I didn’t watch the inauguration. I couldn’t stomach it. There’s civic duty and all of that, but it’s hard to balance that with the disgust I feel toward number 45. I think I’ve been in a low-grade depression since November 8th. I’ve never had outside factors make such a direct impact on my state of being. My brain said ‘we survived Bush, we can weather this’ but with every decision 45 made since that date, it was not only a bad one, but one so completely unfortunate that the idea this was an elaborate prank actually made more sense.
A head of the EPA that doesn’t believe in climate change.
A head of education that thinks bears are a greater threat to students than guns.
A head of housing and urban development whose only qualification in 45’s mind is that he’s black so he must understand urban things.
I went on a Facebook sabbatical in mid-November. I couldn’t take the deluge of negativity – not just the ridiculous celebration of the most limiting administration in the past twenty years, but also from the completely valid wallowing of how harrowing our future seems. I chose to put my focus elsewhere and while I haven’t been completely social media free -Instagram has become more of a thing- but I do think it’s really helped my state of mind in this new social order.
Today, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, and then killing more time by popping over to twitter, I felt something I haven’t felt since November 8th:
I had been so focused on the negative, an easy task really, that I lost sight of what a truly powerful and extensive beacon of hope humanity actually can be. Post-election my thoughts weren’t directly focused on what a whiny, narcissistic, vapid, moronic, hateful, racist, xenophobic, dangerous, misogynist that number 45 was but more so that 63 million people in this country don’t care. This is a man who has spent the better part of thirty years in the public spotlight and has not once done something that wasn’t completely self-serving. And 63 million people think that he will care anything for them and whatever plight made them support such a worthless piece of flesh.
I’ve been rather safely protected in my California blue-state bubble surrounded by progressive, diverse people that for the most part were in a similar state as I was. When everyone went back to normal a few days later, I was still stuck. How?
Today I watched as dozens, if not hundreds, of my friends, joined thousands, I guess millions actually, of others across the country to march for women, against number 45. I saw friends that are firm red-staters cheering them on. And I saw media that wasn’t supporting the narrative that number 45 is the best ever, greatest ever, hugest whatever bullshit.
The next four years aren’t going to skate by. There will be some truly damaging things done. But I have hope. Hope that we will get through it. Hope that we can weather the storm. And hope that come 2018 we can end the mandate. And that with 2020 we can get back to a leader that cares more about humanity than image.
*photo credit to Cindy Tang. I’ll tell her I stole it one day.