I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT DONALD TRUMP: A Feelings Atrium

I’ve tried doing other things, talking about other things, thinking about other things. I’ve tried reading about other things, but I can only get so far into an article about Olympic gymnastics (my favorite Olympic sport!) before I begin wondering if Donald Trump has said anything terrible lately, and how people felt about it. Until two weeks ago I hadn’t checked The Huffington Post since the Sarah Palin era, and now I check it multiple time a day, jonesing for a fix like this one, which was sweet and made me feel like I was walking on sunshine:

Screenshot 2016-08-02 14.13.40

WELL? WHY????

Despite a daunting to-do list that sends me into existential despair every time I recall its existence, I made time to watch that video of Obama calling Donald Trump unfit to be president, which required opening another browser due to a flash conflict I could fix if I wasn’t so busy thinking about Donald Trump.

I’m doing Whole30 this month but any potential sugar cravings have been overriden by my insatiable appetite for people calling out Donald Trump. I’m pretty sure when I get to Day 14 of Whole 30 — which the Whole30 Book says will make me want to “kill all the things” — I’ll only be thinking about killing Donald Trump.

Fuck my alarm clock, I wanna be woken up every morning by Damon Young announcing that Donald Trump is an adolescent Cheeto. I’d rather read The Washington Post explain why Trump is merely “a man with a disordered personality” than go to Walgreens to refill the medication I take to regulate my own mental disorder. At Planet Fitness I am teased and tortured by a series of monitors offering me perfect views of CNN and Fox News, with their warring tidbits of Trump-related information. (Also I always seem to park myself in front of the Tiny House Hunters TV, but that’s another rant for another day.) I wanted to lick my diseased outdated half-broken iPhone today after reading that Donald Trump evaded the military draft with a few deferments for education and then a final deferment for having fucked-up feet which magically healed, like so many things do, in the post-war era. I’d already watched the “you sacrificed nothing” clip 25 times before Donald Trump responded by claiming that doing his job, which involves giving jobs to other people, qualified as a “sacrifice” on par with serving in the military and dying for your country. “I haven’t found another way of saying this isn’t okay, this isn’t kind, this isn’t decent,” writes Ezra Klein on Vox. THIS IS IT, RIGHT? THIS IS THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN? NOW IT’S OVER, RIGHT? He’s a sociopathic narcissist!

DONALD TRUMP IS A MOTHERFUCKING FASCIST

NOTHING THIS MAN SAYS MAKES SENSE NOT ONE THING

WHEN YOU ASK HIM A QUESTION, HE FOREGOES ANSWERING IT IN FAVOR OF SAYING SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT

“NOBODY KNOWS THE SYSTEM BETTER THAN ME” SAYS THE MAN WITH ZERO EXPERIENCE WITH THE SYSTEM, LITERALLY ZERO

TRUMP UNIVERSITY IN AND OF ITSELF SHOULD’VE BEEN ENOUGH TO SINK THIS CAMPAIGN

DONALD TRUMP IS MEAN TO BABIES

WHAT IF HILLARY CLINTON HAD TWO EX-HUSBANDS WHAT THEN

This feeling isn’t entirely unfamiliar as I recall feeling similarly agape and anxious regarding national affection for Sarah Palin leading up to the 2008 election (during which time I worked customer service for the button-and-shirt-sending wing of MoveOn.org, responding to aggressive e-mails from humans threatening to vote for McCain if their Obama t-shirt didn’t arrive within 3-4 business days), but, as my co-worker Heather Hogan pointed out, “I felt that about Sarah Palin at what I thought was a ten but now i realize was really more like a two and half.” Case in point: I dropped everything to fully engage with John McCain’s vicious rebuttal of Trump’s comments and wanted to wrap that statement in a red-white-and-blue bow and give it to myself for my birthday every single year until I’m as old as John McCain is right now. JOHN MCCAIN!

