The Emotional Roller Coaster at Trumpland

Some of you will read this because you want to hate everything I have to say. Some of you will read this because you want to love what I say. Some (a small fraction, unfortunately) will read this because you are curious and want to understand a different point of view.

Some will just be wondering why I write at all. (Who the hell is she?) Boy, I hear you. This compulsion to write has been with me since third grade and I have a very close love/hate relationship with it. Mostly love, rarely hate, often annoyance. My sister smokes (still!) and for me writing is kind of like that, without the disgusting smell.

In the near future, I hope to write about my conversations with others—including those who don’t agree with me, because that’s important. I’m not a “I’ll stay in my corner and you stay in yours” type of person. But this post is not about them.

On election night, I wrote on Facebook: “America gets through things. We congratulate the other side and move on.” Don’t get me wrong; I was devastated. But I’m also pragmatic.

Frankly, I feel like what I’ve gotten from Trump in return is a big “F*** You.”

To recap:

Stephen Bannon: runs an online news site that has little to do with journalism and, as Bannon himself said, serves as the platform for the alt-right movement (read: white supremacy plus a lot of phobias about people who don’t look like them). Trump appointed him chief strategist. He’s the guy who will be leading Trump’s vision on foreign and domestic policy. There’s been some justifying going on (He’s well-educated! Trump appointed mainstream Priebus, too! He’ll unite the Republican party!) All of that, simply put, is bullshit.

Sen. Jeff Sessions: His middle name is Beauregard. Names don’t usually mean much, but I think that adds a nice touch for a man who was deemed too racist to serve as a low-level federal judge. Trump nominated Sen. Sessions for Attorney General, the country’s chief law enforcer. Has his heart changed? I’m not the one to say. I can look only at his record, and that doesn’t look promising: he’s called the Voting Rights Act of 1965—you know, the one that allowed blacks to vote without being taxed or beaten—“intrusive.” Last spring, he said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He voted against a bill that prohibits bringing children to animal fights. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act—that last one is tricky. There were some provisions in the bill that were arguably ineffective.

Senate majority is needed to confirm, so call your senators if you’re so inclined.

Alex Jones: Trump loves nothing if not media attention, and this radio host was a big supporter. Described as a sort of fringe show but with millions of followers, it was important enough that Trump appeared on it during his campaign. And it was important enough that, according to Jones, Trump called him after he won the presidency to thank him for his support. The problem is that Alex Jones thinks, among other extraordinarily ridiculous things, that the mass shooting of children at Sandy Hook Elementary is a conspiracy and a hoax. I’ll just leave it at that.

Twitter: You read a lot about his tweets in the media. How he goes on these tweet storms of anger and acts like a two-year-old. But reading about it is different from reading it first-hand. Let me tell you, it’s cringe-worthy. Reading Trump’s tweets is like watching an episode of The Office. Supremely uncomfortable.

I literally just went on* and here are the three at the top of his feed:

  • The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior
  • The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!
  • Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!

This is our president-elect. And I’m hiding in the corner. But I’m not laughing. I encourage you to go on his Twitter page and see how you feel.

He also regularly re-tweets (sends posts from other people to his own followers, for those reading who might not be sure what a re-tweet is, ie. my dad) fake news that is verifiably inaccurate and takes credit for things he didn’t do. This week’s example: he tweeted he “worked hard” to keep a Ford plant in Kentucky, and that the Ford chairman had just called him to tell him the good news. The problem? The plant never planned to leave.

News flies fast, especially in Trumpland. Fake news and factpinions fly even faster. Who doesn’t like a bright and shiny meme? I know I do. The problem is memes, while appealing to emotional truth, too often don’t tell the actual truth. You know that one with the map of the U.S. showing red and blue voting patterns? Much of the country is awash in red, signifying Republican voters. The problem is it confuses geography with population. America is not land mass; America is people. The miles upon miles of uninhabited land out West don’t vote; people do. A map of voting by district is actually quite colorful.

Truth is complicated, and we have to be willing to find it.

Hate crimes:

This week, I read in my personal Facebook feed about women having their hijabs yanked off their heads; a “No Ni**ers” sign in L.A.; a swastika and “Trump” spray-painted on the wall at a neighborhood park; devil horns and beard markered onto the face of a black boy on a poster outside a store along with the name “Trump”; “Trump That Bitch” bumper stickers and Confederate flags; a swastika scratched into a car driven by “brown people with head scarves” in the parking lot at a Costco; a man in a Milwaukee coffee shop in a white hooded coat embroidered with a noose; and others I can’t even remember. Again, this was in my personal feed (including a few from a larger group I belong to), as opposed to my news feed, which included many more.

