The Monday Morning Teaser

For five years or so now, we’ve been looking at Trump, first as a candidate and then as president, and recognizing that something truly abnormal was going on. In an ordinary candidacy or an ordinary administration, this wouldn’t be happening. There’s a whole genre of what-would-a-typical-administration-be-doing-now articles, to which I have contributed my share.

Well, I can’t help myself, I’m doing it again. This week I have to call attention to the fact that nearly three weeks after an election, nearly all our attention is focused on the loser rather than the winner. That’s really weird.

In an ordinary administration, we’d still be talking about the outgoing president a little, but mainly about how he’ll ride off into the sunset. What’s his legacy? How will history judge him? Where will his presidential library get built?

Instead, Biden’s cabinet announcements are barely causing a ripple while we focus on Trump’s desperate attempts to stay in power in spite of the voters and at the cost of American democracy. In some sense we should be focused on that, because it’s horrible and really unusual, and we need to make sure it doesn’t work.

But there’s also something else at play, and that’s what I’ll be discussing in the featured post: The whole country is coming out of a dysfunctional and even abusive relationship with Donald Trump. One defining trait of such relationships is their intensity. Even after you escape, your attention keeps being drawn back, because normal life seems so flat by comparison.

So Biden is out there being nice to people and talking about healing. He’s appointing doctors and public health experts to his Covid-fighting team rather than charlatans, and talking about sensible things like masks and hygiene rather than quack cures. His foreign-policy team is made up of, well, foreign-policy people. He’s about to appoint a treasury secretary, and all the names being thrown around are folks who know something about money and finance.

How dull. If I talk about that kind of stuff, who’s going to share my post? How do I get my own adrenaline pumping? What is there to be outraged about? Where’s the threat to our whole way of life?

Intensity is addictive. Even when the intense experience was unpleasant, people tend to get drawn back towards it. Abused spouses often give their abusers a second chance. Ex-members of cults get drawn back in.

So the point of the featured post is that the place for America’s healing to start is with me, and maybe with you. We need to get over Trump. We need to prepare ourselves to once again have a healthy relationship with the news and with the government.

I still have some work to do on that post, so let’s predict it to appear around 11 EST.

The weekly summary covers both the antics of the outgoing clown and the new President’s attempt to assemble a government. Meanwhile, the long-predicted fall surge in the virus is here and is setting records. A big chunk of the population is still in denial about it and treating public health measures like some kind of oppression that they need to resist. So the post-Thanksgiving period is set up to be apocalyptic.

Dark humor seems especially cathartic to me right now, so I’ll discuss Covid carols, including one I wrote myself. And I’ll close with a funny video making mask removal a kind of strip tease.

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Comments

  • Roger  On November 23, 2020 at 9:18 am

    He infuriates me. I keep saying I don’t hate him. I may be lying to myself. https://www.rogerogreen.com/2020/11/23/covid-deniers-with-covid/

    • Meg L.  On November 23, 2020 at 1:54 pm

      How can one not hate someone who is so obdurately intent on destroying the principles of democracy and so many of the institutions and practices that have derived from them? Mining and logging the Tongas wilderness? I scream at the smug irreverence.
      At the level beyond ordinary life I can muster compassion and pity for him. But here with my feet on the earth? I boil with rage. BUT: I must push those feelings to the side to join the work of rebuilding what he has broken.
      Destroying is easy. Creating, repairing — those take time, thought, energy, cooperation, dedication.
      WE’VE GOT WORK TO DO! 😁💪🏾 LET’S GET TO IT!

  • lbacon  On November 23, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Your list of Biden activities? It’s not dull to me! It’s peacefulness, promise, health, breathing again, feeling human again, returning to human and Nature communities!

  • Meg L.  On November 23, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    As the Italian grandparents I didn’t have would have said, “Bless-a you heart, Doug” for zeroing in on the heart of things.

  • Meg L.  On November 23, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Amen, brother, amen.
    I suggest that perhaps we need to retain the intensity of being “woke “ by Trump’s savagery, and turn it toward remaking institutions that have always been inequitable and unfair. Black Lives Matter has been a good exemplar of naming injustices and unfairnesses related to race, making noise about them, and pushing for equity in dealing with them. But race shines a light on issues of poverty, which open up to living wages, affordable housing, lending practices, school resources, health care, environmental care.
    My hope is that as our stooped, hunched shoulders stand and stretch, that we can generate intensity for the work that awaits in these other areas . It is the work of the ages – trying to create expectations and means for societies in which the distribution of power and goods no longer endows some people with inordinate control of the people’s wealth, nor condemns many people to lives of misery.
    As many wise and wonderful people have noted, the work won’t be finished in our lifetimes, but by heaven we can continue what others have started.

  • Kate Lester  On November 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    I, too, detest the man and his enablers. But I’m also concerned with the 70 million who voted for him, particularly those who don’t have stock portfolios that continue to rise. How do we wean them off the “alternate facts”?

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