I have to admit, my life has gotten much better since I broke up with Donald Trump.
For years he was a constant companion. I’d wake up and turn on the TV, there he was. Pick up a newspaper, headlines galore. Browse the magazine stand, front covers in abundance.
But ultimately the relationship just wasn’t working for me anymore, I had to look away.
No matter how much I railed at the TV, no matter how many critical articles, memes and editorial cartoons I shared on social media, no matter how much I obsessed over his other relationships with tyrants and despots, he just didn’t seem to care about the negative impact he was having on me and other people.
Oh, it was difficult at first. I missed the way he would totally disregard the normal trappings of leadership and ethical behaviour. The way he would carefully avoid the truth at all costs. The way he would respond to legitimate criticism with nasty ad hominem tweets. The way he would create policy on the fly contrary to the well-being of the very people he claimed to care about.
But even when I knew it was unhealthy for me, I clung to the faint hope that things could get better. Even bad relationships are hard to let go. Maybe especially bad relationships, because you always think, ‘maybe there’s more that I could be doing to make it work.’
I went through all the stages of grief, of course. Denial: It’s not really that bad, it will sort itself out. Bargaining: Maybe I can pay attention without being so emotionally involved. Anger: Why the hell isn’t somebody doing something about this? Depression: There’s nothing anybody can do about this.
Acceptance: There is nothing I can do about this.
Occasionally, I still think maybe we could reconcile, but then I realize even if I went crawling back, it can’t last.
Maybe Republicans will finally put aside their hypocrisy and he’ll be gone before the next election.
Maybe American voters will come to their senses and kick him out in 2020.
Even if neither of those things happen, I know he’ll be gone in another five years, so it’s just best for now to focus on the things I can control, try to make my little corner of the world a better place.
Yes, I realize Trump is a local issue. America under Trump has far-reaching effects, but there is precious little I can do about that, so I would only be hurting myself by trying to rekindle the passion.
I still check in on the Donald every now and again, but now, it’s the little things I miss. The way his orange skin glows under the TV lights, the way he pinches his tiny index fingers and thumbs together when he talks, the way he mangles the English language making George W. Bush look like an Oxford scholar, that little arrogant sneer he gets when a journalist asks him a question he doesn’t like.
There will never be anybody else like him.
At least I hope not.