Lazy Saturday Reads: Dealing With Trump Stress

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Good Morning!!

I’m illustrating this post with baby animals and their mothers, because I’m just about to the point that I need to sleep with a teddy bear at night because of the stress of this presidential election. Donald Trump is holding most of the country hostage as he holes up with his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic white supremacist advisers planning for campaign rallies in which he addresses his shrinking band of loud and angry fans with paranoid, insane monologues about how the media, the Republican “establishment,” “the Clintons” and a supposed “global conspiracy” are trying to rob him of the presidency. It’s all getting to be too much, and we still have 23 days to go before election day.

It has gotten so bad that American Psychological Association is offering tips on how to deal with election stress. The Washington Post reports:

Weeks before The Washington Post made that 2005 video of Donald Trump public, before Trump supporters were interrupting Hillary Clinton rallies by screaming that Bill Clinton is a rapist, before Trump told Clinton to her face that she should be in jail, Americans were already seriously stressed out by this election.

In August, the American Psychological Association included a question in its annual Stress in America survey about this election. It released the results of that particular query on Thursday, and it found that more than half of U.S. adults, regardless of party, felt very or somewhat stressed by the election.

One can only imagine that what’s transpired over the past week has intensified the disgust, anxiety and disbelief felt by so many Americans.

The poll found that people older than 71 are the most stressed out and millennials are the next most “angst-ridden” group. They also found that people who use social media are among the most highly stressed groups.

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The suggestions for dealing with the situation are about what you’d expect: Turn off the TV and stop reading the news when it feels like too much and get some exercise or spend time with people you care about; avoid talking to others about politics; think about volunteering or joining a local political group; try not to catastrophize about possible results of the election; and be sure to vote.

Or you could start going to gym, get a professional trainer, do those popular workouts like the russian squat program. Stress-free and healthy at the same time.

Unfortunately, if I could tear myself away from the media coverage and social media, I wouldn’t feel like me anymore. But I’m trying to find ways to stay centered. Like Dakinikat, I’m having life worries too, so it’s all so difficult.

Was yesterday the worst day in the campaign so far? If not, it would have to be close. Trump gave two speeches in which he behaved like a madman, screaming about “the Clintons” and the women who have said he abused them, and even tearing apart his teleprompter on stage the second event. Sopan Deb at CBS News:

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — During Donald Trump’s second rally of the day, he announced dramatically to the crowd that his teleprompter – that he had uncharacteristically relied on for months – had stopped working.

“And I notice every time I look up, they’re trying. It’s trying. It’s straining. It’s straining. Hey, get this thing out of here, will you?” Trump explained.

He physically removed the device that had been telling him what to say and proceeded to speak for nearly an hour – veering from topic to topic, in a kind of stream-of-consciousness manner. It was a rally reminiscent of the barn-burning campaign he ran in the fall.

“You know what? I like it better without the teleprompters,” Trump declared.

Trump acknowledged earlier in the day that those around him did not want him to spend a bulk of his speeches responding to the numerous accusations of sexual misconduct that have risen in recent days and weeks.

“Folks, you know my people always say, ‘Oh, don’t talk about it. Talk about jobs. Talk about the economy,’”  Trump said in Greensboro, North Carolina earlier in the day. “But I feel I have to talk about it, because you have to dispute when somebody says something, and fortunately we have the microphone. We’re able to dispute. Some people can’t.”

Trump went on to rail against accuser Jessica Leeds, implying that he couldn’t possibly have sexually assaulted her because she was too unattractive. Read more about this disgusting speech at the link.

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Jonathan Martin ticked off the low points of Trump’s day at the New York Times: Donald Trump’s Barrage of Heated Rhetoric Has Little Precedent.

There is a long tradition of presidential candidates ratcheting up their language when they are trailing in the closing weeks of an election.

But in the same fashion Donald J. Trump has broken with other political traditions, he is taking a longstanding rite of fall to new heights — or perhaps new lows.

On Thursday and Friday alone, Mr. Trump unleashed a barrage of near-apocalyptic warnings about the potential destruction of the country, broad accusations about the illegitimacy of American democracy, and crude innuendo about his opponent that is almost without precedent in modern presidential history.

He warned that Hillary Clinton was conspiring with financiers to destroy American sovereignty, claimed the fate of civilization depended on his victory and ridiculed the appearance of the one of the women accusing him of sexual harassment, while also deriding Mrs. Clinton’s looks and saying she ought to be in prison. He also said the presidential election amounted to “a big ugly lie.”

While delighting his partisans, Mr. Trump’s rhetorical shooting spree has enraged Democrats and unnerved many Republicans, who believe he is acting out a political death wish.

