It’s a bit like beef, I imagine. You’re not forced to give it up overnight. But there’s a voice in my head that says: you need to reduce the dose of Donald Trump. You’ve reached the point of toxicity. It’s bad for you, and it causes inflammation. Listen to your body: your body is crying out, it can’t do it anymore.
This happened to me this week. I found myself becoming irritated by Trump’s nomination of a judge in North Carolina.
Yes, in North Carolina.
Trump’s nominee, Thomas Farr, has defended the policy of redistricting, which is a policy that clearly discriminates against African Americans. And then the Senate reached a 50/50 vote to confirm this questionable nominee, thanks to Vice President Mike Pence’s vote. They weren’t even capable of blocking this sort of nominee.
I was pondering this when I had this sudden realization: when you get to the point where the nomination of an obscure judge in North Carolina freaks you out, it’s time to see a doctor.
So I saw one, and made a little guide to detoxing from Trump in two easy steps.
1. Don’t Make Trump Worse
Let’s be clear: I have no intention of saying that the president is “not so bad.” He IS bad. On a personal level, he is the worst: he’s a con-man and pathological liar. His language will pollute political discourse for a long time. His attacks against institutions will cause permanent damage.
But be careful of these obvious facts, these things that all too often have made us say: he seems like George W. Bush!
Bush Jr. actually had manners. He wasn’t crude. He was the son of a good family, he got back onto the path of Christ after a dissolute youth – rumors of drug use in his twenties that captivated the media just show that the era was naive.
Except Bush was genuinely bad. Trump shows off all his flaws, and we complain about them day after day. But he hasn’t started a new war – yet.
In 2003, Bush undertook a war in Iraq under false pretenses. The war cost the lives of 134,000 Iraqi civilians. In 2013, 10 years after it started, 30 experts from different universities estimated that the war cost a minimum of $1.7 trillion. That’s without counting the devastation caused in the country, the hundreds of millions of refugees, the demolished infrastructure, the wounded veterans…
The war’s official aim was to destroy a regime that was hiding nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction.” It released sectarian hatred, due in part to the American’s establishment of an unjust regime. We can’t mention the Islamic State without talking about the war in Iraq, as it is the monstrous child of the Iraq war. The geopolitics of the entire region was destabilized by this senseless and devastating war.
All of that is because of Bush and the ideologues who surrounded him, claiming to establish a democracy that would spread throughout the region.
In the White House Madness of 2018, if we are to believe Bob Woodward’s book “Fear,” the military has once again succeeded in circumventing the president’s passing whims.
Which one, truly, is the worst? The one who went to church with his hand over his heart while ravaging an entire region? Or the incompetent and narcissistic golfer?
Well, seeing as Trump is no longer the worst, there’s a good reason to ease off the supervision and to listen to less of him.
2. It’s Their Country, After All
It’s my new mantra. I got it from a friend. He told me something simple one night when we were yet again talking about “that.” We saw the Republican primaries together on vacation and followed the rest with the same record-breaking despondency. Then, one night, I had a revelation: you know, if they want to let a minority prevent regulation of firearms or abolish the right to abortion, that’s their own problem.
I admit that this has been good for me. I felt that a burden had suddenly been lifted. We’re too close to this country; we end up absorbing its neurosis. We think that we are them, or that they are us.
No, no, it’s not our fault. And suddenly, we read the news with a little extra relaxation.
I know, when they play with nuclear weapons, it’s a little bit our problem, too. It’s also our problem when trade agreements are in question. But apart from the acrimonious tone and Trump’s economically absurd declarations, it is neither the first nor the last time that a president will try to get an advantageous agreement for their country.
As for the rest – for domestic policy, for so many American subjects – it’s fair to say and repeat to myself: it’s THEIR country, THEIR president, THEIR senators… Try it, it’s surprisingly liberating.
And if they don’t like their president, then let more than 50 percent of them vote next time, let them reform their constitution. What do you want us to do? We have enough of our pipelines, our third links*, and our kindergartens for this week, right?
Detoxing is a long process that takes longer than 24 hours. But it is possible. After 36 hours, my pulse is improving, and I no longer see everything in orange. Now when I eat a clementine, I only think of clementines.
Good luck, you’re going to like it.
*Editor’s note: This refers to a possible third transportation link across the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City.