Trumpophobia: Rare, medium or apoplectic?

Exile in Mexico has a number of advantages, chief among them that you could, theoretically, try to preserve some peace of mind by setting some distance from the jarring avalanche of political news coming from the U.S.

Erik Hagerman, was so upset at Donald Trump’s election that he swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016.

“It was draconian and complete,” Hagerman told the New York Times. “It’s not like I wanted to just steer away from Trump or shift the conversation. It was like I was a vampire and any photon of Trump would turn me to dust.”

Hagerman has stuck to what he calls “The Blockade” of all news, and claims he has lived happily ever after in a pig farm in Glouster, Ohio. Meanwhile millions of Americans, both pro- and anti-Trump, continue to marinate in angry debate, with other people and even in their own minds.

But personally I just don’t have the discipline to wean myself from all news, no matter how beneficial it might be for my mental health.

Instead I’ve carved out an uneasy middle position between that rare bunch of people who’ve managed to ignore Trump—or rarer still, continue to support him—and those opponents who live in permanent apoplexy, cursing Trump every waking minute.

Such non-stop rage reminds me of my dad who would pray daily for Castro’s eternal damnation to the depths of hell. My dad died about ten years before Castro, a very angry man.

Last week Stew and I met some friends at the Frontera restaurant for its weekly meatloaf special, and our friends pointed to a group gathered by themselves at the opposite corner of the place and whispered conspiratorially, “those are San Miguel Republicans!” Whew.

There are also persistent but unverified whispers that there are actually some Trumpistas lurking somewhere in the congregation of our small church! Wow.

Granted, Republicans in San Miguel are about as rare as openly gay Baptists in Alabama, but I couldn’t understand why Republicans would automatically be assumed to be pro-Trump or treated with such scorn. Or even why they, in turn, would feel it necessary to hide their political preferences from those outside their tight circle of friends.

On the other hand, the anti-Trumpers in San Miguel, both visitors and locals, are afflicted with their own form of derangement: More than a year after the election, they can’t stop cursing and obsessing about that son-of-a-bitch.

Recently I watched two friends visiting from bluer-than-blue Chicago who damn near could not stop talking about Mr. T. There was no way to steer the conversation elsewhere, such was their anger and fixation on the topic.

“You need to get a life” was one piece of advice I could have used but didn’t.

I must confess to sharing part of their anger. But after so many months of news reports, revelations and accusations regarding Trump, my animus toward him has gradually tempered from unhinged to a mellower middle ground of quiet anger, occasionally relieved with with astonishment.

Why would Ivanka Trump, who has zero foreign policy experience, be involved in high-level negotiations with South Korea? I chose to shake my head and giggle rather than fume about that one.

Some would say my attitude may be the onset of resignation, despondency, or deep depression.

But no. I think instead it might more a combination of numbness and optimism. Maybe realism, too, since there is not much I can do right now but to make sure my absentee ballot reaches Chicago in time.

For one, I’m sick and tired of listening to the same black humor and apocalyptic political rantings of many of my friends.

For another, my experience after coming to the U.S. as a refugee from Cuba in 1962, when I was fourteen years old, has given me a nearly unshakeable faith that my adopted country and its political institutions are capable of emerging from the darkness that envelops them today.

Several months ago Stew and I stopped watching, almost completely, late-night talk shows with their litany of anti-Trump monologues and skits, or even Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher and CNN. There is so much whining, smirking and eye-rolling we can take.

How conservatives, no matter how angry, can stand to watch Fox News daily, with its gross official government mouthpiece bias, is beyond me.

                                     Rolling Stone. com

One exception is Saturday Night Live, which can still come up with too-good-to-miss material, such as John Goodman’s impression of Rex Tillerson after Trump fired him. Alec Baldwin doing Trump? Again? Not so much.

But most of all, my heartfelt immigrant optimism keeps me from fearing the worst for the U.S.

A few months after I arrived, the U.S. and Russia nearly reached for their nuclear buttons and annihilated each other and the rest of the world. But they didn’t.

The Vietnam War, and the convulsive social protests and youthful disaffection—remember the trauma of Kent State?—should have irreparably torn apart the country, and if not them, certainly the Watergate scandal and subsequent resignation of Richard Nixon. But they didn’t.

Though I have no secret sources at the White House, my strong hunch is that Trump will not serve a full term, much less get reelected for a second, and it won’t be because of some dramatic remedy such as impeachment.

 Nate Beeler, Columbus Dispatch

Rather it will be the power of the vote of women, minorities and a majority of white men that will do Trump in, beginning with the upcoming congressional elections.

Meanwhile I plan to keep my wits about me and look for any moments of humor during these dark political times.

Humor? How about Anderson Cooper, an openly gay newsman, interviewing a former Playboy centerfold on Thursday on CNN, and on 60 Minutes on Sunday, a porn actress with the memorable nom de porn of Stormy Daniels, and exploring their past sexual escapades with our Commander-in-Chief and his failed attempts at a cover-up?

