I wrote this piece on April 8, 2017, on a Tumblr blog that no longer exists. It is a summary, of sorts, of my emotions through the twists and turns of the 2016 election cycle. I used to write about politics. But then, something happened that made me want to delete all my political posts.
I read “Why I Deleted All of My Political Posts” on episode 20 of Words of Jen.
NOTE: The original post did not contain any links. When I moved this piece of writing here, I added links from credible news websites that provide some additional background and context to what I wrote.
I’ve always been fairly well informed about politics, but I really started digging into it shortly before the 2016 primaries. The Democrats were running Bernie Sanders, who was previously an Independent – and Hillary Clinton, who was previously Secretary of State. The Republicans were running an entire clown-car of candidates. Right away, I knew this election cycle would be different.
So, I started writing blog posts about the primaries and caucuses on my personal blog. I spent a lot of time jotting down the percentages of votes each candidate got in each state, and embedding tweets from excited, happy, people who were wearing “I Voted” stickers. I thought it was wonderful that so many young people were not only voting, but also were trying to encourage others to vote.
For what now seems like a brief moment, I had a Bernie sign in my window. I participated in a “Bernie Walk” downtown – even though I have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. I felt hopeful for a future that would include single-payer health care. Or, if not, then we would have our first female president – a woman that had a history of advocating for access to health care and who would undoubtedly improve upon Obamacare.
Fast forward quite a bit, to the moment when we were all watching the votes role in, state by state, as we waited for Hillary to be announced as our next President of the United States. The majority of the nation watched what should have been our future turn into the beginning of a dystopian novel as Trump was declared the winner. I was among the many who felt depressed, and confused, and upset about this. How could this have happened?
The first thing I did was delete all of my political blogs from my personal website. Maybe it was paranoia, but I was worried that Trump, who encouraged his empty-headed followers to shout “CNN SUCKS” at rallies, and who himself declared that the press was the enemy of the American people – might actually go after bloggers who disapproved of him.
Fast forward a bit more, and we have the answer about how Trump became president. Russia got involved with the 2016 election, manipulating social media with bots and fake news in an effort to swing the election towards Trump. Russia got involved with Wikileaks, which posted controversial garbage every time Trump wasn’t doing so well. So many of the people who were involved in Trump’s campaign secretly met with Russians that were involved with Putin – so many of the people Trump appointed or nominated did, too. We know this now.
My first reaction was to start blogging again about the evil that the Trump regime had started doing (and continued to do). This time, I put things on my Tumblr account instead of on my “real blog”. The news was moving too fast, too much, and all the time. I wanted there to be an easy way to access an archive that kept track of all the Trump regime’s evil deeds. I wanted people to learn what was really happening and not be fooled again next election. I wanted all those people in the Trump regime to be held accountable for their bad actions and vile words.
So, I filled my Tumblr with news article after news article, using the skills I learned as a teacher to try and educate people about what was going on. I broke down complicated things, pointed out the key parts of legislation, linked to sources so people could find out more, used repetition to help people remember especially important things.
I honestly thought that if I helped to give people the information, in easy to understand pieces, that I could keep the fake news from surpassing the reality of things. I thought maybe I was helping encourage discouraged voters to get angry enough to fight back against this. In the back of my mind, I thought it wouldn’t be long before Trump and his entourage would be bounced out of the White House for a multitude of politically and constitutionally unforgivable sins.
The other day, Trump decided to bomb Syria.
I’m sure you heard something about that by now. Trump apparently warned Russia about this before the missiles hit Syria – but didn’t trouble himself to, ya know, ask Congress first before bombing a foreign country (which is the way things are supposed to go).
And this made me rethink things. The things I’d been blogging about made me very aware that we now have a one-party government. The GOP has changed the rules, several times, in an effort to force their horrible, unwanted, legislation upon the American people, and to push Trump’s nominees to confirmation. Trump isn’t even bothering with Congress – he’s just signing executive orders to force through whatever he wants to do.
Nothing I posted was going to make any difference.
In the meantime, I realized that being acutely aware of everything the Trump regime had done was, quite literally, making me sick. I’m not healthy to begin with! I have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and severe allergies. I was going through a really bad Spring pollen season and was in a lot of pain. Stress makes all of my chronic illnesses worse.
So… I stoped blogging about politics. I deleted almost all of the political Tumblr posts that I made (or reblogged). I am not healthy enough to keep this up. Hopefully, a healthier person out there has been doing what I was trying to do and is able to continue doing it.
…We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids and we Democrats can go for a long brisk walk and smell the roses….
When I first read that, it sounded like he was advocating that Democrats just give up and step out of politics for a while. It actually made me kind of angry. Now, more than ever, we need healthy people to fight against the evils that have happened and that are coming.
But now, months later, and in the midst of a terrible allergy season that has completely depleted my energy, I see some wisdom in Keillor’s words. I physically and emotionally cannot continue fighting against the Trump regime in the way that I have been trying to do.
So, I’m going to use Keillor’s words as permission to step aside and take care of my (bad) health. And I want those of you who are also pushed to their limits to take his advice, too. Raise some heirloom tomatoes, and read some Jane Austen. Maybe the best way for people like me (who have bad health) to fight back is simply to live through it all – and tell future generations the truth about what went on.
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