I’M NOT READY

Have you read Donald Trump’s actual policy positions on his website? Did you know that his plan for building a wall between us and Mexico is to order Western Union and similar services to cut off wire transfers to Mexico, thus ending the “welfare” he says the US is providing to Mexican citizens through employing immigrants who send money home to their families, thus forcing Mexico to pay for the wall themselves so that the money wiring can commence again? THAT’S HIS ACTUAL PLAN.

Make no mistake: I live in a liberal bubble surrounded by people who agree with me. I know pro-Trump people exist and live nearby, but none of my friends or family are among them. Even my family members who live in a very conservative part of rural Ohio are Democrats (the only Democrats for miles, actually). The only presence on my social media feed that makes me feel like sporking my eyes out are the Bernie-or-Bust folks refusing to delay the inevitable apocalypse by voting for Hillary Clinton, as if feeling passionate about the political candidate you vote for was ever an inalienable right. (Remember voting for John Kerry?) Sometimes I wish I did know a real-life Trump supporter so that I could scream at them and release this pent-up fury. But also I don’t because I have seen the sorrow in your hearts and minds and eyeballs — all of you who have friends and family voting for Trump — and I will not degrade the depths of your pain by claiming it’d be cathartic for me to feel it, too.

Okay, I’m gonna get back to my to-do list now, but if you are also obsessed with the Donald Trump campaign, please tell me all about it. Please share links to stories of people eviscerating Trump or announcing his certain failure. (Please also share links to videos that make you feel better, like for example this one and this one make me feel better.) I need it. As the great Angela Chase once opined on My So-Called Life, “Hatred can become, like, food. It gives you this energy. You can, like, live off it.”  (This is especially important for me right now. Because Whole30.)

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2877 articles for us.

88 Comments

  1. Wow this was so cathartic to read. Thanks, Riese!

    So, whenever I get a fresh dose of HOLYCRAPDONALDTRUMPMIGHTBEPRESIDENT feelings, I go to this New York Times “Who Will Be President?” interactive article: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/upshot/presidential-polls-forecast.html

    After obsessing over the updated polling numbers, my very favorite thing to do is scroll all the way to the bottom to the election swing-state simulator. You can click all of the states that are polling at 70% or more democrat, and watch how easy it is for him to lose.

    Fivethirtyeight articles are great too.

    • Yes, FiveThirtyEight helps a lot. They are currently projecting Clinton will win Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina.

      My biggest concern is what emails haven’t been revealed. If Hillary or the DNC has anything worse in their emails, I think they should be disclosing it now, because it will definitely be coming out, and probably a week before the election.

  2. “Of all of Donald Trump’s vile irruptions … his casual smear of Ghazala Khan is perhaps the vilest. This isn’t simply because Mrs. Khan is a bereaved mother … No: What makes Mr. Trump’s remarks so foul is their undisguised sadism. He took a woman too heartbroken and anxious to speak of her dead son before an audience of millions and painted a target on her. He treated her silence as evidence that she was either a dolt or a stooge. He degraded her. (…) In this comment there was the full unmasking of Mr. Trump, in case he needed further unmasking. He has, as Humayun’s father Khizr put it, a “black soul.” His problem isn’t a lack of normal propriety but the absence of basic human decency. He is morally unfit for any office, high or low.”

    Excerpted from http://www.wsj.com/articles/to-the-go-along-republicans-1470091421?mod=trending_now_2. It’s a Pulitzer-prize winning did-hard-conservative’s op ed in the wall street journal.

    OK total aside but my current favorite flavor of Trump evisceration/truth-telling is Really Conservative People Being Horrified by Their Own Candidate. I don’t know what it is. It’s like, I disagree with these conservative people so much, but oh look, here is something we (err some of them and me) agree on. Maybe it’s an unhealthy subconscious desire to get validation from people I know don’t like me/my politics, but I think a bigger part of it is the schadenfreude of watching at least some conservatives realize with dawning horror what is happening with their candidate. And party. And movement. EVERYTHING.

  3. Omg same. Especially not having any Trump supporters in your SM feeds but knowing they are out there. (“The only presence on my social media feed that makes me feel like sporking my eyes out are the Bernie-or-Bust folks refusing to delay the inevitable apocalypse by voting for Hillary Clinton” spoke to me on a deep level.)

