Pres. George W. Bush launched the first openly unprovoked war in American history, killing 4000 Americans and, I dunno, conservatively 100,000 Iraqis and counting, plus even further destabilizer-ing the Middle East, paving the way for the rise of ISIS. He actively prevented American officials from intervening to prevent the mortgage crisis and ultimately the global economic meltdown.
We survived. With the obvious, regrettable exception of those who literally did not.
We can and will survive the fk ing Trump presidency. How well we do so depends on how much work we’re willing to do. And not just the communal, feels-good work of protest–which is vital and important. But also the hard, internal work of denying our impulses toward this abomination of a man (private name-calling is still okay). The hard work of rejecting ways of thinking that are satisfying but unproductive. Of resisting easy categorization. The hard work of becoming attuned to fine but important political nuances such as the distinction that Trump is not, in fact, a clown; he is, rather, in the argot of political scientists, a doofus. It is a crucial distinction. So, to aid us in this work, we hereby present The fk ing News Guide To Surviving the fk ing Trump Presidency.
There will be updates.
STEP ONE – DO NOT ASSUME
Do not assume you know him, what’s going to happen, what he will do, what he thinks, and especially what he is. No one is anything. At specific moments in time they say, do, think, and want specific things. But they are not racist, even if things they say might be. They are not misogynist, even if their pussy-grabbing might be. They are not war-mongers, even if they mong actual wars. It’s easy to use polls gauging racist views to “prove” people are racist–but none of those polls actually asks: “Are you racist?” Because anyone who does these things thinks they are doing it for some reason other than something they are. It’s important to stop treating people as enemies and understand what they think their reasons are. That’s how we do it with other dictators, after all.
Did you know that Trump supporters are not racist? True fact! Sure, racist shit has come out of their redneck mouths and brains and computers and voting fingers, but that’s true of all white folk! The reality is, they don’t think of themselves as racist. Which means when you dismiss their fears and racism as racist just because it’s racist, you’ll never reach them. So don’t assume! Here are some exercises to get you unstarted on assuming.
Sample Exercise 1
A poor, black, Latino, undocumented, teenage, Muslim immigrant has just hurt an old woman while stealing her purse so he can buy drugs to feed his addiction. Try to have empathy for the teenager and understand the social forces that led him to this mistake rather than categorize him as evil.
Did you do it? Great! Try it a few times to get the hang of it. Not too hard, right? If you’re an old-school liberal this one’s easy. Now let’s try a hard one!
Sample Exercise 2
A rich, white, unaudited, Christian scion of European immigrants has just called a poor, black, Latino, undocumented, teenage, Muslim immigrant–who just hurt an old woman while stealing her purse so he can buy drugs to feed his addiction–a “criminal.” Try to have empathy for the scion and understand the social forces that led him to this mistake rather than categorize him as racist.
Did you do it? If it seems too hard, go back and read his original comments where he explicitly says he assumes they’re not all criminals. Did that help? If it still seems hard, try replacing the subject of the sample exercise with one of your old, stupid relatives. If you can give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re just misguided (and sooooo goddamn fk ing stupid) try gradually increasing the distance between you and the subject of the exercise until you get to the goddamn president elect, Donald fk ing Trump.
Can you apply that same empathy to his supporters? If that’s too easy, try something really hard, like the KKK. If that seems too hard, read this for inspiration. If it seems offensive to ask that you give them the presumption of good faith, try to remember the black president you love did exactly fk ing that just yesterday. Good luck!
(Remember, Trump says he wants to be president of all Americans. He even asked for guidance from those who disagree with him. Assume sincerity and try it, with the presumption of good faith. Remember, it’s just possible he was lying during the campaign and doesn’t really plan to deport every undocumented immigrant. Right, Reince?)
STEP TWO – EMBRACE YOUR INNER SNOB
A non-trivial portion of your distaste for Pres.-elect Donald fk ing Trump is simple cultural snobbery. And that’s okay! But it helps to prepare yourself for those moments when the rage inspired by your inner snobbery starts to assert itself as moral condemnation. That way you won’t conflate it with your distaste for his actual fk ing policies. How can you avoid this? Prepare yourself now for the moments that lie ahead by trying out some of our sample scenarios. Can you embrace your reactions not as moral judgments but as good, old, totally fk ing justified snobbery? Let’s find out!
Sample Scenario – Hygiene
During his first televised address from the Oval Office, President Donald fk ing Trump launches an unprovoked, unilateral, uni-finger snot rocket onto the historic Resolute desk. Snobbery or policy?
Sample Scenario – Propriety
Your child transitions from exercising to videos of First Lady Michelle Obama’s workout routine to videos of First Lady Melania Trump’s jerkoff routine. Snobbery or policy?
Sample Scenario – Culture
President Donald fk ing Trump attends a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts of the National Symphony Orchestra as accompanied by lead tenor Ted Nugent. Snobbery or policy?
