I waited until almost the last possible minute to post, just in case.
He’s moving out. We’re moving on.
Since election day, I’ve been thinking about just how exhausted I’ve been these past four years. It may sound strange — to have someone you don’t know in real life affect you that deeply, but I know I’m not alone. It was like having an abusive, vindictive (and clueless) boyfriend who simply couldn’t stand when we didn’t pay enough attention to him, and it took 80+ million of us to get a restraining order, and even then it still wasn’t clear it would really stick. Until today at noon, when I will truly deeply exhale after the old timer from Delaware says “So help me god.”
The weight of these years only became clearer after I voted and especially after the jubilant Saturday when the news of the president’s defeat and eviction was celebrated by a majority of the nation. After feeling a bit freer and lighter since then, the events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol made the weighty feeling return.
How many times can we say enough?
This day could not have taken any longer to get here.
The most troubling aspect of these years was people I do know in real life confidently telling me fictions about “hoaxes” and “fake news” or the “deep state.” So much energy spent trying to understand people who accepted whatever he — and his enablers — did or said, and trying to square that circle. It wasn’t just policy differences, I’d tell them as they scoffed at me. It was morals, fact versus fiction, and hatred the likes of which I’d never seen up close before. The leaders’ followers either allowed themselves to be duped by accepting anything without analyzing it, or, even worse, they don’t think there’s anything wrong with the people they’re following — because they’re just like them.
I like and dislike politicians of all stripes, but I’m particularly happy to see this one go. It was enough to exist in the whirlwind of him, the chaos he created, the media who couldn’t detail the insanity properly until the latter half of 2020, and the deepest darkness some of us feared that finally emerged and exploded during the first week of January. Unfortunately, him leaving doesn’t mean the troubles are over.
This is my headline for today: Narcissistic national nightmare ends
Sadly, it’s only a start.
I encourage you to read, if you haven’t, history professor Dr. Timothy Snyder’s essay The American Abyss.