To distract from other distractions, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced today that Mr. Trump would go on a “thank you tour”. It reportedly will start in Ohio on Thursday. Of course, a “massive rally” is planned.
It’s never been too early to see the method in Donald Trump’s madness. And it’s necessary if we’re going to stem the waste of our time, energy and potentially our freedoms.
First, let’s tackle why it’s taking so long for people to get this and what keeps us from getting it. I’m going to start with a story about how hard it is to believe a reality we’ve taken for granted has changed:
Many years ago, while on vacation, I was eating lunch out on a deck accessible through glass doors. I got up from the table where I’d been eating and went inside to get something to drink. I did not close the glass door because it was in a cranky somewhat rusted track and was difficult to close, and I wasn’t going to be long. I got my beverage and headed back out to the deck. Then BAM. A step back and BAM again. Then my hand went up to my nose as my eyes searched for the people on the other side of the glass door with that “What the flying %$#@! just happened?!?” look.
What had happened was – someone had shut the door, and I had zero expectation that someone would have shut the door in the tiny amount of time I’d been gone. In addition, there was no warning that the door was in fact shut, like a funky shimmery do-hicky thing many people put on glass doors or mirrors to delineate them from otherwise not being there. Someone changed my reality on me. When I smashed full force into the glass door the first time, my brain refused – utterly and completely refused to accept that the door was in fact in my way, unmoveable and about to be smashed into again. Yes, I walked full force into that freakin’ door a second time and really hurt myself because my brain failed to process that the reality I thought was in existence was no longer in existence.
How does this relate to how people are having a hard time accepting how dysfunctional Donald Trump is and how delusional his reality is?
In the case of this year’s presidential elections, our reality was that we took for granted the election of people who are sane and who want to govern. And now, people, the media, politicians, the vulnerable are walking into the glass door way more than just two times, failing to see (either willfully or unintentionally) that the reality we accepted for 240 years is not holding. Our brains are not processing the fact that the person who sought and won the office isn’t sane and isn’t interested in governing. (The extent to which Donald Trump thinks he’s sane is the same extent to which he thinks he is interested in governing – and in both, he has deluded himself and fooled many others.) But we have to adapt to this change or we will never stop smashing into that door, hurting ourselves and becoming incapable of fixing it – or us.
How do we know this is happening – that we’re repeatedly smashing into the door? Because Trump’s behavior and our reactions to it tells us so.
Donald Trump’s tweets document, repeatedly, his fixation on anything that he perceives as showing him to be less than as great as he thinks he is (i.e., the popular vote must include millions of illegal votes or else he would have won), or someone else having the capacity to exceed him (i.e., the popular vote must include millions of illegal votes because Hillary Clinton’s vote total can’t possibly exceed Donald’s). He is spiralling down down down. But his handlers and enablers know how to get him out of the dumps:
Let’s have a rally! Let’s have a whole tour of rallies where Donald can get the oxygen he’s been deprived of while trying to transition from campaigning to governing. (Now, how planful his handlers are being about the deprivation of the oxygen, definitely something to explore.)
Remember Donald’s five minute foray into the crowd at Trump Tower during the Billy Bush-grab their pussy interlude? That was literally his coming up for air, to get his oxygen and his fix.
Now, Donald Trump’s “thank you” tour of rallies is to satiate his freaking out over just how isolating and lonely governing is. He hates the loneliness, he hates the isolation and he hates the lack of adoration that comes with making decisions that public servants must make and that automatically cause a guaranteed percentage of people to hate you.
And really, there’s nothing Donald Trump hates more than to be hated, even if it looks like he loves being a bully.
For our part, we have got to get used to this pattern. We have to realize that the glass door got shut and we now must do what we can and what we have to so that we never smash into that glass door again.
What does that look like? It starts with realizing that we should be doing to Mr. Trump what he is doing to so many others: minimize him by depriving him of adoration, de-legitimize his usurpation of power, and de-weaponize him by maximizing every check and balance and separation of power tool in our toolbox. And if we don’t see the tool we need, we make it. This isn’t acceptance of the circumstances as if we must become powerless. It is the opposite: we talk a good game about the power of voting to change things. Well, that just happened. Now we need to make change happen again, and in as many ways as possible, because voting is not the only tool of democracy, thank goodness.