How To Survive Trump

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As usual Doug Mudar wrote a profound post, “Let’s Talk Each Other Down,” at his website The Weekly Sift. Mudar begins like this:

Looking around this week — in the media, among my friends, inside my own head — I observed that a lot of people are freaking out. Because Trump was acquitted, because he has started his revenge tour, because Republicans know he abused his power and don’t care, because the Democrats are doing it all wrong, because a virus is spreading out of control, because the State of the Union was full of lies, because both the National Prayer Breakfast and the Medal of Freedom have been desecrated, because a US senator willfully and illegally endangered the life of a whistleblower, because it’s been 65 degrees in Antarctica, because the Attorney General has given Trump carte blanche to violate campaign laws, because a billion-dollar disinformation project has begun, and because, because, because.

Now Mudar admits that he doesn’t know it’s all going to be ok. Not only because the signs are ominous, but because the future is uncertain. Moreover, you

might be in this state of uncertainty for the rest of your life. Maybe we’re doomed, but maybe we’re not. Nobody really knows. Democracy in America might soon be over, or it might get a reprieve. Truth might finally drown in a sea of disinformation, or maybe it will figure out how to swim in that sea. People are endlessly surprising. Just when you think they’re hopeless, they do something hopeful. And vice versa.

His main point then is that we don’t know that we’re all doomed even if it appears that way. That may not be much to hang your hat on, but’s it is something. After all, even if we don’t know things will be ok, we can still try to make things better. And we might succeed. But if

you’re waiting for a guarantee, for a political almanac that will tell you exactly when the sun will rise and the tide will turn, you’ll keep waiting and you’ll do nothing. Don’t go that way. Be hopeful. Throw your effort out there and see what happens. Because you never know.

That’s about the best we can do. Hope and act for the best, accepting that the outcome is uncertain. Thank you Dr. Mudar.

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6 thoughts on “How To Survive Trump

  1. Oh the horror. Any fan of Joseph Conrad can appreciate my candid approach. Mr. Mudar’s post was quite “pithy” to say the least—I love to offer Bill O’Reilly’s words in opposition to conservatism. Doc, forgive me, my offerings are usually a bit more succinct but this time I choose to rant; which I believe Mr. Mudar is suggesting against, but I need a moment. Having carried eighty-six percent of the evangelical vote, and cheating, and Hillary drawing assumptions, and oligarch’s endorsement, and campaign fraud, and an endless string of lies and baseless insults, we have a President trump. And as a message to all my liberal brethren, we should fully expect four more years of this. He’s gonna “win”, undoubtedly. Though I love the idea that history will record his impeachment, his legacy will be recorded as two terms. He may not be the President we want—I think he was shy of 3 million popular votes– he is the one we deserve.
    It has always been my understanding that the “average” Democratic Republic’s lifespan was roughly two-hundred years. Ironically, that expired in 1976, the year of my birth. From here on our politicians know that power exercised is without check as long as they are overwhelmingly threating to their colleagues. Let us not for one moment believe that this will not filter down to the Democratic party. We already show elements of this tactic. We chastise each other if we don’t separate our recyclables or if we don’t support free education, or if we don’t support civil unions for the LGBTQ community, or if we aren’t for gun control—all of which are positions I pride myself in supporting. Once again referencing the evangelicals, let us also not kid ourselves into thinking there is a separation of Church and State. Does anyone ever take pause and question why in many states you can purchase a beer at 10:00 on a Tuesday morning but not at 10:00 on a Sunday morning?
    However, I do appreciate that Mr. Mudar expands upon “optimism” beyond “hope”. I am forever unforgiving to one of my intellectual heroes, Barack Obama, for offering this message plain “hope”—it is a platitude. It was obviously a political ploy—and it worked—but its nebulous message resonates today but for the other side of the aisle. We have an evangelical troop that “hopes” that trump will be reelected. But sadly, in addition, they will be at the polls in droves silencing the masses with their Tuesday—workday—vote. Had we really considered everyone’s rights this archaic and racist exercise would long since have been extinguished. Don’t hold your breathe on that one. I digress.
    Now that my rant is complete, I have to admit that I am committed to Mr. Almond’s argument that it is essential to organize. As detailed earlier, there is an every growing sentiment of disdain for political correctness which those such as Norman Mailer exposed. We are paying for it today horribly. Alarmists, often such as myself, feed those on the other side of the isle by expressing our opinions when people such as trump are jabbing at us with his fourth-grade insults. Many of us are walking away cursing when a monster such as him is laughing at us—and winning. Vote damnit!!!

  2. “Hope and act for the best, accepting that the outcome is uncertain.” Is this not the best advice for pursuing a meaningful life despite the hardship and riskiness of the future? Thank you Dr Messerly.

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