    BUT I just found out that the father of one of my brother’s friends is supporting Trump! He’s a Jewish guy who is backing the neo-nazi supported candidate because he thinks Trump will be better for Israel than Clinton will be! I cannot wrap my mind around this! (Especially since all I see on SM are people reluctant to back Hillz because she’s too Zionist!)

    I literally had no idea but my dad says lots of people think the Clintons are overly sympathetic to the Palestinians? This was not something I had ever heard before in my lefty circles but apparently is the perception among many politically moderate white middle aged people? Wild.

    • Whoa, really? Clinton is way too die-hard Israel. That was one of the few differences between her and Sanders that really stuck with me and gave him an edge for a time.

      But being Jewish and voting for Trump? You’ve gotta be kidding me. That’s like asking how many redeeming qualities Hitler has. :P

  4. + A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality

    + I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump

    These don’t necessarily make me feel better, but I do feel like I understand a little bit more. Every day — literally every single day — something emerges about this man and I think, “Ok wait, seriously. This has got to be it, right? This is the thing that will finally stop [family member] from voting for him. It’s gotta be.” But it isn’t! It never is! I have to go eat burgers with these people in a few weeks and I’m already dreading the conversations and tension. I’m honestly thinking about bringing it up??? Because I’m that confused by this person’s support for Trump. Like maybe they’ll explain it to me and I’ll be able to see it from their perspective and possibly wrap my head around their understanding of the world right now.

    That would be a terrible idea right?

  5. As a person with parents who are Trump supporters it sucks. They refuse to listen to facts, they only listen to Fox ‘news’, and when I try to talk to them about politics (as a queer liberal) I have ‘no critical thinking skills.’

    I constantly have to be reminded that even if he did get elected there are checks and balances (thanks girlfriend) but even that only holds back the panic for a few hours until I think about the rights people stand to lose.

    • I’m in the same boat. Are you able to maintain a normal relationship with them? Because the trump fervor is bringing out the ugliest side of my mom and it makes me lose any desire to keep in contact with her.

  6. for today: “Donald Trump told an interviewer on Monday that if his daughter Ivanka Trump were sexually harassed at work, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case” ”

    “Eric Trump on handling workplace sexual harassment: “Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it””

    article link

    what is wrong with these people. how is nearly my entire family planning on voting for this awful person. somehow they are convinced that he is a better choice than hillary despite the fact that every time he opens his mouth is a disaster. one conservative cousin at least is planning to vote for hillary because trump is so bad, but i don’t have much hope of that from the rest of my family. it is depressing.

    • and like, my family doesn’t like trump. a few months ago, my dad was saying he really wasn’t sure what he’d do if trump were the nominee, but once it became apparent that he would be, my family fell in line because republicans. it’s almost worse than if they genuinely liked him.

      • Ugh my dad is the same way. But he’s at least leaning towards plain ol’ not voting for a presidential candidate (why idk. i honestly don’t know. nobody will care about your protest lack of vote dad. literally nobody. i mean except me, who will be pissed off that you don’t care about my rights to get married and use the bathroom and not get fired from my job due to discrimination.)

  7. I live in CANADA and I’m still FUCKING TERRIFIED about the possibility of this man being President. A Trump presidency will not just destroy the Republican party, the idea of a functional two-party system, and American democracy, it will probably destroy the entire fucking world.

    Everyone up here looks down at what’s going on in the American election with total incredulity. No one has any idea what the fuck is wrong with America right now. We do not understand it. I thought in Canada I was free from anyone who would even remotely consider voting for Trump, but then last week I was was at the beach with some friends when some guy interrupted our conversation to ask if we were American. When we said no, he told us to make sure any of our friends who are American vote for Trump in November. I swallowed half the lake trying not to tell him him what a racist, sexist, xenophobic, narcissistic, fear-mongering fascist dictator his candidate is. I didn’t think a family-friendly beach was the place to rip him a new one. ‪But you can bet I was thinking it.