If you think these things aren’t happening or don’t matter then you aren’t paying attention.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been keeping track of hate crimes since 1971, collected 701 reports of hate crimes in the seven days after Trump’s election. They are not all verified and the number will drop off, but it is still highly worth noting. Most were anti-immigrant and FORTY PERCENT happened in K-12 or college educational settings.

And our president-elect is tweeting about the cast of Hamilton.

I get that these people do not represent all Trump voters; just as I understand a small group of Trump protesters who smashed windows and burned things do not represent all Trump protesters. But Trump fostered this hate, he ran on it, and now, as president-elect, he has a duty to quell it.

A bully ran a hateful campaign, a bully won, a bully is adding racists to his inner circle. A bully thinks words don’t matter. “It’s just words, folks,” he said, in response to the world finding out he said he could grab p***y whenever he wanted.

So yeah, I’m worried. I think words matter. Of course they do. That’s why good people say, “Do you wanna have sex?” instead of “Shut up and take off your pants.”

And yeah, I’m emotional. My love of country is fierce and I won’t just give it up to a misogynistic, racist bully with thin skin who cares more about his reputation than serving the people. I thought his obsession with his own reputation would actually help those of us who didn’t vote for him, since we’re the majority. Nope. Not so far.

I don’t want this crap to ever be normal. It already is for too many people. I don’t like the road we’re heading down.

Clinton lost four states by a combined total of about 100K votes. I and millions of others will be watching.

Yeah, we’ll calm down. We’ll still get our children ready for school, but we’ll remind them more often to be kind, especially to the victims of bullies.

We’ll still go to the grocery store for milk, but we’ll make a point to smile at those who don’t look like us.

We’ll still post pictures of our dogs on Facebook, but we’ll also post facts and spread truth.

We’ll still call our friends to chat about Fixer Upper, but we’ll also call our senators.

And we’ll still gather to eat, drink, and be merry, but we’ll also gather to organize. We’ll volunteer, we’ll write, we’ll donate.

We progressives might not always agree and we might not yet know how to work with the nation’s top bully, but you can be sure as shit we know how to organize.

*I wrote this at 6am Sunday morning. I’m scared to check Twitter again.

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23 thoughts on “The Emotional Roller Coaster at Trumpland

  1. Jessica. Most of the feeds you received off of Facebook were shown to be false. You don’t like Trump, fine. I couldn’t stand Clinton. I really dislike many on the left for the hypocrisy they show. Many are intolerant, and are really nasty people, in short, are in fact everything that they claim the other side is. This really does need to stop. There was an commentary in the local upper Midwest Sunday paper that the author defrauded, refused to ever see again, literally friends and family that he’s known for years because they had the audacity to vote differently from him. I was appalled. I would have been embarrassed to have written such hate, much less have it published. And then he has the cojones to think his opinion is so much more important than anyone else. How disrespectful. Hope he never needs the services of a surgeon or a dentist that may have voted differently. Those whom he’s defrauded I quite think got the better end of the deal.

    • There are two important points here: first, I agree that writing people off doesn’t help. How could it? We can’t each stand on one side of a line hurling insults or not speaking. I have no idea who wrote what you read; I know some people–those with a disabled child or an immigrant husband or who are not “white”–are feeling very hurt and frightened. And that should be taken seriously. So maybe there was more to the story than just, “They voted Trump.” There are a million stories and we can’t know them all. But the overall feeling I have is that there are some very large red flags flying about and, again, we should all be taking them seriously.

      Second, since you can’t claim to know that the incidents I read about from friends on Facebook are false, I’ll chalk that comment up to a current unwillingness to believe what’s going on. The fact that a small number of them might be overblown or completely false should not be used as an excuse to ignore the rest.

  2. Totally agree, Jess. Between the absolutely false “fake news” and the media’s fixation and entertainment with all things Trump (not to mention their obscene profits), honesty and truth took a huge backseat. Hillary was so clearly the smartest, most capable person on either side, and we elected (by way of the antiquated “electoral college”) the biggest, lying buffoon possible. Those naive, gullible sheep (who “couldn’t stand” Hillary- for unknown, vague reasons other than “she’s a liar” or “I just can’t stand her” ) thought they were getting an antiestablishment candidate. The joke is on them. They fell for the sound bites and bravado, not his character. His cabinet and “President Pence” are as right wing nut job establishment as you can get. Unfortunately, those Trump voters will still be poor, uneducated, and oh so gullible in another four years.

