This will be a rare single issue Newsletter, but it’s a topic that deserves our undivided attention.

The Trauma of Trumpism…

Recently I traveled back east to the little town north of Pittsburgh where I went to High School. While I was there I had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in 53 years. A retired art teacher, he said, “I don’t want to talk politics, but I do want to say that when we were growing up and going through school, there was a lot of animosity. We were mostly first and second generation immigrants’ children and grandchildren.”

“We were a mix of East and Southern European: Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Greek, Italian, Czech, and so on. Different religions: Catholic, Orthodox, and a smattering of English/Anglican like you.”

“And there was a lot of dislike and suspicion and bullying, and a lot of isolation into our little factions, sects, and other divisions left over from the Old Country.”

“Until now I was happy that over my life time these divisions have disappeared and my children and grandchildren won’t be subject to what we were. Then came the election and all of that was erased in 24 hours and, suddenly, hatred and suspicion and lies and animosity, and bullying and violence were once again the order of the day.”

“And, again, I thought, that feeling of helplessness we felt as children and adolescents also underwent a resurgence.”

The point?

With all of this, our drinking also surged and our interest in fixing it turned into “why bother?”

Yes, it is deeply disturbing to have a President who champions segregation, ethnic cleansing, and religious hatred. One who feeds division, suspicion, and bullying. One who denies scientific progress undermines education and views women as chattel to be exploited.

It’s an endless list which could continue for pages but there is no need. We all know it and you don’t need me reminding you.

But what’s the point? You ask again.

The point is that Trump didn’t create these bigots, racists, sexists, oligarchs, xenophobes, and other low-lifes. He just legitimized them and encouraged them to come creeping out of the dark and from under the rocks where they had been hiding. He got them to vote.

Your drinking isn’t going to chase them away again.

There is a concept in Developmental Psychology called “regression in service of the ego” (don’t you just hate jargon?) which means sometimes we have to back up before we can move forward.

I think that is true of the country. We needed a reminder as to how fragile progress is and how vigilant we need to be. After all, half the voters didn’t bother to vote because “everyone knew” Hillary was going to win (which she did, sorta, except for an arcane system that guarantees old rich white guys actually determine the outcome – Boss Tweed is ever with us).

Finally, the point, PLEASE!

You’ve now had your own “regression” via alcohol and now it’s time to stop wallowing, whining, and “if only-ing”. There will be another election. It’s time to get ready for it and do our part as folks have been doing since the 60’s.

They only win if you don’t stand up, and you can’t stand up drunk and have any positive effect. Not on yourself, you children and grandchildren, or the country.

There’s never a good time to hide in a bottle and these times are worst of all. Too many of us are retreating instead of looking at the meager possibilities in the current situation.

As George Will noted, Trump’s destruction of Obamacare is the quickest route to universal health care as doctors and hospitals become overwhelmed, physically and financially, with patients they must take but who can no longer pay.

But you have to be unimpaired to aid and abet the process.

Many of us stood up in the 1960s, 70, 80, 90, and into this century, so shake off the dust, put down the bottle, knock the blocks out from under your idling car, get your vehicle back on the road, and discover once again that you have contributions to make.

Need a map? We have them in stock.