    Here, let Nate Silver cheer you up: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-is-clintons-lead-a-bounce-or-a-new-equilibrium/

    • I keep telling my Canadian friends that the old old about us fleeing to Canada might not be a joke if Trump gets into power. I don’t even want to think how much more violent the hate groups will get if they feel they have public approval. It’s already begun.

    • Yes this. I am Australian, so even further away. High profile people here (read: reality TV hosts) have started sharing their “opinion” that he has a “point” about banning Muslim immigration on breakfast TV. SO then we all have to hear the rednecks crawl out of the woods and talk about “freedom of speech” (not a thing in this country the way it is in the US) and the right to an opinion and the lefty PC feminazis. We’re getting as much coverage on the latest awful thing he’s said as we are about the latest awful thing our own government are doing and it is just encouraging them.

      Please get rid of him so he quits polluting the rest of the world? Thanks.

  8. You should meet some of relatives so you can scream at them. Some of them aren’t really for his policies, but more for his tax cuts and repealing of Obama-care(for some drs. tight with insurance companies it wasn’t a positive for them). They were supporters 3 months ago, but I am hoping they changed their tuned to at least not voting. Cause well-off middle eastern Jews in California sometimes forget Republicans have the KKK and NLR on their side.

  9. Look on a possible bright side — we are watching Trump and his fans destroy the Republican Party, which they brought on themselves and deeply deserve. I too get enraged/disgusted by having to think about this creep so much, but I have been gripped by watching the GOP implode. It makes one feel a touch more optimistic about the future. I do think that attacking the Khans has put the Donald beyond the pale for many people. One of my neighbors has two Trump signs in front of his house, and I’m waiting to see if he’ll take them down.

  10. This is so well-timed. I’ve certainly maintained a paranoid interest in the campaign since the beginning, but for some reason, within the last week, it’s just gone into overdrive. I check Trump’s twitter feed multiple times a day (I even read the replies, wtf is wrong with me???), I check the news section on google religiously, I’m constantly looking at the Politics tab on Facebook’s trending news. It’s driving me crazy. It’s like I’m addicted to being horrified, but I think really, I’m hoping for the slightest sliver of hope that he’ll finally ruin himself.

    I can’t decide if I want this election season to be over or if I never want it to end. If it never ends, I’ll be wracked with anxiety about it for the rest of my life, but at least he’ll never be president.

  11. Donald’s end of year report card could have been worse: “As Donald’s history teacher I have seen little improvement in the core skills we discussed during the parent-teacher conferences. This is disappointing as Donald has, I believe, a lot of untapped potential[he could become an organ donor, for instance]. As it stands now, he has achieved the lowest grade, and is digging further. I would like to see him do a lot of work over the summer so that he begins the new academic year at least knowing the difference between his arse and his elbow. I feel that he should abandon his curious preference for public speaking in order to concentrate on acquiring the basic skills of a thinking human.

  12. I am completely baffled. Like, how? And WHAT? Does the Trump limit just not exist?!
    McCain’s statement yesterday was good but I just…. It’s so utterly terrifying. I don’t understand how he can lie and obfuscate and talk actual shite with complete impunity! I have no idea what’s going to happen at the debates.
    I live in the UK and I’m going to take annual leave to come over and campaign for Hillary – I am a massive US politics nerd but that is also the level of my worry about Trump.

    • Massive, huge props to you for taking annual leave to campaign for Hillary! The thought has crossed my mind multiple times, and here you are actually f*cking doing it. HILL YES!

      (The only thing stopping me, because the level of worry about Trump is so big, is that I’m in the final year of my PhD and have no annual leave to take. That said, I’ve been told you can volunteer for the DNC from abroad and write letters to the editors for swing states, etc. So, getting on that now.)

      YOU’RE A LEGEND. That is all.

  13. Same. Literal same. I will read every article someone has linked here in these comments and recite them all to Stacy when she gets home and ask her to read them and recite them back to me, and this is the way it’s the way that we live it’s the way that we live and love.

