Sinking into Fear and Politics

In terms of sleep, last night was moderately better than the several nights that preceded it. I think it only took me about thirty minutes to drift off to sleep after I went to bed at 12:30, though I was awake again an hour later, but only for ten or fifteen minutes. Wakefulness visited me twice more before four o’clock. Back to sleep shortly thereafter, though, and I did not awaken and get up until around six. Hallelujah! Sort of. In my view of the world, getting up at six is getting up late. And I don’t much like getting up late.

While sleep was marginally better, I spent the hours preceding it engaged in watching and then growling about the presidential debate. During my post-debate analysis of what I’d just watched, I came to the conclusion that people who support Trump are either delusional or demonic. I’d prefer to think they are simply delusional, but I think the more likely explanation is that they possess reprehensible attitudes; they can stomach ideas and even support concepts and behaviors that I find odious and unforgivable. After the election, if Trump loses, I will have to find a way to hold my nose and deal with those people as if they possess characteristics I consider human. If Trump wins, I will have to protect myself and my wife to the extent I can from the horrific consequences that most surely will befall us. I am not referring solely to economic and political consequences; I am referring to the impacts I would expect to see as civil society rapidly decays into a toxic atmosphere in which every breath breeds more hatred. I think I’m more tolerant of economic and political dislocations; I was able to deal with George W. Bush, as much as I did not like it. But I would find it damn near impossible to respond, in a positive manner, to wave after wave of uncivil discourse spewing from the White House and drowning the country in its untreated effluent.

Like so many others, concerned about the outcome of the election regardless of the “winner,” I am concerned that a Trump victory would be catastrophic. I am equally concerned that a Trump loss could trigger a retributive backlash among his rabid supporters that has the potential of ripping the country apart. Either way, Donald Trump would have succeeded in doing what World Wars I and II, the debacles of Korea, Vietnam, the Nixon white house, the Clinton impeachment, Iran-Contra, 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, and terrorism could not; bringing a great country to its knees. I hope I’m wrong on both counts; I hope my fears are simply over-dramatic responses to bizarre times in this country. Time, alone, will tell.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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