Trump Fatigue: how do we survive the next four years?

defy2I don’t know how I can survive.

Donald has been president for six days now. 1,455 to go.

In the weeks leading up to the inauguration there was all kinds of speculation as to what we might expect. Was Trump serious about his promises? (Maybe not, since he seemed to be admitting that he lied all over the place.) Was he – the gods forbid – speaking literally about all the crazy things he said he’d do? (Many people – including a lot, if not most Republicans – seemed to think he was serious, but not literal. Whatever that means.)

It’s been six days, and now we know. He was serious. He was literal. And open war has been declared on:

  • freedom of expression
  • Muslims
  • immigrants
  • journalism
  • science
  • facts
  • decency
  • morality
  • economic stability
  • ethics
  • Native Americans
  • and reality in general

It’s as bad as we feared. It’s worse. It’s a slow-motion coup against the Republic. And maybe not so slow.

DEFY Hoodie - click to shop

DEFY Hoodie – click to shop

What do we do? We defy. But that’s as hard to do as it is easy to say.

Last weekend’s worldwide series of women’s marches was a great start, but it’s only a start. Those kinds of events need to be happening in every city in America at least once a week. That energy must be sustained. It must grow. It must be willing to sacrifice.

Every morning when he wakes up the first thought Donald has needs to be “fuck, not again,” and the first words out of his mouth need to be “what the hell are the bastards doing to me today?” It’s hard to attack when you’re taking heavy suppression fire and Donald needs to spend every minute of the next 1,455 days on his heels. Under siege. In a bunker, head down, praying to a god he doesn’t believe in for relief he doesn’t deserve. 1,455 days of living hell so bad all he can think about is resigning and handing the reins to somebody else. Anybody else, even that Bible-pounding nitwit Pence.

That’s what we need to do. But how? The magnitude of the assault on on our society is terrifying, and defiance can’t be casual. It takes time. It takes emotional energy. It’s draining and most days are going to feel like utter failure.

Trump Fatigue is going to be a very real, very stressful thing. For me it already is. I avoid the news and Facebook because I simply can’t take what I know is waiting for me. Six days in and I’m ducking the news.

I’m asking a serious question – maybe the most serious and important question that has been asked in my lifetime: how can we balance the imperative to resist with the need to preserve our sanity? If we can’t answer this question, then we have a choice: submit to Trump and lose our nation, or flail at the barricades until we snap. A fascist society or a nation suffering, literally, from an epic, overwhelming collective case of PTSD.

I don’t have an answer, but I’m trying. I have to modulate my doomsday intake, that I know. I need to be informed, but too much will swamp me. Not enough leaves me ill-informed for the fight.

Maybe the solution has to do with making sure I’m taking in more beauty. Maybe every morning I need to spend some time looking at photography and art sites to recharge the batteries and, also, to remind me that there are things worth fighting for. To this end I emailed the following to some friends (and I’ll ask you now as well):

I need recs. It has become clear that I won’t survive the next four years if my daily input remains what it has been. I desperately need to change up what I’m seeing every day, and one of the obvious ways of doing that is to delve even deeper into photography.

So I need to know what sites I should visit. I want to see great shooting, I might want to know about contests, and content on technique obviously rules. Basically, what photo sites would you recommend I insert into my morning media cycle so I can get the day off to a different kind of start?

I don’t know if this will be enough, but I do know I’m not as ready for the fight as I was 30 years ago, when I was sort of always looking for a dustup.

I hope it’s enough, though, and I’m happy to hear any strategies you have.

1,455 days to go. [sigh]


  • Thank you for this. I wish I had a strategy. You expressed so much of what I’m feeling and every morning the malaise and the feeling of “Oh, crap, what are he and his cronies going to do today” settles over me like a shroud. I suppose moderation is key; being informed is good, but immersing oneself in the muck and mire every minute is enough to send one to the loony bin. Work is good, exercise is good, loved ones, pets, anything that is distracting, nurturing, etc. And hoping for the best, even while fearing the worst.

    For those who are dealing with this fatigue, find others for support. Choose your places of expressing concern (and venting) carefully. Not everyone wants to listen to your fear; I have found this out the hard way.

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