Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Resetting Perspective Post-Trump

We do not need to think about Donald Trump anymore. We do not have to utter his name many times per day. We needn’t be trolled by him. It’s not necessary to reacknowledge, for the quintillionth time, that he's a racist and a narcissist.

We do not need to follow news about him. We do not need to engage with media efforts to dose us with Trumpy titillation, pro or con. We can opt out of the storyline.

We do not need to follow the debate about how to investigate his administration, nor follow the daily tick-tock of any such investigations or trials - regardless of media's efforts to suck us in. The outcomes will be, inevitably, shocking, unsurprising, and ultimately unsatisfying, like all Trump revelations. No surprises remain. He's spent; just another 74 year old tediously replaying tired shtick. He's boring. And he's out.

For me, the worst thing about these past years was needing to direct my attention to this imbecile many, many times per day. His fondest wish was granted: an entire nation preoccupied with Donald, his name unceasingly in the air. Finally, we're released. He's lost his leverage. We are no longer strong-armed into fulfilling his wish.  

I'm not saying we should bury our heads in the sand. We needn't melodramatically banish all mention of "that vile man!" within our perimeter. That grants him too much power, and leaves us blind to dreggy shenanigans. Weekly or biweekly check-ins will suffice. Scan headlines, and then return to your non-Trump-based life. Allot him 5-10 minutes of attention per month, max.

But you can't return to a Trump-less life if you've forgotten that's even possible. Framing patterns become habitual. So we all must deliberately unhook. It's time to go on a diet, reconditioning ourselves to expect a single greasy weekly Cheez Doodle after years of incessantly gobbling tractor-loads.

Like all diets, we must establish a solemn commitment to change. Only then can we sever the trumpbilical cord and start to forage for fresh sources of angst and umbrage. Or perhaps we might learn new tricks, like gratitude and apprecianity.

Yes, Trumpism is far from dead. Yes, he will continue to desperately seek rent-free space in our heads. And, yes, the fate of our republic compels us to remain reasonably wary of threats from him and his followers. But that's a 5-10 min/month obligation. So wean, baby, wean. Scrape yourself away from daily, hourly, minutely, secondly attachment to this guy.

Reframe Donald J Trump as just another creature in this universe. You can change subjects when friends bring him up, and switch channels when media tries to push the drug at us (one thing's certain: they will not willingly let politics become boring again). Opt out not with consternation - which feeds the beast - but with boredom. “Oh, god, that guy again?” Let’s make it uncool to go there. 

Let Trump be like skinny ties: a stupid trend from a million years ago. None of us still mutters about skinny ties. Why on Earth would we?


Midlife said...

I made the possibly dubious decision today to turn to OAN to see what their take was on the inauguration. Fox News was covering it and being rather benign. NewsMax was a bit vitriolic but not off the tracks. OAN, on the other hand, unleashed a barrage of hateful BS against Biden that I could tolerate for for no more than 30 seconds. In that short period he was called a racist, a liar, and a dottering old man who couldn’t put a whole sentence together.

We may be able to ignore Trump, and it’s not likely I’ll be turning in to OSN again anytime soon, but the ‘uniting’ this country is going to be one hell of a challenge for Biden.

James Leff said...

I ignore the banal political platitudes. Nobody’s going to unite anything, a democracy does not unify, and should not unify.

I want reasonably competent, honest, non-extreme people running things. We got ‘em. Now clear out your garage or learn French or something.

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