The 8 Stages of Processing the Trump Reality

(No, still can’t call it acceptance)

My friend and sound reasoner, Sarah Holland, wrote this on Facebook last night. She agreed to let me share it with Medium:

1. Denial. This CAN’T be happening. It’s a mistake or a bad dream. The grown-ups won’t let this happen. I’ll go to bed and in the morning it will be all sorted out.

2. Fear. This is the WORST thing ever, democracy is over, our country is over, it’s a Nazi-Fascist takeover. Failed state. North Korea. Rwanda 1992. The tanks will be rolling down the streets soon. Para-military units will be kicking down the doors looking for progressives, environmentalists, bleeding heart liberals, and the “politically correct” along with illegal immigrants, muslims, and all the “others” they wish to expunge in their crusade.

3. Flight Response. Gotta get outta here before the sh*t hits the fan! Contact friends in foreign countries, Google jobs in Canada, check passport, liquidate the bank account, gas up the car. Coordinate with family members on a “meet” place.

4. Anger. I don’t want to leave! Why should I?! It’s MY country, too, and I won’t let them “take back” America. I’ll be damned if I’ll let them turn this place into a hate-filled facist state. How dare they! I will fight like hell to save what is good and protect those who are threatened. Maybe I’ll have to buy a gun.

5. Depression. What kind of world are we leaving the next generation? How can we tell them there is hope for a better world. How can we teach them it is not right to be a bully — when bullies win. How can we avert global climate catastrophe with a leader who denies the science?

6. Negotiation. Who are these people who voted for him and what are they thinking? Can my fellow-Americans really be so hate-filled, ignorant, and evil? These are my neighbors, the guys fixing the potholes in my road, the friendly gal at the grocery store, the cheerful waitress, the folks I see everyday. They are as elated and buoyant as I am distressed. They have not experienced any economic recovery. No one seems to care about them. This con-artist promises he will “Make America Great Again,” and they latch onto that promise like a lifeline. They are not bad people — just “under informed,” overworked and underappreciated. They miscalculated who is to blame for their problems. They probably don’t really agree with all the things he says — but they think he is a genuine business man — a deal maker who will deal them in. Maybe they won’t really allow the worst possible scenarios to happen.

7. Concede. Afterall, throughout history America has survived all kinds of challenging times — the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Great Depression, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, 911, etc. So this is just another challenge that we will have to endure somehow. But wait…at what cost did we endure those events? How many lives lost, lives ruined, mortal wounds & treasury spent? Blood. Sweat. Tears. In fact, you and I may not actually live through all the ramifications of this Presidency — even though, in the long run, the idea of a democratic United States of America may survive beyond us.

8. Repeat.

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