I’ll probably watch both programs, out of curiosity if nothing else. I hope the Ohio pig farmer makes an exception to his news Blockade and does also.


11 thoughts on “Trumpophobia: Rare, medium or apoplectic?

  1. Anonymous

    There was a essay in the paper yesterday that said pretty much what you said,”it's not funny anymore”.I'm with you on the idea that , this too will pass. Maybe our current president will have shaken the tree of complacency to the point where the voters who stayed home in the last general election, go to the polls the next general election. It is and always will be about turnout.


  2. Lordy, that was long. I hope you feel better now. Meanwhile, the talented, intelligent, gloriously refreshing President Trump (with a babe of a wife) soldiers on, and he still won the election fair and square. I hope you guys will, in time, accept that now and then your candidate loses.You will have to step out of your echo chamber first, I guess.


  3. Yes, long, but not nearly as long as the Trump presidency, which fortunately will come to an end soon. BTW you need to update your references to women. “Chicks”, “babes” etc. are not terribly au courant. If anything, Melania is a saint for putting up with that repulsive sleazebag.


  4. Anonymous

    The really sad thing about the apoplexy is that it is so focused on trivialities: sexual escapades; the potential interview with contract-breaking porn star; Trump's tweets, which don't have the force of policy. Meanwhile, what's actual policy? The Democrats are crowing over the budget, which slathers pork and more deficit-spending over all. Hillary's neocon foreign policy seems to be alive and well. And any hope that Trump might repair relations with the Russians are well beyond ridiculous. Meanwhile, the really serious matters such as the massive deficits here at the top of the business cycle, unsustainable debt, intergenerational inequality are barely noticed. If nothing else, the Trump presidency has revealed America's chattering classes for the vapid, party-line toers that they really are. And for CNN, which spent more than a year shilling for Obama's chosen successor to call Fox “state-run media” is so laughable as to be practically suffocating. And yes, I'm thinking you're probably right about Trump: he's likely to be a one-term president. Unless, of course the Democrats screw things up completely, which is usually a fair bet. They seem to be as incompetent as they are shrill. Meanwhile, crossover voters such as myself are certainly disappointed about Trump's shift to the neocon side, most recently exemplified by the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor. I already feel less secure with him in office, and I'm sure it'll only get worse. Sadly, the sort of folks who might nudge America back onto the right path — Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg — have the proverbial snowball's chance in hell of actually winning. So color me disillusioned, but not deranged. Saludos,Kim GRedding, CAWhere we are particularly disappointed about all the lying and jumping to conclusions about the Skripal poisoning.


  5. Dear Kim: Never thought of you being deranged, believe me. In fact we may be pretty much on the same page about a number of issues though I must confess I don't know nearly as much about economics and finance as you do. But talking about policy under Trump is ultimately a fatuous exercise because the problem with Trump is Trump. The guy is not a well read person with a coherent policy or ideology about anything, but someone who pulls stuff out of his ear (or somewhere else) almost on the spur of the moment and quite often without consulting anyone. Do you think for a minute he's thought through the implications of starting a trade war with China, or that he's read the agreement with Iran that he so vehemently opposes? Second, I think the guy is totally corrupt. His unwillingness to confront the Russians, and in fact, being downright deferential toward Putin, who is world-class gangster, leaves you wondering what is his real motivation or driving force. My guess: The Russians oligarchs have Trump by balls either over financial deals or something else. Third the guy is a total, unredeemable scumbag. He lies as often and casually as he breathes. The thing about Obama being born in Kenya was a total lie that he still won't disallow. I may disagree with Romney, Bloomberg, May or other leaders but at least they are decent moral people. But someone who takes up with a porn star a few months after his wife had a baby? How low can you go? I'm not looking for St. Francis, but Jeezus this guy is truly revolting. And how the holy-rollers have made peace with him, in exchange for some anti-abortion judges, is beyond me. That's the ultimate Faustian bargain.Skripal? Why are you so suspicious of? The Russians have poisoned, jailed and otherwise bumped off political opponents before. That's just part of their M.O. Nothing to be surprised about. Or you think Putin is incapable of it?We'll talk about Guadalajara later. It's not a half-bad


  6. Kim raises a good point about the media (and many of us) being obsessed with trivialities. (I'm not sure trivial is the right characterization, but let's call them things that don't affect the policy sphere, which in fact plenty of people are also concerned with.) But I had an interesting thought this morning while shaving: How would I feel about Al Franken running for President?


  7. Creigh: Sorry but I can't write off Trump's all-encompassing sleaziness as a triviality. You can't compare him to Clinton, a sleazo womanizer who was awesomely intelligent and conversant in politics and policy and a gifted orator. Or Nixon, who was a bit psychotic but a foreign policy genius who also was willing to compromise with the opposition. Or doddering Reagan, who had a well formulated ideology even if you didn't agree with him.Trump's lying, epic corruption, lack of knowledge of even the Constitution, and sleaziness are in a class by themselves. Al Franken? Theoretically I could vote for him except the GOP would make mincemeat out of him.Al


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