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Monday, October 09, 2017

The Enormous Emotional Toll of Trumpism

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"At a certain point, the distaste becomes exhaustion. Donald Trump’s presence in our national life has been alternately infuriating, embarrassing, revolting, gross and bizarre. His non-stop assaults on our political norms are testing our capacity to sustain constant outrage without giving in to despair.

I meet victims of Trump fatigue everywhere. They stop me in airports and restaurants and on the street and ask how long we’ll have to put up with this madness – when will Bob Mueller finally bring him down, and how much more can our systems bend before they break. When I tell them Trump is likely to clamor on until either the 2018 election slows him down or the 2020 election stops him (or if Russian interference, non-white voter suppression and liberal perfectionism succeed again, ‘til he terms out in 2024), the look on their faces is something akin to terror.

For many Americans – many humans – Trump’s presidency can often feel unbearable.

Try as you might to put him out of your mind, he blunders back into your consciousness. He lumbers across your television and cellphone screens in his giant Trump suits, squinting and pouting with his silent, sullen wife or exhausted looking cabinet members in tow. One minute he’s tearing up international agreements. The next, he’s tweeting out his inner demons, mocking people of color, taunting unstable dictators with stupid nicknames and generally wreaking havoc. The Trump Show is the reality TV train wreck you can’t turn off, no matter how badly you want to. No sooner does he ruin one thing (so much for empathetic hurricane response being Presidenting 101) than he’s on to the next one (stay tuned to find out what our “tease to commercial break” president means by “the calm before the storm!”)

Even his cabinet seems to be succumbing to Trump exhaustion. Rex Tillerson, his miserable secretary of state, is said to slouch and grimace in Trump’s presence. He fails to return White House phone calls. And he apparently told associates at the Pentagon that Trump is a “fucking moron.” It’s tough to sympathize with Tillerson, the oil mogul and Putin pal currently decimating the half-empty State Department. But it’s not hard to relate to his sense of ennui. Trump’s presidency is enervating. Every day is a new game of Russian-aided roulette. We careen from hour to hour, wondering if he’ll blow up our healthcare system, our access to birth control, our tentative peace with Iran, our European alliances or literally us, via nuclear war with North Korea.

Recently I asked a cross-section of politically active observers to describe the constant barrage of Trump news and its impact on their psyches. They offered adjectives that descended from bad to worse.

 

“Exhausting,” said one lifelong Republican, adding that they are “sick of it.”

 

 

 

The Enormous Emotional Toll of Trumpism


JOY-ANN REID10.07.17 10:33 AM ETAt a certain point, the distaste becomes exhaustion. Donald Trump’s presence in our national life has been alternately infuriating, embarrassing, revolting, gross and bizarre. His non-stop assaults on our political norms are testing our capacity to sustain constant outrage without giving in to despair.I meet victims of Trump fatigue everywhere. They stop me in airports and restaurants and on the street and ask how long we’ll have to put up with this madness – when will Bob Mueller finally bring him down, and how much more can our systems bend before they break. When I tell them Trump is likely to clamor on until either the 2018 election slows him down or the 2020 election stops him (or if Russian interference, non-white voter suppression and liberal perfectionism succeed again, ‘til he terms out in 2024), the look on their faces is something akin to terror.For many Americans – many humans – Trump’s presidency can often feel unbearable.Try as you might to put him out of your mind, he blunders back into your consciousness. He lumbers across your television and cellphone screens in his giant Trump suits, squinting and pouting with his silent, sullen wife or exhausted looking cabinet members in tow. One minute he’s tearing up international agreements. The next, he’s tweeting out his inner demons, mocking people of color, taunting unstable dictators with stupid nicknames and generally wreaking havoc. The Trump Show is the reality TV train wreck you can’t turn off, no matter how badly you want to. No sooner does he ruin one thing (so much for empathetic hurricane response being Presidenting 101) than he’s on to the next one (stay tuned to find out what our “tease to commercial break” president means by “the calm before the storm!”)Even his cabinet seems to be succumbing to Trump exhaustion. Rex Tillerson, his miserable secretary of state, is said to slouch and grimace in Trump’s presence. He fails to return White House phone calls. And he apparently told associates at the Pentagon that Trump is a “fucking moron.” It’s tough to sympathize with Tillerson, the oil mogul and Putin pal currently decimating the half-empty State Department. But it’s not hard to relate to his sense of ennui. Trump’s presidency is enervating. Every day is a new game of Russian-aided roulette. We careen from hour to hour, wondering if he’ll blow up our healthcare system, our access to birth control, our tentative peace with Iran, our European alliances or literally us, via nuclear war with North Korea.Recently I asked a cross-section of politically active observers to describe the constant barrage of Trump news and its impact on their psyches. They offered adjectives that descended from bad to worse.“Exhausting,” said one lifelong Republican, adding that they are “sick of it.”

 

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