Please go read the rest at the NYT.

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At Slate, William Saletan has going full Godwin: Let’s just say it: Trump sounds more and more like Hitler.

In Godwin’s honor, let’s stipulate: There will never be another psychopath quite like Hitler. The German dictator preached such overt hatred, murdered so many people, and earned such infamy that every demagogue since, from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to David Duke, has learned to draw at least tactical distinctions between himself and the Führer.

Then there’s Trump. He’s a salesman, not a fanatic. He doesn’t foist his hatreds on others. Instead, he reads and plays to the resentments of his crowds. He tells them that President Obama was born in Kenya, that Ted Cruz is a Canadian-born Cuban, and that Ben Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist. Trump will go after a Mexican American judge, a Muslim Gold Star family—whatever he thinks will work.

Jews aren’t on Trump’s target list. His son-in-law and grandkids are Jewish. His daughter, Ivanka, is a Jewish convert. But Trump’s habit of retweeting alt-right material—Hillary Clinton with a Star of David, for instance—has immersed him in the muck of anti-Semitism. And in the past few days, Trump has turned to an ideology of global conspiracy that resembles the speeches of a certain politician from a century ago.

For Trump, the principal enemy is Muslims. He blames Muslim Americans collectively for domestic terrorism—falsely claiming, for instance, that many of them saw but didn’t report the preparations for last year’s attack in San Bernardino, California—and says we should never have let their parents into the country. For Hitler, the interlopers were Jews. Speaking in Munich on July 28, 1922, he lamented that they had been given German citizenship. Jews “have always formed and will form a state within the state,” said Hitler. That’s uncomfortably close to Trump’s warnings about Sharia in the United States.

Jews may not be “on Trump’s target list,” but they are on Steve Bannon’s; and it’s obvious that he’s in charge of Trump’s speeches now. Let’s not forget that Bannon and other white supremacists have openly said that they think they can influence Trump to do their bidding. Saletan goes on to compare some of Trump’s speeches to Hitler’s. Read about it at Slate.

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Now, as an antidote to all this Trump hate, please read this article–also at Slate–by L.V. Anderson: Forget This “Hillary Is Unlikable” Stuff. Hillary Is Downright Inspiring.

Expectations for this election have become so warped that the primary conclusions media commentators took away from the second debate were that it had been an ugly, uninspiring affair and that Trump didn’t lose. Let’s set aside the absurdity that a man who brought up his own tax scandal unbidden, who threatened to jail his opponent, who betrayed his absolute ignorance of the nuances of the war in Syria, and whose best zinger amounted to recalling that Abraham Lincoln’s nickname was “Honest Abe” somehow fought to a draw with his opponent. Trump was as ugly and uninspiring as usual. But here’s what people haven’t been saying in the days since the debate: Hillary was inspiring as all get out….

Put yourself in Hillary’s shoes for a moment. You’re 68 years old. You have spent decades—decades—in the public eye, absorbing criticism from every possible angle. Your opponent is an impulsive, amoral ignoramus with a long history of humiliating women. He has made it his strategy during this debate to dredge up what are probably the darkest moments of your personal life—your husband’s affairs and alleged sexual assaults—as evidence of your failures as a wife and as a woman. He has brought three of these women to sit in the front row during the debate in an attempt to throw you off guard and cow you into submission. He literally tells you to your face that he will imprison you if he wins the election.

What would you do? If I were Hillary, I would blubber incomprehensibly through my rage-tears for the duration of the debate, if I lasted onstage that long. What did Hillary do? She stood tall and looked comfortable. She listened carefully to the voters who were asking her questions and offered them empathetic, intelligent, and articulate answers. She serenely and thoughtfully enumerated the character faults that make Trump unfit for office. She laughed it off when Trump insulted her in the most personal of terms. And at the end, she complimented him on his children. Never mind that his children don’t really deserve that compliment—Hillary responded to undeniably sexist personal attacks that are unprecedented in the history of modern American politics with an inspiring level of grace and poise.

Exactly. And when Hillary is POTUS Americans will again see her positively as they did when she was a Senator and then Secretary of State.

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Then check out this humorous column by Alexandra Petri at the WaPo: The hideous, diabolical truth about Hillary Clinton. It’s written in the form of a chronological bio based on the right-wing conspiracies about her. Here are the first few paragraphs:

Before Time, Before the Earth Was Made, Before Matter and Being and History: Hillary Clinton (Lucifer, Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, Prince of Darkness, Satan, She Whose Many Names the Cats Scream in the Night) is cast out of heaven for overweening hubris. She is condemned to lie in eternal torment in a lake of fire surrounded by her fallen angels, or, alternatively, to run for a major office while female. For thousands of years she lies outside time, smelling of sulfur, before deciding to undertake the second option.

