Let’s be real, President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign was overwhelmingly exhausting. The intolerance, reality TV-style drama and complete foolishness was on constant loop everywhere, from social media to TV networks to the political chats between friends.
From the moment he announced his presidential bid in 2015, he has dragged the American people on an emotionally and mentally taxing ride that we can now anticipate for four more years as he makes his transition into the White House. Thus far, Americans have had to bear his cabinet selections and endure even more reckless tweeting, and President Elect Twitter Fingers shows no signs of slowing.
Therefore, I ask: Is it OK to tune Trump out?
Granted, in the age of information, and I’m talking hashtag facts at the tip of your fingers, it’s hard not to be well-informed. All fake news considered, the truth is so readily available that not catching wind of news even by accident is somewhat impossible. That’s especially true for every move Trump will make moving forward. Just think: Trump’s law-breaking intentions to name his son-in-law Jared Kushner a senior advisor, his constant conflict-of-interest business dealings and Russian influence in the election. We’ve already consumed all of this nonstop, and it’s just the beginning.
The effects go far beyond an increase in using eye roll emoji, though.
According to the American Psychological Association, 52 percent of U.S. citizens said the 2016 presidential election was a source of significant stress. Now that Trump has won, the anxiety over his presidency has become a real battle for many. It doesn’t help that he hasn’t addressed the people or made attempts to soothe growing fears. He has simply exacerbated them by surrounding himself with known racists (Senator Jeff Sessions), suspicious ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and critics of Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, which both largely provide necessary healthcare to underserved communities.
It’s this kind of doomsday behavior that breeds weariness across the nation. What good could possibly come from this administration of good ol’ boys? From those who exhibit nothing more than intolerance and hatred toward diversity? While it’s important to understand how the government and policies affect you as a citizen, mulling over what the future holds without breaks from the news cycle can cause personal suffering.
Tuning out Trump and his cohorts may prove difficult for those of us who work in media, politics and other fields that require a detailed understanding of his presidential movements. And the press especially have a duty “to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage,” as Award-winning actress Meryl Streep put it during her speech at the 2017 Golden Globes this past weekend (Jan. 8).
However, to everyone, be careful not to obsess over every morsel of Trump news. Be vigilant and active in fighting back, but know when to cut Trump’s version of The Truman Show off.
Given his antics up this point, we can pretty much predict what the next four years will be like. For lack of better phrasing, it’ll surely be a showcase of stupidity. But in order to maintain the hope that President Barack Obama spent eight years instilling into this country, we’ve got to find the balance between being informed and self-care.
So yes, it’s OK to detach from the Trump happenings from time to time. When the world’s just too much, you owe yourself a sliver of peace.