I need to change my ways. My internet habits are no longer enriching my life, mostly thanks to Twitter with a little Facebook thrown in. Donald Trump has absolutely ruined the internet for me. My echo chamber is loud and panicky. Rightly so, because he is hands down the last person who needs to be in that office, but I knew that when he announced his candidacy. Everything that has happened since has only served to make me feel worse about the world. Without conscious effort I veer into cynicism without a bottom, pessimism that would freeze Leslie Knope’s heart. As such, I’m going to redouble my commitment to that effort. I am going to do my best to refrain from posting about politics, and I’m going to have to avoid Twitter I guess. I don’t know any way around that; I suppose I can mute half the English language to avoid coverage of this administration there, but what’s the point? So, I will stop talking about it, because I think you probably agree with me if you’re reading this and if you don’t, I don’t think I’ve done anything to change your mind. Dear god, what could change your mind at this point?
I want to make a few things clear. I’m not turning my back on the news, and I’m not turning my back on speaking up when I see something that I think is wrong. But I want to withdraw myself from this social media cycle, because it is not helpful. Ranting at your friends on Facebook is not speaking up. It makes you feel like you’ve spoken up, but it costs you nothing and it changes nothing. It is insidious. I want to inject more positivity into the world, and I can’t do that if I’m talking about Donald Trump. And because I really want everyone who cares enough to read this to understand my feelings about the current situation, I have to write one more barn burner about this goblin who convinced a minority of suckers to usher him into the highest office in the land. I need this on record, because if I’m not going to comment on the news until we have left this hellscape, I want there to be no doubt whatsoever about where I stand.
Let me start by telling you that I am obsessed with truth. I mean that quite literally. If I sense that someone is being deceptive, if I hear a blatant lie or incorrect statement float into the air without challenge, it snags my consciousness and hangs there until I address it. I cannot watch commercials, mostly for my wife’s sake. I have absolutely become the sort of person who talks back to the television. “Yeah, you don’t use hormones in your chicken BECAUSE IT’S ILLEGAL TO USE HORMONES IN CHICKEN. You’re not saints, Hormel. You’re no different than the competition.” This sort of obsession actually leads me to speak less, because often I don’t know if what I want to say is true so I don’t say it. So you can imagine how difficult it is for me to listen to Trump for more than five seconds. The man lies like it’s part of his autonomic nervous system. There’s a structure in his brain sending these signals: breathe; heartbeat; peristaltic contractions; fabricate a call from the leader of the Boy Scouts. It’s not just that he lies. All politicians lie. I have no illusions that Barack Obama was a paragon of truth, and I expected Hillary to bend reality to her needs from time to time. But most politicians lie to obscure a deeper, more problematic truth, or mask their intentions from their opponents, or simply just to tell a voter what they think that voter needs to hear to mark them down on the ballot. Donald Trump lies because, I don’t know, it’s Wednesday? He lies to make himself look better, because he’s a scared little child. He lies to try to cut his opponents down, because he’s a scared little child. He lies to frighten his followers into submission, because he needs followers because he’s a scared little child. A theme emerges about this man. I have no room in my life for anyone with such disregard for the truth. Neither should America.
I could go on. I tried to, I started a paragraph about how Donald Trump is the Platonic ideal of a philistine. I had notes to make sure I hit his horrifying attitude towards women, his complete lack of empathy and basic human decency, his pettiness, his spinelessness, his inability to admit error or weakness, his toxic and childish idea of masculinity, his lack of intelligence about the most basic facts of the world around us (google his attitude about exercise, or what he thinks clean coal is). I don’t have the time. He doesn’t deserve the time or the headspace. That’s what this is about.
So I will leave it at the fact that Donald Trump is the antithesis of everything I have tried to be in my life, and I am stunned that he is our president and will be for the rest of my life. I cannot believe we have come to this, I cannot believe people were tricked into voting for him, and I’m not sure I can ever forgive the people who did. I don’t want you to take my radio silence on this topic as a sign of inaction. I’m going to keep calling my congresspeople, I’m going to keep signing petitions, I’m going to do everything I can to limit the duration of this administration.
I’m also going to make things, something Donald Trump hasn’t done one day in his life. I’m going to try to add positivity to the world, and the only time Trump will be able to do that is the day he stops being president.
Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he’s an actor and writer.