Quit Watching the Train Wreck

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the Republican nomination.

Yoda Kennedy

Take the Trump test. Turn to CNN and see whether or not they’re discussing the controversial Republican presidential candidate right now.

I’ll wait.

My family’s been taking the “test” for several months now and 98% of the time, there he is, the “Donald” in all his orange glory being discussed; it doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. There he is (inescapable like gravity). By comparison the coverage Clinton’s campaign receives is negligible. You hear the odd thing about emails, secret speeches given to Wall Street, or the magic word “Benghazi” creep up now and again, etc. but other than that you don’t hear a lot about her.

Why does Trump get so much coverage and Clinton so little?

Click bait. If it bleeds, it leads. Trump is strangely alluring—sort of like a car crash where you just want to see the burning wreck for its own sake; and his campaign, arguably, has been one car wreck after the next, e.g. calling Latinos rapists, saying he’ll ban Muslims, cajoling war heroes, picking fights with parents of Muslim American war veterans, refusing to make his tax returns public, encouraging the beating of critics attending his rallies, impulsive tweet after tweet after tweet, his “locker room” conversation with “Access Hollywood’s” Billy Bush about a certain inability to control himself around beautiful women, and then his recent promise to sue 11 “beautiful women” who came out saying he’d groped them—just like he said he couldn’t help from doing; nevertheless, we keep watching and waiting to see if the latest controversy is the final one…and it never is.

I can’t seem to look away; and that’s the problem with Trump and why he won’t just go away—we keep looking, we keep listening; the fire is too pretty; my Freudian Thanatos impulse too strong. Mr. Trump gets stronger every time we watch the, to borrow one of his very, very favorite words, “disaster.” This reminds me of the god Aries as portrayed in an animated “Wonder Woman” movie. When people fight Aries, the god of war, he gets stronger; once people quit fighting and seek peace he gets weaker. Trump is like Aries: the more we watch the stronger he and his brand becomes.

I looked at November 8th as a sort of emancipation day. Even Canadians support him; they tend to be of the conservative variety; and the liberals I know vilify him. I’m tired of hearing Canadians and Americans talk about the guy. For my part I think I’ve written about six articles looking at the Trump phenomenon. I’m done. This is the final one. I’m moving on to bashing Trudeau or giving my qualified support to Saskatchewan’s premier, Brad Wall. Wall is the only one of the three civic leaders I’ve actually met. I took a class to the Regina Legislature a number of years ago and he took time out of his busy day to meet with us. He was magnanimous, funny and friendly. I have never actually voted for the guy but I know he has the province’s best interests in mind. I just wish he was a little closer to the center is all.

So, Trump is going to lose the election. I have little doubt of that. But he isn’t going to go away. He’ll keep pushing forward the idea he lost—not because of his many personal defects—but because the election was rigged. I think he’s going to lose the election more because of his “busy hands” and impulsive nature than anything else. Nevertheless, he isn’t going anywhere after November 8th.  He’s going to rile his followers up in an effort to build his brand out of the wreckage he’s left behind on the democratic and political landscape of the United States. Worse still there’s talk about him starting his own television channel after the election. I thought Oprah’s channel was bad, Trump’s will be worse.

Even though he’s not going anywhere, there’s a solution: quit watching. Turn away. Tune out. I’m not advising people remain fundamentally ignorant of the goings-on in the world. Just remain ignorant of Trump is all. Ignore him and don’t give into the temptation to look at the burning wreck. When you quit watching, just like when you quit fighting Aries, he loses his power and his capacity to influence.