You do not get to win this

Dear President Trump,

This week I’ve felt even more impacted than usual by your “Shock and Benumb” tactics. “Oh, he’s saying he’d love the government to shut down so he can blame the Democrats.” Hmm. Shrug. “Gosh, the stock market is thrashing around and there’s just the sound of crickets emanating from the White House.” Yep, that’s about right. “He wants a military parade bigger and better than France’s (and Kim Jong-un’s).” Figures. Next.

I just feel so weary and fed up. And scared. Through the haze of the numb helplessness, I do feel deeply scared. It’s as though we have a truly nihilistic crazy man running the carnival ride and he’s intent on running it off the rails even though all the cars are full to capacity. I’m stuck in one of them somewhere in the middle, strapped in and unable to make it stop or even slow down, trying to keep from screaming, trying to keep from embarrassing myself, desperately wanting off.

I realized this morning after my walk/run that I’ve taken the same route every day so far this week, something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I usually really like mixing it up and seeing different parts of the neighborhood. It may just be correlational and not causal, but it sure feels like the more you and your GOP props stir the pot in the “outside” world, the more I want my “inside” world to be predictable and to at least feel safe. I’ve been folding a lot of laundry and doing the dishes more often than is necessary lately too; anything to maintain or reestablish some sense of security.

Shit, I hadn’t seen it before I typed that last sentence, but this is an awesome strategy (the awesome strategy?) for wearing people down, having them feel on edge and nervous to the point where they close ranks and fight to keep things safe and predictable, where they just want law and order and only to deal with people they think they understand, people like themselves. I know I’ve expounded on the pernicious fear/hate link many times before, but I think this if the first time I’ve really felt the fear tentacles lacing their way into my day-to-day choices. I clearly need to take a different route tomorrow morning. You do not get to win this.

May we see the dangers of succumbing to numbness.
May we be happy to keep pushing ourselves to be open and curious.
May we figure out healthy ways to recharge.
May we hold peace close and may we spread it abundantly.

Tracy Simpson

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