    • I mean. If I open up a browser tab to see what horrific thing he just did and leave it there for an hour while I work on finishing up a work thing, by the time I get back to the Trump tab, it’s already obsolete! He’s already done ten more horrific things! This happened to me today. I didn’t even get to read about him berating a baby before he was accepting a purple heart from a supporter and I didn’t even get to read about that before he said he won’t endorse Paul Ryan or John McCain!

  14. YES all the feelings about Trump, it’s pretty addicting. The election started heating up just as I finished my school year, so I now have extra brain space to fill with sooo much political satire and topical comedy to inform, amuse, and terrify me all at once. I’m in a Daily Show, Nighty Show, John Oliver and Samantha Bee loop, with Stephen Colbert and anyone else witty thrown in when I run out of new material.
    Even Jon Stewart came back to chew up Fox News for us: https://youtu.be/mNiqpBNE9ik

    I’ll let you guys know if I ever do something productive again.

  15. The thing that terrifies me the most is knowing that no matter what new awful thing comes out about Trump the people voting for him WON’T CARE. Like, being awful is part of his whole thing so everything new that gets uncovered just fuels that image.

    I also have that one person on my FB that I usually agree with 100% about things and she’s always posting articles about BLM and was supporting Bernie and now she’s advocating for voting for a third party! As though that will actually be a thing that will happen! It’s so scary!

  16. y’all I have just been organizing shit out of spite: making sure my expat American friends are registered for absentee ballots in time, helping some friends in the States get organized to phone bank and GOTV (hoping to join them for one swing state or another), starting email chains where we all praise each other for donating to campaigns, etc. I WANT TO MAKE SURE TRUMP LOSES I WANT HIM TO LOSE BIGTIME

  17. The Trump situation is officially out of control. I have a few family members who won’t come out and admit they’re voting for him. Instead they complain about Hillary while saying they respect Trump for speaking his mind even if they don’t agree with everything he says. It literally makes me feel like that Anger guy in the movie Inside Out. Speaking your mind stops being a virtue when you start spouting total racist, sexist, islamophobic BS!

  18. All we need to do is get the magic 270! 270 electoral votes. I find it hard to believe that continued harping on draft-dodging Trump the scorner of Gold Star parents won’t peel off at least a few percent of the Trump-favoring voters. A few of the suburban voters and I would think a larger percentage of rural voters would take great exception to Trump-as-CIC. Would you want your son or daughter to swear an oath to obey Trump?

    I do fear the possibility of a significant terrorist attack in October. Remember, Putin gained his office by having his KGB colleagues bomb some apartment buildings and blame it on the Chechens.

  19. I have met two whole lesbians who support Donald Trump. TWO SELF IDENTIFIED QUEER PEOPLE.

    Their reasoning:

    “I’ve been thinking a lot about economics and Trump is a businessman who would be better for the economy.” (Supply side economics do not work? Trump is a failed businessman who regularly cons people?)

    “I’m a moderate.” (Ok…? Banning Muslims is moderate? What about Trump specifically implies that he is ‘moderate.’)

    “The guy is from New York. I don’t think he means all that stuff he says. He used to be a democrat and he is just doing it to be outrageous.” (Ok Trump whisperer. This isn’t reality TV. This is real life. Statements, proposed policies, party platforms, etc. have consequences. What, you think he is just trolling the GOP? I…I hope so.)

  20. I feel you on this 100%. It is like watching a car crash…can’t look away. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and her team’s videos have kept me sane while watching Trump and his followers slowly ruin my faith in humanity.

  21. My mom asked me to watch Trumps speech, not because she was horrified, but because she believes in him 100%. When I tried to tell her about his constant lying and the scam of trump university, she refused to believe me because I linked her to the NYT when she quickly disregarded it as a “liberal rag.” I’m really really really close to never talking to my mom again because I don’t know if I can unconditionally love someone who is in full support of criminalizing my friends and who is completely anti-journalism and and anti-science. We eventually ended the horrific conversation by agreeing to never discuss politics again, but I can’t make myself pick up the phone and call her and I imagine if trump wins it will be even more difficult to do so. Anyone going through a similar situation?