    • Actually the electoral college is hardly antiquated. It’s the only way for a minority of area to not sweep away the votes of the rest of the country. It was incredible forethought by the founders. Look at this vote. A small are of the big cities went blue the rest of the country red. If it was merely popular vote there’d be no sense in rest of the country to even bother. They’d be steamrolled. That’s not right. It’s like Chicago taking all of the resources that the entire state of Illinois puts into. That’s not fair at all.

      Let’s try something different for awhile. Liberal policies simply don’t work in a country this vast. More money keeps getting thrown at the issues and nothing gets much better. Certainly not for the cost of it all. The benefits are simply not there. That makes no sense to me. Will trumps administrative be better? . I have no idea. He hasn’t done anything yet. I certainly don’t like where we’ve been the last 8 years either.

      • Yes, but the issue you run into is half of the country is running exactly in the opposite direction of the other half. We all know that can’t stand. Maybe when the dust settles we can come up with a way that incorporates the other side in some type of advisory position. I agree that we should not steamroll one population over another. But, we also need to hear the other half at the highest levels which is not happening no matter who won. This probably part of the reason that we have ended up with this fissure.

        • I agree, Melissa, communication and understanding is a big part of it. The amount of money candidates need to raise is another part of it; this country spends way too much time on elections. We also need to quit punishing politicians who compromise with the other party (moderates), and quit electing people who show no willingness to compromise and instead just add fuel to the fire.

        • Actually, 47% of the country didn’t vote. 28% voted for Clinton. Only 27% voted for Trump. They are the minority vote, and this hateful moment in our country;’s history will be overcome by inclusion, love, and unity. I welcome all who wish to join us in that message.

      • I’m wondering if you read my essay. The country is absolutely not entirely red except for the big cities. I’ll include a link below; please take a look.

        I’m glad you brought up Chicago; I’ve made the same point though for opposite reasons. Each state is like a mini country as far as their government bodies, no? But we use the popular vote for electing a governor and it works fine. The electoral college was put into place (amid quite a bit of controversy among the founders) for reasons that are no longer relevant, in my opinion. Things like slavery, and the fact that many rural voters had no access to information and would, in fact, learn who was elected president weeks or months after an election. Also, our president, thank God, is not a dictator. So even if we elected a president with the popular vote, the states who “lost” still have their senators and representatives. No one would be steamrolled.

        Here’s a much more realistic look at how people vote in the U.S.:
        http://www.businessinsider.com/2016-election-results-maps-population-adjusted-cartogram-2016-11/#but-many-of-those-blue-counties-contain-dense-cities-resizing-counties-by-population-it-becomes-a-little-clearer-why-clinton-is-likely-to-narrowly-win-the-popular-vote-but-lose-in-the-electoral-college-5

        • Of course I read your essay, Jessica. And of course I don’t know your friends’ Fb feeds. . But I’ve heard all those stories, and checked them out. And they are simply not true. If I heard them, then you were seeing the same Facebook nonsense as I did. That’s all I was saying.

          The electoral college is still valid. It’s purpose was in election to not give the Northern colonies, which had so much population the ability to impose their will on the less populace South. It’s still valid. The overwhelming votes for blue air on the coasts and big cities. You can call purple if you want, but if a county majority goes blue then the county goes blue and they add them up. It’s really as simple as that. So no it’s not archaic.

          Again, I’m not a huge trump supporter at all. But I simply don’t like alot of the welfare and social policies because in the long run I think it’s really hurt us. I love the legal immigrants. Don’t think illegals should be here at all. . Don’t believe in generational welfare. I think it’s disrespectful to people. They can work. Work at getting jobs back. Then they go to work to eat like you and me. I don’t think there is a thought given to racism at the people level. I believe alot of folks want to make it so. But my experience and those of most I know is not anything like that. So if that makes me a hater, so be it. I can’t can’t, and won’t convince you anyway. Everybody’s mind is long made up and bottom line nobody is willing to hear anybody else.

          • Well, I’m glad you’re here commenting, and I hope you always feel welcome.

            I won’t give in so easily–not to convince you, but in hopes that we all do start listening to each other. The thing is, I don’t think what most of us are saying is all that different (except for the electoral college; I disagree with you on that). But we’re all on defense. I believe you that you and most of the people you know didn’t give a thought to racism; you have different worries, different concerns. I get it. And what I’m saying, I hope, doesn’t negate that. But I suppose what many of us want from voters like you is at least the acknowledgement that Trump ran a divisive campaign that stoked the fires of racism and fear and misogyny in some. And so while yes, hopefully he can do what many people want and add jobs and grow the middle class, it is irresponsible, I believe, to ignore the other side of him. A businessman was elected, and also a bigot and misogynist. You simply cannot separate the two.

