put America back to work when there is no money to pay for it? When other major cities start to look like bombed out Detroit, perhaps Trump’s future legacy will sink in. With what is he going to pay the salaries to all those rebuilding America? Taxes? Why should any of us have to pay taxes when our President does not and thinks it’s a big joke? Not to mention his bigwig rich buddies whose taxes will be cut . . . Oh, he’s so smart that he does not have to pay taxes and knows all the loopholes. The rallying cries being that Trump said all this is ok. It is ok to hate those of foreign dissent, those of color, those who may not toe the lily-white heterosexual line. It is ok to cheat the country . . . admirable, in fact. Smart! He said he is smart because he does not pay taxes. Really?
I am almost embarrassed to admit that I worked for the Trump organization in my other life as a television producer. Although we shared the top Executive Producer credit nine times during nine separate prime time broadcasts, he would no more know my name or recognize my face. I just had to make sure he was seen a certain number of times during the live broadcast (a show in which he had no involvement at all). We all had to listen to what is now familiar Trump rhetoric about “how fantastic the ratings were” (five minutes after the show aired) and how they were so fantastic they even beat the Superbowl. By the way, these were beauty pageants and you can read into that anything you want.
The rallies and gatherings of the angry masses have only just begun. And this former activist is thrilled. The people have to speak, not just speak, but scream to drown him out. One cannot trust a narcissistic megalomaniac who lies and cheats. This man is an embarrassment to us all. We look like the fools of the universe.
My youngest child, not born in this country and not at all the embodiment of the lily-white establishment, voted for the first time this year. I took a photo of her, not to post on social media, but for her to have of her first vote and hopefully being one who brought a great and deserving woman into office. Sitting with her that evening as the numbers glared on the screen she kept asking, what does this mean? How can a man who thinks so little of woman, so little of those of a different race, so little of anything other than him be elected? I was — am from the radical left. The fire is still in me. I cannot and will not pretend nor remain silent. I cannot leave my children and their children to this out-of-whack approach to life. We all need to take action and be heard. As a 19-year old freshman in Chicago, I came into my own when our soldiers were sent not just to Vietnam, but then told to invade Cambodia, another country we had no place in being. If you missed that war, read about it. But read also about the nation-wide moratoriums started by a few that grew into the national war cry against war. It was very noisy and effective. I yearn for a national movement will get very messy and cause movement. What will it take for reason to gain a foothold? I hope that the millennials and the octogenarians and everyone in-between get together and shout out.
Thank goodness for the free press. We need the Rachel Maddow’s of the world to make the noise for the rest of us. We need the late-night monologues, now the chief source of news for many, to stay sharp and cutting. Yes, we get to have a good laugh but Donald Trump is not a laughing matter. This clown is president of the United States. How could that happen?