The Eternal Unacceptability of President Trump
Life is full of horrible shit that we have to accept or we will go mad. Friends and family members die. We get fired from dream jobs or passed over for promotions. We go bankrupt or become addicted or lose all of our valuables in a fire. Donald Trump gets elected President of the United States.
A long time has elapsed since that awful, awful day Donald Trump confirmed everybody’s worst fears about Americans, the United States and also humanity by getting elected President on a hate-wave of xenophobia, intolerance and a terrifying hunger for a boorish white strongman to protect us from the evil brown people out to rape our jobs and take our women, and then, when they’re done with that, take our jobs and rape our women.
It’s been six months since Donald Trump began his term and yet for some reason my dumb Liberal Progressive Fake News Obama-loving brain simply refuses to accept that Trump is President. The phrase “President Trump” never enters my consciousness. I try to keep the word “Trump” and President separated in my weary consciousness like the hot burger and the cold lettuce and tomato in MacDonald’s old MCDLT. In Kanye & Trump, my upcoming novella about the title characters’ historic meeting, I don't think the phrase “President Trump” ever appears.
My brain grudgingly, wearily accepts a series of awful things about Donald Trump and the American Presidency. It accepts that Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the electoral college and subsequently was elected President. It accepts that Trump’s chosen nominee for Vice President, Mike Pence, is now Vice President. Heck, I don’t like the guy at all, but I don’t have a problem writing the phrase Vice President Pence.
My brain accepts that when he’s not sleazing around Florida and various other spots on the globe disgracing his home land for centuries to come, Donald Trump occupies the White House. It accepts that every day Donald Trump acts in a Presidential capacity with foreign dignitaries and represents the United States’ interest on the global stage.
Yet for some reason, my brain simply cannot make the jump from acknowledging that Trump is acting as President to acknowledging that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. Oh God, what a horrible sentiment! How it it pains me to write the words, “Donald Trump is President.” No wonder my brain continues to violently reject that idea.
I’m not saying that my brain doesn’t accept that Trump is President because it feels that because he and his evil minions illegally colluded with Russia to rig the election, his presidency lacks legal validity. I’m similarly not arguing that because Trump was soundly defeated in the popular vote that he doesn’t have any kind of sweeping mandate and maybe shouldn’t be President at all, and that maybe the electoral college is bullshit.
Those things may all be true, but that’s not why my brain continues to reject the idea of President Trump even after he’s been on the job/golfing for over half a year. So when insufferable Deplorables online are all, “You just can’t accept you lost and Trump is President. Suck it, snowflake! Bow down to the Golden Cheeto’s Emperor!” they’re not entirely off-base with me. I have not accepted that Trump is President. And I do need to suck it. And I am a snowflake who must be made to bow down to Emperor Trump. No, wait, the only part of that that’s true is that I haven’t accepted the reality of President’s presidency.
In a way, I think my brain’s refusal to acknowledge or accept that Trump is President is oddly healthy, even functional. After all, one of the brain’s jobs is to protect us from awful things, that that might scar us, things that might traumatize us, things it fears we might not be able to handle. Sometimes that means developing a series of alternate personalities and sometimes that involves banishing phrases like “President Trump” and “Donald Trump is President” from your psyche for the sake of staying sane.
My stubborn denial has helped me survive the first six month of a certain terrible guy doing Presidential-type stuff (that’s the most I’ll allow!). I’m hoping it’ll help me survive the next three and a half brutal years ahead as well.
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