This week Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) announced that he is no longer following President Trump’s Twitter feed. Predictably, the alt-right blogosphere greeted this news with squeals of mocking glee. But if Chris Murphy—who as a Senator is tasked with policing the President—can unfollow Trump, then so can you. Murphy has wisely decided to save himself from the warped hellscape that is the Trump Twitter feed and instead redirect his brain calories to a higher and better use. I think we should all follow suit.
We should all save our summer.
This is supposed to be the season when we relax, read books for fun, enjoy the sunshine and make good memories. But here we are in July, and the President has reached into his playbook and ratcheted up the nastiness of his rhetoric in order to dominate the normally-quiet summer airwaves.
Remember the summer of 2015, which news outlets labeled “The Summer of Trump”? The man went from being a cartoonish carnival barker to a serious contender for the GOP presidential nomination in a matter of weeks, crassly attacking his opponents, their wives, their fathers, and immigrants, and effectively starving his competitors of any airtime by keeping his outrageousness constantly in the headlines. He was trashy! He was shocking! He had terrible taste in furniture! How could such a person be running for president??
We all paid attention. We couldn’t tear our eyes from this train wreck. It was, in a sick kind of way, entertaining.
You know the rest.
This year we have the reverse of 2015: a crowded Democratic field is vying for the nomination. How much airtime has been dedicated to those candidates, versus Donald Trump’s dumb rabble-rousing bullshit about congresswomen of color and the city of Baltimore?
More importantly: how much time to you spend feeling angered and upset about Donald Trump’s perverse rhetoric versus researching the other candidates?
Accept what you deep down already know: Trump’s playing us. Again. During the one time of year when we’re not supposed to have to pay attention to the ugliest of politics, we have the occupant of the White House gleefully throwing feces and being rewarded—again!—for it.
This summer, focus on stories about things that matter, things that actually affect your life, or your neighbors’ lives here and abroad. Never ever look at President Trump’s Twitter feed, and, of course, work on voting the bum out. Unfortunately, nobody on the enfeebled GOP side is challenging the President (a RINO if there ever was one), so look into the Dem candidates. Which one can realistically beat him? How can you help get out the vote? Once again, a handful of places in this country will decide the next president, but don’t fantasize about getting rid of the electoral college. It’s not going to happen anytime soon, any more than Republicans will remember that they care about government debt (actually, they will start caring again if a Democrat wins).
Whatever you do: do not pay attention to that troll in the White House. He is using the media to get inside your head. He’s good at it! So don’t let him. I firmly believe that you can safely pay very little attention to what Donald Trump says, so long as you pay attention to what his administration is actually doing. Don’t waste your time fretting about his dumbshit race-baiting. Instead, put your energy towards finding ways you can help immigrants, help the environment, help family planning and women’s health, help reduce our government debt, help promote free trade, help promote gun control, help promote the sacred American ideal that all people are created equal. In short, help whatever issue it is that he hates and you care most about.
Most importantly: get to work on getting rid of him. It might happen, if we all put our backs into it. As a great president once said: “Don’t boo — vote!”
And then, hopefully you can connect with friends and family, read a book for fun, and enjoy the rest of your summer. Because Donald Trump is not in charge of your pursuit of happiness. You are.