So here’s a weird thing. This morning, I pulled open the laptop to start one of my standard posts (John Oliver, Sam Bee, or Seth Meyers’s videos. You know my beat), and immediately got antsy. Because while I love Seth Meyers and his team’s in-depth looks at that day’s largest political stories, I’m also honestly just a little worn down. Because this shit is fucking exhausting. You remember when Trump said that being president is harder than expected? 1) Yeah, that was just in April. Not three years ago like I assumed it had happened. 2) Yeah, buddy, you being president is harder than anybody thought.
Which brings me to an interesting piece of news. This morning, while being upset with myself for feeling so resistant to watching what is arguable enjoyable, entertaining, informative TV, I had an idea for a post: The Next Steps We Should Take As We Continue The Resistance. Only issue is, I already wrote that post. Almost exactly a year ago (like to the day). But I, never being one to turn my back on one of my own good ideas, have pushed through. I watched that Late Night segment, and I enjoyed it. So here, again, is what we do next.
1) We Give Ourselves A Fucking Break
Here’s that “Closer Look” I didn’t want to watch, then forced myself to watch, and then sort of enjoyed watching. Watch it.
And next time, don’t fucking watch it. Not unless you want to. Don’t feel compelled to follow every news story. Don’t even feel compelled to watch every time a late show host makes fun of the president or other government official. Unless, of course, you want to give up your job, friends, and family and devote yourself to it entirely. There’s just too much. If you don’t want to follow the Trump Garbage of the Week, don’t.
2) We Don’t Try To Change Any Minds That Aren’t Important
If your aunt doesn’t understand yet why Trump is an assaulting, misogynistic, doddering old racist whose white nationalism and mental deterioration is inching us ever closer to WWIII, sleeping with a porn start isn’t going to change that. Best you can hope for is that Trump personally injures every person in the U.S., and even then some people won’t turn on him. There’s not a lot to be done about it. And it’s a big reason why following every news story isn’t necessary. You already know Trump is a dumpster fire. Learning a new way in which he’s a dumpster fire isn’t going to change that. Telling others that he’s a dumpster fire isn’t going to change that either. So focus on minds you can change, namely the people you vote into office. And on that note …
3) We Do Keep Trying To Change The Minds That Are Important, i.e. Our Congress People
Look, I’m not saying I could have changed Sen. Durbin or Duckworth’s minds on voting to end the shutdown if I’d called more, but I know for damn sure I’m not changing their minds if I’m not calling. And since I’ve slacked off a lot in calling over the last few months (because again, everything about this is exhausting, and there’s so, so much), I’m slowly rebuilding that routine of calling and emailing and using the ResistBot. It’s better than doing nothing, it’s more productive than checking Twitter, and it’s significantly easier than my resolution to get into shape (exercise is so boring, guys).
4) We Give Ourselves Mental Candy
You know what’s really hard? Fighting against what’s essentially a monolith of political power that feels no obligation to you individually because, while their decisions will directly impact your life in sometimes excruciating detail, you aren’t one of their constituents, and if you are, you probably won’t vote for them anyway. Sen. Collins might have done the right thing once, but she gives dick all if I, a raging liberal from seven states over, don’t approve of the job she’s doing. So this fight that I keep encouraging you to fight is hard, often depressing, desperately important work that rarely results in a victory. It’s the worst.
It’s OK to be a little bit petty. The fact that Trump asked to be spanked by a porn star with a magazine featuring the faces of him and two of his children is like the four-hundred-and-eighty-third worst thing he’s done. This month. If he were an ordinary president with ordinary problems, I probably wouldn’t discuss it. But, again, none of this shit is ordinary. So I feel fine with mocking the president for being a morally-deprived hypocrite who is so desperate for love and validation that even his sex toys have to bear his name and likeness. I’m fine with people insulting his relationship with his daughter, because he continually makes inappropriate, near abusive comments on her attractiveness and sexiness. I openly mock the president for his mental shortcomings, and, goddamnit, it feels great. Would I mock a similarly doddering old man with a clear case of dementia? I don’t know, would he try to grab me by the pussy?
The point is, holding ourselves to a higher standard doesn’t mean being emotionless automatons who refuse to laugh at others’ misfortunes, even when they are misfortunes that some asshole brought upon himself while actively injuring the rest of the goddamn country.