Oct. 26, 1947: Hillary Clinton, a robot, is constructed by Saul Alinsky, then slipped into a bassinet and delivered to the Rodham house, where it stores its Six Human, Relatable Memories of squeegeeing, family life and honest toil.

Fall 1965: The young Hillary Clinton is replaced by a new model, this one with glasses. It retains only one of the memories, the squeegeeing. It attends Wellesley, where it decorates itself with spectacles and what conservative commentators will later describe as ONE VAST AND HIDEOUS EYEBROW LIKE A CATERPILLAR IN WHICH MANY WELSH MINERS COULD BE TRAPPED AND LOST AS IN A HORRID, THORNY FOREST.

Spring 1969: Hillary Clinton graduates from Wellesley, although first she gets in touch with Alinsky and his mentor, Satan. She fails to mention at the first meeting that she, too, is Satan, and then once they know each other it seems too awkward to bring it up. As a consequence, the Devil mentors Herself for many decades, wasting everyone’s time and effort. She also founds the Islamic State. She will toil for many years in secret on this passion project, keeping it even from Bill, whom she is about to meet. Once, during his presidency, he will ask, “Is there anything I should know about, Hills?” and she will shrug and say, “Nah.” A bit confusingly, she also begins to fight the Islamic State, which she will spend her entire adult life doing.

Please read the rest at the link.

So . . . what stories are you following? And how are you dealing with election stress? Be sure to take some for yourself this weekend.

 


50 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Dealing With Trump Stress”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

  2. Great post! I had just finished reading the Alexandra Petri piece when I turned to your article. Petri’s satirical bio of Hillary had me laughing out loud as I sat under the dryer at the beauty salon! The animal pictures were calming and I have been trying to follow the APA’s advice for combating 2016 Election stress disorder. Not working too well, but we all need to try if we’re going to survive this nightmare.

  3. quixote says:

    I’ve been having trouble concentrating. I keep sneaking off to check polls, check the news. Meanwhile, I’m shaking my head at myself, saying, “You’re all stressed about an election you have zero control over? How stupid is that?”

    I’m actually relieved to find out it’s not just me!

    • NW Luna says:

      Not just you. I’ve had friends volunteer out of the blue to me that they’re worried about Trump and how the country is going. If you don’t feel it, you’re not paying attention.

      Although we have to ignore it/block it out some of the time, in order to stay sane.

  4. dakinikat says:

    I’m muting the TV news whenever they cover Trump. The one thing I have been following is the increased abuse the pool press are getting at Trump rallies. I’m beginning to think they should consider putting Katy Tur on assignment with the Hillary campaign and putting some one else on Trump. She’s going to have PTSD like a soldier. I can’t imagine any of these reporters are going to come out of this nightmare free. I’ve been around these Christian Dominionists and white supremacists, I had nightmares. I would dream I was black and with my family and the KKK was outside with torches in the night. I had dreams of being Jewish in an apartment in the Warsaw ghetto. The were truly real feeling and I’d wake up with physical responses to them.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    We are limping toward the finish line and I wonder how we have managed to survive these 17 months intact.

    Hillary has had to share the stage with an insane buffoon so totally unprepared to make a peanut butter sandwich that it is difficult to comprehend the closeness of the polls. Anyone who believes this race to be a “shoe in” for Hillary is deluding themselves.

    I have had to pull away over the summer as listening to Trump and the pundits put her down was agonizing. The press covered him as if he were a “normal” candidate rather then the unintelligent sham that is really him. He is crazy yet few capable of actually saying so out loud.

    The danger is knowing this and remaining silent. Should this man ever become POTUS the harm that follows will be staggering.

    I will be staying close to my Sky Dancing cyber friends for the next 3 weeks just to keep my sanity in check. Historic as this election may be it will not be over until that 270 is in her hands.

    • quixote says:

      Sheesh, Pat. You’re right behind the times. The CheetoTopped Dogpile has made it clear that “When I come home and dinner’s not ready I go through the roof.” Making a peanut butter sandwich would be the advanced course for him.

      /*suppresses I-smell-a-turd expression that comes up whenever I think of That Garbage.*/

  6. Jslat says:

    💜Love to all💜 Let’s hold hands through the next three weeks. 💜Hillary💜 Love and kindness matters.💜

  7. Ownaa says:

    Guys I have a question about a Hillary supporter from 2008. I forgot her name. She used to brag all the time about her post graduate degrees and she was a statistician. She also credited herself that McCain chose Palin per her urging. Anyway I turned the tv today and there was a surrogate for trump and she sounded like the woman I was talking about. Anyone remember her?