STEP THREE – ACCEPT THAT SOME FOLKS ARE GONNA DIE
It’s sad, but true. President Donald fk ing Trump is gonna kill some folks. Millions will lose health insurance; some will forego treatment and die. We’ll probably have a new war, so that’ll mean dead American soldiers and brown corpses in the Middle East or God help us the Baltics. The death penalty will probably be ramped up to include new categories of offenders, like fat chicks.
If you think you might die under President fk ing Trump, make peace with yourself and get your affairs in order now. If you’re not sure whether you might die, examine the following list of possible scenarios and determine the chances of your fatal involvement:
- Vast amounts of E. coli in deregulated, non-GMO, free-range Trump Prestige Sriracha Sauce
- The Lost City of Tulsa in the Great Sinkhole Catastrophe of 2019
- The tragic loss of the entire 82nd Airborne during the Second Mexican-American War in a gruesome Why Don’t We Just Slingshot Them Over The Wall training exercise
- The disintegration of the US Space Shuttle Ivanka and the scattering at sea of its entire payload of first editions of Donald Trump’s new book, What Have I Done? somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean ten miles off the coast of West Virginia
How do we reconcile ourselves to a president who’s gonna kill some folks? It’s easy! In fact, did you know we do it all the time! It’s true! President Obama has killed more terrorist children and wedding parties with drones than President Bush ever illegally dreamed of and we still think he looks cool in shades! So if it starts to get you, just remember: Presidents kill people; that’s their job.
You do not kill yourself. Not even once.
AND YOU DO NOT PAINT SUCH A BLEAK PICTURE THAT OTHER PEOPLE KILL THEMSELVES.
STEP FOUR – REJECT FALSE PROBLEMS
You know how national debt and budget deficits and trade deficits are big problems? While Democratic presidents have historically struggled to remedy these persistent issues, Republican presidents have an astonishing record of solving these problems instantly. How do they do it? Just by becoming president!
That’s right–if you’re a centrist Democrat who’s open to entitlement reform to help wrangle out-of-control government spending, the victory of Pres.-elect Donald fk ing Trump is actually good news for you. Because when Republicans become president, these problems are no longer problems!
How do they do it? By being Republican presidents! As former Vice President and President Dick Cheney famously said, Reagan proved that “deficits don’t matter.” So, congratulate yourself on our new return to fiscal responsibility. And remember, no matter how irresponsible President fk ing Trump is, a Democratic president will be along soon enough to clean things up just enough for the next Republican president to rob the newly filled Treasury again.
STEP FIVE – CHANGE YOUR DIET TO CUT DOWN ON CANNIBALISM
We get it. Everyone sucks and it’s their fault that we have Pres.-elect fk ing Trump. But Democrats and the left should stop eating themselves. The Democratic Party isn’t any more doomed than the pundits thought the Republican Party was three fk ing days ago.
America is a system for fighting. When one side wins, the consequences of its overreach (or, in Democrats’ case, underreach) push people to the other side. And we’re about to get a Trumpful of overreach. You might not remember when Pres. Bush claimed he had the “political capital” to give Social Security to Wall Street, but he did claim it, and he didn’t have it so he couldn’t give it. That’s the kinda shit we’re going to see now, too–but only if we are vigilant. So be vigilant and eat plants, not ourselves.
STEP SIX – HOLD HIM TO THE GOOD SHIT
Remember, Pres. fk ing Trump said he would protect Social Security and fix our entire nation’s infrastructure. So when he has to fight congressional Republicans for the money to do this, be on…wait for it, breathe, sit down and have some tap water…his side.
You might ask, doesn’t that put me on the same side as the KKK? Yes, it does! That’s why we do Step One! You see, lots of Republicans actually have similar goals to Democratic goals. They don’t want people dying in the street. They just hope thier magic Invisible Hand will cure them. But when the means to those ends are stripped of partisanship–in other words, when Romney proposes ObamaCare, rather than Obama proposing ObamaCare–Republicans are fine with it. Remember, they’re hostage-takers and terrorists. Which means Democrats can negotiate with them, because as any Republican will tell you, Democrats negotiate with terrorists!
STEP SEVEN – fk THE NEWS
Stop watching TV news. Then stop hate-watching TV news. Do you find you’re still watching? Stop. How about now? Here’s a good way to tell whether you’re still watching: Are you watching? Stop fk ing watching.
When you do watch, you are literally paying them to do the things you claim you hate. So if you are going to watch, don’t complain, because you’re the one doing it. If you MUST watch, watch only the shows that you can defend and that you think bring enlightenment and positivity to our national discourse. Elevate only those shows and you might have a chance of elevating the genre. If you don’t, then you’re just fk ing up the news. (If you want to learn how you can change TV news, check out Indivertible: The fk ing News Guide for Fixing the fk ing News.)
Thank you. Thank you for sticking with us. Because together is how we survive.
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