Deep Breaths Please

I’ve been watching Trump *very* closely since election night. He hasn’t said more than a handful of words since his victory speech. He hasn’t gloated. He hasn’t blustered. Everything is going very well. Extremely well. Shockingly well. Everything is proceeding exactly like the peaceful transfer of power should go. Everyone in Washington appears to be conscious of the nation’s fears and taking deliberate steps to calm things, despite all the reporters trying their best to rile things up again. Frankly this transition so far appears to be going better than the one from Bush to Obama, which I also thought went very well.

There’s been NO indication that Trump will be anything but a run-of-the-mill, ordinary, mundane president. Our system of government was created for the express purpose of enforcing that.

Trump supporters, on the other hand… “those” Trump supporters, that is… Well, two of my Facebook friends have declared they are leaving Facebook already, so that’s fun. I don’t use Facebook, but still. It’s nice to know people are there. Or were.

I’m not surprised though. Emotions run high after elections. Anyway, to “those” Trump supporters: I get it, you’ve been waiting eight years to be that total dick nobody wants to be around. You’ve earned your place in the sun I guess.

To the Trump supporters who are actual monsters (Nazis, KKK, etc.): Wait, why are you even here? I don’t want to talk to you. Thankfully there aren’t many of you. But this is America, so I guess go ahead and feel free to be a monster. Just don’t break any laws or hurt anyone, okay? Thanks. Also, stop being a monster. Or maybe go to Syria and be a monster. Those ISIS or ISIL or IS or whatever-they’re-calleds really seem to enjoy being monsters over there, and they get to shoot people with impunity. Any people. Women, children. It doesn’t even matter. Actually, come to think of it, you Nazi monsters might actually enjoy shooting the ISIS monsters. It could even save some American soldiers’ lives down the road. Do something useful with your life for a change.

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Twitter looks like a different world now. The feeds that used to be talking about my hobbies (games and books and general geek stuff) are now talking about panic attacks, fear, depression, retweeting suicide hotline numbers, or even worse–far, far worse–are eerily silent. Occasionally there are some attempts to get back to normal, article links and so forth, half-hearted humor, but they seem tentative, even fearful.

I’m scared myself. Scared I’m going to say something that might accidentally escalate fears, instead of calming them down.

On those protests: I support your right to protest. It’s healthy for a democracy. If nothing else, it sends a message to the incoming president that people are watching and he should be careful, because he has to lead everyone. I’m sure there would have been protests if Clinton had won, too. I have no doubt of that whatsoever.

But take a few deep breaths. Many of the fears that people are reacting to were created in echo chambers on social media. (That would have applied to the other protesters if Clinton had won, too.) Watch what is actually happening. Don’t keep re-watching and re-sharing what happened during the campaigns. That’s over.

On #Calexit: I live on the other side of the country from California, so I don’t think it would affect me personally if that state “exited” (whatever that means), but it would still suck, ya know? I don’t want to live in a dystopian young adult novel. I like having 50 states. It’s a nice, round number. I like oranges. I like movies. I like Gmail. Also, some of the people I follow live there, and I’d hate to see them, or anyone, have to go through that madness.

(Apparently #Calexit has been a thing since even before the elections, and Californians will vote in 2018 on whether they get to vote on it in 2019.)

On those Electoral College hopes: Again, I understand. Nobody in your circles wanted Trump to be president. You’re seeing some bad things spreading like wildfire all across social media, and you’re panicking. The nightmare might be coming true. Trying to convince electoral college voters to change their votes before it’s too late sounds like a great plan. But it’s illegal. It’s unethical. It’s sinister. And I’m sorry to say this, but it’s UN-AMERICAN.

And to be brutally honest, what exactly do you think is going to happen when half the nation hears that the president they elected isn’t there? You think they’re going to say, “Oh, good show! Bravo! Well played, sir!” Think about these things a little bit, please.

I feel like what we’re seeing right now is a variation of dancing mania. I’ve read about that phenomenon before but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I think this is what it must have looked like. I saw a protester interviewed live on CNN. The person was out-of-breath, talking a mile a minute, almost passing out from lack of oxygen, apparently experiencing a panic attack right there on live television. Most of the fears this person quoted sounded completely out-of-context and without basis to me, too. Like they were quoting something they’d seen on Facebook, quite frankly.

So everybody take some deep breaths.

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