Sunday, October 15, 2017

It's a bummer to fear your president


You know how you let things go. 

You wear less make-up and stay on your treadmill longer because feeling better makes you look better.

You stop making starchy sides with entrees because greens make you feel better and more responsible.  

You don't dress up as much because you have a better time when you're comfortable. 

You stop expecting your president to act like a president because you're so repeatedly shocked by his behavior, you are becoming a chipmunk.

My husband used to yell out from the stands when our son was up to bat:  "Okay, you've seen it!"

We will continue to be disgusted, but not surprised anymore.

We've seen it.

Trump has already said things that are worse than his "moved like a bitch on her" comment, which still brings out every woman's ugly. 

But, everyone has their threshold. Even as Trump has challenged our ability to remain reactive, we all have the deal-breaker, a thing, the thing that Trump has said, done, been caught doing, or will be, that makes us put down the paper, turn from the news, stop reading Facebook, and just mentally start crossing off the days (1192, as of 10/15/17) until we can rise without taking cleansing breaths. 

It was the paper towels, for me.
No, that wasn't it.
It was the threat to withdraw federal assistance from Puerto Rico.
No. It wasn't that either.

Wait. 

Was it Trump responding to human suffering with delay, self-aggrandizement, and then assaulting the beleaguered, traumatized mayor of San Juan with punitive, antagonistic, shaming, and threatening language because she didn't love him enough for what he believed he did?

Yes, I think that was it. 

But now?

Trump, a spotlight junkie who rages when criticized, and turns vindictive when he can't get the praise he thinks he deserves, has taken it up a notch. He can't surprise us with tantrum-tweets anymore, so he's scaring us with terror-tweets. They start with "I might," or, "Maybe," or, his latest cliffhanger:  "There's only one thing that will work with North Korea..." 

It's always the "..." that bothers me. 

 have learned to keep my fear of terrorism in check, and can live with uncertainty and risk. But I've never wondered if our safety mattered less to our leader than a perfect political strategy to get back at someone who called him a name on Twitter. 

It is becoming imaginable that he will throw all of us under the bus and then hop into the driver's seat.

I've loved and loathed leaders of the past like you have, but I have never kept track of how many days it would be (1192) before we could stop worrying that our own president would run us over. 

It reminds me of kids who rail against their parents' rules, lobby for their "rights," fight to be understood and respected, and are unabashedly vocal because a) it poses no threat to their life to be vocal, and b) because if they think their parents are wrong about curfews, they also know their parents would lay their lives on the line for their welfare.

In other words, if they feel wronged, they still feel safe enough to act for change. They know that the people in charge have the interests of everyone at heart.

And then, there are children who live with unpredictable, chaotic parents who can never be trusted to show up, to aid, to guide, to impose a single rule because their first and foremost concern is themselves. Kids in homes like that never feel safe, never know what's going to happen next, often become hyper-vigilant while they wait for the other shoe to drop.

What will happen to us, they want to know, because Mom and Dad aren't emotionally or mentally present to make the question unnecessary. 

As Trump rages about being misunderstood, hunted, cheated, screwed over, and takes to  Twitter, deaf to the pleas of sane people not to do that, while more and more red banners appear at the top of national publications to tell you that something is happening that you must know about, we are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

What will happen to us, we want to know, because our president isn't emotionally or mentally present to make the question unnecessary.

I wonder, as Kathleen Parker did in her piece on the subject,  if we are all going a little crazy with Trump's splattering of crazy all over the place, attaching itself to damaged minds while the healthy ones just try to look at anything else.

But while we are becoming more afraid of what will happen to us, we have no choice but to become less shocked by Trump's atrocious words because Trump's potential deeds could be so much worse.

But it's not forever. 

If he doesn't kill us, we will never appreciate life more than we will in three short years. 

Whoever is president will be Batwo/man.
  
In the meantime, I will think about how every day shortens the time left  (1192 days) before a grown up is in charge again. Until then, I will be the brave parent to my scared child.

It's a bummer to fear your president.



14 comments:

  1. Oh you had me at that title. And you carried me all the way through. I am still woman enough to admit I'm shocked anew on the daily he won.

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    1. My poor brain...it's like an anxious child, "what if-ing" me to death.

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  2. Scary times with a malignant narcissist in charge...Maybe Larry Flynt will save the day with his $10 million offer. We can always hope!

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    1. AND, now, everyone knows how to spell narcissist without looking it up!

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  3. Great post. Yes, you nailed it, it's like living in fear with an unpredictable parent. But this in some ways is worse. A kid might have escaped, found someone to help him. At the moment, we have NO WHERE TO GO.

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    1. Come to Canada, Beth! There is still a bit of sanity here . . .

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    2. So far and away the scariest thing. All those grown ups shaking their heads like, "Don't look at me."

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  4. There is no fear worse than feeling you have no one to turn to. That complete sense of helplessness. 1192...1192...

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    1. Diane!! It's already 1191!!! Soldier on!

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  5. It is beyond my comprehension that we have a president in this United States like this. I am mortified and scared. I am usually a-political on my blog, Menopause Mondays. However, today's Menopause Mondays post is about the need for birth control coverage. I HAVE to speak up as women's basic human rights for good healthcare are being systematically taken away. Sadly, I woke up to a slew of women who unsubscribed.

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    1. I'm really sorry to hear that. Disheartening.

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  6. He's beyond horrible and how anyone could still support this man (and there are plenty) is also beyond horrible. The fact that you're scared shows you're an intelligent, sensitive, healthy person.

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    1. I get really tired of people saying, "Yeah, he's rude and unnkind, but..." But what? The worst thing is that he has lowered the bar. We're divided now. Once people consider inhumane, cruel behavior a cost of doing business (second to "what he gets done in office,") we've lost our standards of decency. That frustrates me more than anything.

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  7. I keep imagining him falling into a sinkhole and never coming out. He makes me sick on a daily basis. I agree with you on every count.

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