    • dakinikat says:

      Nope. Sorry, not at all.

    • NW Luna says:

      Nope. Although Hillary supporter + choosing Palin don’t seem to belong together.

      • janicen says:

        Actually, I remember PUMAs not wanting to support Obama, wanting McCain to pick a female Veep so they (the PUMAs) could support McCain. Remember, for the first day or two, nobody knew how dumb Palin was. It was short lived, but I remember joy in PUMA land over the Palin pick. Well, it was short lived for some, some of them stuck with the ticket.

    • contrask says:

      I just saw that! And he’s the one who looks like he’s on something. The sniffling, red eyes, etc OMG – I despise that man

    • NW Luna says:

      With the way he has been accusing Hillary of doing all the things he actually does, I think he just told us — between the lines — that yes, he’s been snorting it before the debates.

  8. Minkoff Minx says:

    I’m not dealing well with this stress. Y’all know I was having difficulty before the pussy grab video was released, since that time my emotional reaction has become even more disturbing. I know it must be the connection to my own experience which is breeding my deepest contempt. The way people can blow off Trumps comments and still support that motherfucker. The other day Shakesville had a blog about what smells you associated with a particular memory. Since this shit came out and the media has been all over it, all I can associate with smell is the way my bra smelled when the bastard used it as to gag my mouth while he raped me. And all those feelings of murderous intent, because believe me…that is not a overstatement, come flooding back. I hate feeling this way. I don’t know how much of this I can take.

    • contrask says:

      I’m so sorry. That cretin must not gain power! There must be a special place in hell for abusers.

    • NW Luna says:

      So sad to hear this. Maybe get a few bottles of aromatherapy scents that smell very different and use them frequently!

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think many women around this country are having flashbacks. I know I am. Love you, JJ.

    • quixote says:

      Oh, JJ. How horrible. Just no words. No way to avoid it with a sex criminal center stage, either. Take care of yourself these next few weeks. (I know. Easier said than done.) Here’s hoping the garbage recedes back to its “normal” dull roar. And that some of this (real?) consciousness raising happening now in the media pushes it back even further.

    • janicen says:

      I know what you mean, JJ. Not that I have had as horrible experience as you, but every time I read a new story about another woman who has been abused and/or assaulted by Trump, I start to cry. I try to make myself read it, for the sake of those brave women, but it’s just so hard.

    • Ron4Hills says:

      My son-in-law sent me a link to a really old video of Elizabeth Cotton playing Freight Train literally five minutes before this link posted on Skydancing. It is a different version but same artist same song. My granddaughter (3) has learned the words and it is her new song.

      I like the synchronicity of the universe.

  9. dakinikat says:

    “Dylan Matthews: “What’s needed is an honest reckoning with what it means that a large segment of the US population, large enough to capture one of the two major political parties, is motivated primarily by white nationalism and an anxiety over the fast-changing demographics of the country. Maybe the GOP will find a way to control and contain this part of its base. Maybe the racist faction of the party will dissipate over time, especially as Obama’s presidency recedes into memory. Maybe it took Trump’s celebrity to mobilize them at all, and future attempts will fail.

    But Donald Trump’s supporters’ concerns are heavily about race. Taking them seriously means, first and foremost, acknowledging that, and dealing with it honestly.””

      • Joanelle says:

        I just saw this online – hello – how could they not know what they were doing?

        “There’s less than a month to go until Election Night, and one of the nation’s largest TV network has admitted its made a mistake in its coverage.
        CNN perhaps aired too much of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
        “If we made a mistake, [it was] we shouldn’t have put on as many [Trump] rallies as we did,”
        CNN President Jeff Zucker told Washington Post political correspondent Lois Romano Friday, speaking at an event at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.
        Zucker did not go so far to say that CNN helped push Trump to secure the nomination, yet he did tout that his network seemed to have a sense early on that Trump was going to be the Republican nominee.
        He also noted that Trump made himself much more available than other candidates. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush both went two months denying CNN access to an interview, according to Zucker. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was also much less available, he said.
        “We wanted access and Donald Trump gave it to us,” Zucker said.
        Cable news channels have been under particular scrutiny for how much coverage has been dedicated to Trump, particularly the many rallies he has held. One media analysis firm put the value of the overall time dedicated to Trump at around $3 billion.”

  10. BroD says:

    The best and most important stress-reliever: VOTE and tell all your friends to vote and tell all their friends to vote.