            As to the Facebook posts, I am not referring to news stories or re-posts. I am referring to, for example, a friend who lives in NY who walked her children to a neighborhood park and there was a swastika and “Trump” on the brick wall of the playground. These things happened and are happening.

            • Well. The term misogynist is too loosely applied. I don’t think he hates women at all, which the word means. He’s like Bill Clinton. Probably loves them too much. And the swastika. Is it also possible to think that a liberal posted that for the hate for trump? Swastika = trump. The tearing off of the teen hair is false. I know this from research. We honestly don’t know what the heck is going on. Seriously. I don’t believe at all trump is a bigot. Not at all. He has other issues for sure but bigotry I don’t think is one of them. A campaign is a campaign. What? . Clean them. Like a cloth? How stupid. The liberals sound nice. I get it. But are they any better at that level? . I think completely not. This is a whole different level of animal were talking about. And if you want to talk racism, Obama said hardly one word about police being killed. But every single black shot he was right there. We got that. Yet not one single word, ever on the gang killings in his own home town. Seriously, jess, you can’t disregard all this. The problem will be is the hue and cry over everything trump does. See! *I told you so!!! . Lame duck from day one. Hilary is an absolute liar. Has been from day one. I wish there’d have been a different Democrat or a Republican. But the DNC was determined that Clinton was the one. Payback for alot of stuff over the years. Trump everybody tried to deep six. Republicans as well as Democrats. Look. The country knows we are rotten to the core. At the leadership level. These two actually exemplify it.

              • I don’t know what state you’re from, but I do know in the mid 60s mostly what I heard was how pissed everyone was is that all of NY State paid for that black hole in NYC. That was in the 60s. Can you imagine how it is today? . Question. Do you think ultimately illegal immigration is OK? What level of taxation to pay for it, your family taxation. Which I assume you and your family work hard for is acceptable to take? What do you choose to give up in YOUR life. That YOU worked for? Just your life. I don’t want to hear about the collective. Just yours. No direct TV? No can afford. Dinners out? No can afford. A smaller home, which by the way I have, as a mcmansion is an absolute waste of space in my mind. But others sitting on their ass. Others sneaking in for a better life. Can you honestly tell me you’ll sacrifice your family for the benefit of these? . Sorry. That’s not normal. I absolutely will not. Not me. My wife my kids. Nobody. For that.

                And it isn’t right, Jessica. Nor anyone else. Why then bother to educate your children? Why would you work so hard to build a better life for yourself. If you’re building it for others. That don’t appreciate what YOU have sacrificed. But great. Have at it if it makes you happy. But at such a cost to you and yours? . Sorry. That makes no sense to me.

      • What I like about you best Jessica, is that I think you’re a really nice person. I get this. Winston Churchill said any young person who is not a liberal has no heart. Any old person who is not a conservative has not learned a damn thing in their entire life. I think that’s true. I argued with my mom when I was 15 about the song Signs, by 5 man electrical band. Man I was mad. Right on dude. Stick it to the man. But she humored me. Made me madder. But she was right. I think alot of what’s going on today is not so dissimilar. I’ve seen alot. Don’t listen to the words. It’s nonsense. When they go low we go high. Yeah right. Clinton. Probably one of the most bottom dwellers we’ve ever seen. I’d love to see a woman president. Just not THAT ONE. She was able absolute snake. Even Democrats held their nose as I did with trump. But if he can shake something up I’m happy. Here in Minnesota we had Jesse ventura. At least he shook some trees.

          • November 21, 2016 at 11:00 pm
            I don’t know what state you’re from, but I do know in the mid 60s mostly what I heard was how pissed everyone was is that all of NY State paid for that black hole in NYC. That was in the 60s. Can you imagine how it is today? . Question. Do you think ultimately illegal immigration is OK? What level of taxation to pay for it, your family taxation. Which I assume you and your family work hard for is acceptable to take? What do you choose to give up in YOUR life. That YOU worked for? Just your life. I don’t want to hear about the collective. Just yours. No direct TV? No can afford. Dinners out? No can afford. A smaller home, which by the way I have, as a mcmansion is an absolute waste of space in my mind. But others sitting on their ass. Others sneaking in for a better life. Can you honestly tell me you’ll sacrifice your family for the benefit of these? . Sorry. That’s not normal. I absolutely will not. Not me. My wife my kids. Nobody. For that.

            And it isn’t right, Jessica. Nor anyone else. Why then bother to educate your children? Why would you work so hard to build a better life for yourself. If you’re building it for others. That don’t appreciate what YOU have sacrificed. But great. Have at it if it makes you happy. But at such a cost to you and yours? . Sorry. That makes no sense to me.

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