  22. Trump is a clinical narcissist. The entire universe revolves around him. His family is important to him only as property, and being a part of his family. Their success is because of being kin to him. He tries to characterize creating jobs as a personal sacrifice, when everyone knows his only interest in his employees is the money he makes from their labor.

    With every word he speaks, every move he makes, every thought he thinks, every song he sings, every lie he tells………..it is clear to see, a man without empathy for you and me!

  23. Thank you Riese for this piece!

    I’m living in Germany and unfortunately some of my friends aren’t too concerned about what happens in the american election campaign because they believe it won’t really affect them, but it’s really not like that. I am really scared what will happen and therefore I check, quite compulsively, updates of the New York Times and the Huffington Post. As I woke up this morning, this news helped me a bit:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/us/politics/meg-whitman-hillary-clinton.html?ref=politics

  24. i feel like the only thing he has said this entire week so far is “they’re weak.” like everybody who says anything bad about him, he’s like “they’re a bad leader. frankly, they’re weak. america needs a strong leader. i’m strong.” i mean now he’s going against paul ryan and john mccain and withholding his endorsement of them for not falling in line? THIS MAN IS A NIGHTMARE.

  25. I would like to know, from an American perspective, what exactly gave rise to this current situation. How disillusioned are people with politics that voting for this moron is better than voting for Hillary because he is the ‘non-politician speaking his mind’? Something must have gone seriously wrong for people to favour this guy over a legitimate politician…?

    I know a lot of people in western liberal democracies often say they want a non-politician to believe in, someone who is ‘one of us’ and I can agree with that sentiment. However, Trump does not fit that category. He is no ordinary citizen, he has no understanding of the pressures of ordinary citizens. He doesn’t have a clue! The only thing he does well is outrage and fear-monger.

    As a non-American, I fear for the future based on what I am seeing. I mean, politics is never perfect, but this is extreme.

    The current state of US politics has made me a whole lot more thankful for the Australian political landscape which is far from ideal.

    • Here’s an article I read (that I think I was actually originally linked to on Autostraddle) that helped me understand a bit more how the US (and other parts of the world) got to this point.

      http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

      Basically people are afraid that they stand to lose power and privilege they have always had (sometimes rightly so as they are losing it to economic hard times or calls for equity that have been a long time coming) and for some people, that stress leads them to look for a strongman, who like Trump says “I’m powerful, I can fix this”.

      And it doesn’t even really matter if what he says is nonsense, or impossible, or horrible, because it’s actually part of the appeal. A strongman who will say anything or do anything to protect YOU is what you want, even if what they say can’t be done (Mexico wall) you like that they say it because it means they’ll stop at nothing to protect you.

      It’s creepy as hell, and I don’t think a lot of people would even recognize it as fear, but I feel like that’s what it is… just really twisted, self-serving fear.

  26. Haha this is so validating and real. I just keep refreshing twitter and cnn and NYT and waiting and waiting for more Trump bullshit. It’s bottlenecker x100. AND MY TO-DO LIST SCARES ME SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN FACE MAKING ONE. Preach.

  27. I am abs terrified that this hateful man could win I am upset with the Burnie or bust people who won’t back Hillary just to help ensure trump can’t win and I am also confused hurt and possibly ashamed that my girlfriend actually plans to vote this disgusting excuse for a human being. And I miss her with everything I am but I can’t even make myself talk to her because she can’t even tell me why she likes the man.

  28. I’m a straight(ish) white male, and my fear isn’t that more people will vote for Trump than Hillary (thankfully, every poll I see indicates that she’ll win, and easily); my fear is that even if more people vote for Hillary, the Electoral College will go against that and give it to Trump ala Bush vs Gore 2000. Does anyone know enough about Election Law to say if this is something we need to be concerned with or no?

    — Yes, I am male. But please, don’t hold it against me; I promise, it wasn’t my fault. —

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