What To Do On Friday When You Are In Danger Of Throwing Up

Yes, this Friday REALLY IS Black Friday.

It keeps happening. I forget, as I am distracted with work, etc., and then boom. I realize, he is going to be inaugurated on Friday. How to cope with that? Read on.

It started this morning, as I was reading The New York Times’ article about The Dump’s basement-level approval ratings coming into office (the lowest in modern history). I got to this quote:

“With all of the jobs I am bringing back into the U.S. (even before taking office), with all of the new auto plants coming back into our country and with the massive cost reductions I have negotiated on military purchases and more, I believe the people are seeing ‘big stuff,’” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

That’s when I stopped. Blinked. Wait. That’s not possible. He couldn’t have made these incredibly stupid and preposterous claims.

Oh, but of course he did. He lies and lies and lies and he gets away with it.

Worse, though, is the fact that hundreds of thousands (perhaps many more) people have read or will read these lies about “big stuff” and they will believe all of them!

It would be hysterical, as in funny, if it weren’t so damn scary.

Something really basic about Dump supporters: many many many of them get their news on Twitter. Or Facebook. Thus, they believe what The Dump (master Tweeter) says.

Ugh. How can a democracy thrive (or even survive) with social media swaying millions of people who don’t know enough to read something else?

In 2009, with Obama just stepping into office, I was teaching at Georgetown as part of a year-long sabbatical from SUNY Albany. I developed a journalism class in the graduate school, calling it “Journalism Upside Down.” The Huffington Post was exploding, and newspapers were disappearing. It was an amazing time to be in Washington working with students, some of whom were news or broadcast reporters in D.C.

One night, our discussions turned to Twitter. A student who worked on the Hill came to class with a rather shocking announcement. Claire McCaskell (R-Missouri) had that afternoon done something that no one in Congress (or any other branch of government) had ever done before: she tweeted from the floor of the Senate.

We were fascinated. What did this mean? Would other legislators follow suit?

And if they did, would people turn to Twitter (or Facebook) to get their news via social media?

Honestly, I told the students I just couldn’t imagine how that would work.

Oh dear God. How absolutely clueless and naive I was (but then, so were my students, most of whom were a good deal younger than me).

And now back to The Times. How thorough, how amazing, how exhaustive the Grey Lady’s reporting is.

But who reads it?

Is this first-class newspaper — like so many others and so many serious broadcast outlets — preaching to the choir with its insight, its endless accuracy, its balance?

One member of The Times’ editorial staff, Charles Blow, has been writing some sizzling anti-Dump editorials. Writer Randall Kennedy talks about Blow in a piece in the current issue of The American Prospect. It’s called, “The Case for Resistance.”

If you don’t read the Prospect, do yourself a favor and go out today, BEFORE the inauguration, and buy the Winter 2017 issue (it costs two cups of grande latte at Starbucks). The issue is called “Resisting Trump,” and it is chock full of insight and myriad facts about the election. In a piece on misogyny, for example, writer Adele M. Stan informs us that “fully 53 percent of white women voted for” The Dump. OMG. So much for sisterhood.

Read the rest of the magazine. It’s an incredible issue.

Or read a different magazine. Or watch PBS. Or subscribe to the The Washington Post.

And if you’re already doing that, then make sure your friends and family are too.

This has been said time and time and time again, never has it been more important to get the news from reliable sources. Never has it been more important to support, as in writing checks, to reputable news-gathering organizations.

A subscription to The American Prospect is only $19.95. How about this: buy five subscriptions and send them circulating among friends and family.

One of the best pieces in this issue is by Robert Kuttner, a co-editor at the magazine and a long-time progressive activist. He writes a piece he calls “The Audacity of Hope.” Ah, does that sound familiar?

Kuttner makes a strong case for activism: we need to get busy and speak up and resist The Dump.

Join a march this weekend. Get active to try to influence your elected officials. Join protests. Make as much noise and trouble for The Dump as possible. “One has to nourish the hope that Trump can yet be contained. Above all, that will take passionate and strategic engagement, not just to resist but to win, to discredit him and get him out of office while this is still a democracy.”

There is only one way to protect our democracy against a president who is first of all a blowhard and second, a dangerous demagogue who knows nothing about government. And that doesn’t speak to his racism, sexism and xenophobia.

Says Kuttner: “We can feel sick at heart — we would be fools not to — but despair is not an option.”

Best to write that down, in big bold letters, and read it over and over and over again all day Friday. And every day after that.