Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Stages of Grief -- Where the Hell Am I?



The five stages of grief according to popular psychological theory are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I was in denial while watching the election returns November 8th. I haven't watched the news since, except out of the corner of my eye when my wife is watching The Today Show, or The View. I'm not watching the parody news I used to enjoy, like The Daily Show, or the late night shows, like Stephen Colbert. What is there to laugh about?

It makes me sick to see Donald Trump strutting around, giving the thumbs up gesture, a smug expression on his puffy, orange face. He's a confidence man, and he's pulled off the biggest con in the history of American politics. Sixty million, five hundred and twenty-six thousand, eight hundred and fifty-two American voters fell for it. So, what, I'm angry? God damned right I'm angry.

It's easy to label Trump voters as bigots, racists, fearful xenophobics, "America first" nationalists -- certainly many are, but many are undereducated people who find themselves in relatively low-paying jobs, with no hope for clawing their way up to a better life. These people worked in America's factories, and steel mills, deep down in the coal mines, in textiles, basic housewares, furniture, and paper products -- all low-proficiency factory positions.

Cheaper cross-border labor, the shift to cheaper natural gas, and automation put many of these people out of work. Donald Trump started by offering to re-educate these people at his "Trump University." He's being taken to court for that con job.

When will the dupes who voted for Trump realize they've been taken for the gullible fools "The Donald" saw them as. Am I bargaining now, e.g., "You relatively reasonable Trump voters please learn your lessons and don't vote for a 2nd term for the odious asshole." Is that where I am? Bargaining?

I don't think I'm totally there yet. I'm still angry. I'm angry at the run-of-the-mill republicans, who voted for Trump because they're ideologues -- they could give a shit about Trump being unqualified to lead the Nation either by knowledge, experience, character, or temperament. He was a Republican and that was enough. In my region of Washington State, Benton County, 47, 194 people voted for Donald Trump -- almost 59% of my neighbors. Who the fuck are these people?!

Yes, and I'm angry at the liberal-left "BernieCrats" who demonstrated their annoyance at Bernie not getting the Democratic nomination by voting for a 3rd Party candidate, mostly Jill Stein. Stein was pretty questionable as a presidential prospect, but voting for her was a nice way to show their pique.

And I'm angry at the so-called "millennials," some of whom were just young in terms of voting, who came out to Bernie rallies and cheered wildly for free everything, only to skip voting, go back to college, or their dead-end job, and accumulate more debt.
The stages of grief, like Maslow's Need Hierarchy, are not mutually exclusive. My depression has definitely invaded my angry space. What've I got to be depressed about; I'm relatively well-off, good back-up insurance thanks to my military service, too old to worry about living until global warming causes the water wars -- why worry, be happy!

My problem is that I care too much about everybody else, and about future generations, which hopefully will include my great grandkids. Let me correct that just a bit; I don't give a fuck about the very wealthy that will benefit the most from the tax cuts Trump has promised, or the Wall Street traders, who are drooling over the prospects of a Dodd-Frank rollback, or the Religious Right, who look forward to burning the heathens, like me, at the stake. Yes, that's how little they care about global warming -- they will burn us, because it's a good lesson, and GOD will take care of the environment.

I'm depressed because many of the poor schmucks who voted for Trump really need help. Reneging on trade deals, falling back into an isolationist trade posture, will make everyone poorer.

And often these same people depend most on reproductive care, the kind Planned Parenthood provides, and we know how republicans feel about PPH. They hate it for selling those "baby parts!" And they hate PBS and NPR for reporting facts about PPH not selling "baby parts," and not condemning PPH for the GODLESS heathens that they are -- to the stakes!

I'm depressed because Donald Trump called out a particular religion and filled his already racist supporters with targeted hate. I know Muslim-Americans. I like them. They are no more prone to terrorism that the White Supremacists who support Trump -- less so, in fact. And of course, Trump started with Mexicans and he doesn't differentiate between Mexican-Americans and Mexicans, or Hispanics, or Latinos -- they're all drug dealers, criminals, and rapists, "and I assume some are good people." God, Donald Trump is just such an asshole!

See how easy it is to fall back into the angry stage. I have much more to say about why I'm depressed, but I have to stop this diatribe, because it's making me angrier. I need to move through depression into acceptance.

Yeah, fuck that! I'm going stay angry and depressed until Donald Trump is back in his own made-for-TV realty and not America's.

2 comments:

Lenora Good said...

Very well done. May I share on Facebook?

Anonymous said...

Anger and depression is much better than acceptance. If I ever accept this monster-elect, it will be because I have given up on everything honorable and worthwhile. Thanks for writing about my stages of grief so perfectly. HC (not the one who won the popular vote by well over 2 million).