They almost got me. Almost. To be honest, they did kind of get me for about a year. But I think I’m back.
No, I wasn’t kidnapped, or held hostage… in a manner of speaking. I was a victim of the most mind-numbing presidency in the history of this country.
I’ve been writing columns for about 40 years for newspapers in Canada and the United States, for broadcast on radio, for magazines, for my own blog, or for other people’ s blogs. I prided myself on the fact that I had something relevant to say.
Well, if truth be told, something relevant most of the time.
The Trump presidency, however, has left me reeling. When I decided to write this blog, My Two Countries, I wanted to use it as a vehicle to comment on issues of importance in the two countries in which I hold citizenship, Canada and United States.
Writing about Canada was not so difficult but covering the US became a constant stream of articles about the terrible things that Donald Trump and the people around him were doing. After writing these articles for several months I reached the point where I felt I had hit a wall. Writing about the high crimes and misdemeanors of the current president, which take place on an almost daily basis, is draining. I can only imagine how tough it is for reporters like Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, or cable TV commentators like Rachel Maddow to name just two, to keep their material fresh and relevant.
In the past, when writing about or covering politicians (which I’ve done most of my lifetime) you would get two or three scandals a year during an administration and two or three important policy issues a year that you could focus on. In the meanwhile, other events would occur outside of the realm of politics that lent themselves to commentary.
But the Trump administration is like a constant fire hose of 24 x 7 lies, misinformation, scandal and questionable activities that literally leave your mouth agape. Every day. Sometimes three or four times a day. It was just too much. And so I stopped.
Which, I now realize, is exactly what Trump wants us to do. Just stop and let him do what he wants. To give the devil his due, Trump knows how to manipulate the media and public sentiment. It’s hard to stay angry or astonished or stunned all the time. Yet this is what Trump wants Americans who oppose his… well, I guess you would call it quasi-authoritarian rule… to feel like. Totally numb. That you can’t make a difference. That no matter what you say, it will just be overwhelmed by the next Trumpian outrage.
I don’t know what made me snap out of my stunned silence. It may have been something I read. It may have been the realization that four more years of this presidency could significantly damage this country I love and that we’re running out of time to do something about it. It could be, to paraphrase the great line from that classic movie Network, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.
I’ve come to realize that even if you must point these things out every day it still needs to be done. Our silence is what Trump and his minions crave. Even if we sound repetitive, we still need to say it every day.
Donald Trump is truly a cancer at the heart of the presidency. He is a liar, a philanderer, a cheat, a grifter, a bully, a racist, an ignoramus, a know-nothing, a bigot, a misogynist, and a crook. (Did I miss anything?) And the more we say it the better.