When the Man's Got You Down
It is a truth universally acknowledged that I loathe Donald Trump.
I try to read all of my news pertaining to the President, and I actively avoid his television and radio appearances. I do this because Donald Trump's voice is a sort of trigger for me. When I hear him speak, I immediately think of the Access Hollywood tape ("Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.") and picture the lewd gesture he did while mocking a disabled reporter. I think of the children separated from their parents at the border and being locked inside cages. I think of the way he's discredited the media and journalists, replacing their facts with his lies. So many of his incoherent, petty, malicious tweets flood my mind, like when he made fun of teenager Greta Thunburg, and I fume thinking about his supporters who shrug, "Well, at least my stock portfolio is doing well."
If my brain is really on a roll, I'll also remember some of the amazing people he has insulted—typically via Twitter, so presidential of him—including, but certainly not limited to, Pope Francis, John McCain, and The Entire Cast of Hamilton.
Anyways. I was stuck in rainy, rush hour traffic on 71N this afternoon when Donald Trump's voice came over my radio. He was talking about how unfair Roger Stone's sentencing was—yes, Roger Stone. I gripped the steering wheel tighter and felt all of those awful thoughts start to simmer.
Nope, not today. I thought. I'm not going to let this bully ruin my evening.
If you experience a similar reaction when Donald Trump crosses into your orbit, I've compiled this little list of ten ways to combat those frustrations.
1. Listen to the Hamilton soundtrack. Do I find a way to mention this Broadway show in nearly every blog post? Yes. I do. But these tunes are not only catchy and brilliant, they also never fail to excite my patriotism.
2. Spend time with animals. They're bipartisan.
3. Donate to a political candidate you admire. These men and women trying to win the White House need your support! If you need some incentive, another "Pizza with Pete" contest is happening now. Donate to Pete for America, and you (plus a guest!) will be entered for the chance to be flown to South Bend, Indiana to enjoy PIZZA WITH PETE! (We all know if I win, I'm only going to want to discuss our dogs and none of the actual issues.)
4. Microwave chocolate chip cookie dough and eat it with a spoon. This always reminds me of the partially baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies in the Mother of Mercy High School cafeteria, which were heaven.
5. Watch a movie about a time Americans were united rather than divided. I'm particularly fond of any film related to the moon landing!
6. Do something nice for your community, like bringing in a neighbor's garbage can or supporting a local small business. On this same note, you can complete a task that makes you feel not so helpless. Maybe that's educating yourself on an issue you're unfamiliar with or writing a letter to your congressperson—whatever makes you feel like you're making a difference!
7. Read a book written by an author from a different country. Or watch a foreign film. Or listen to another country's most popular podcast. We are one small puzzle piece of the globe; there's so much to discover.
8. Speaking of books, write if that's your thing. Getting to escape to an entirely different world can be such a relief.
9. Go for a walk. Appreciate nature and practice some deep breathing. Maybe you'll get lucky and pass a friendly dog while you're out!
10. Or, maybe you just need a very tall glass of wine. And that's okay, too.