Exhaustion sets in for those who remain moderate

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Posted 2/14/17 (Tue)

Whines & Roses
By Cecile Wehrman

I wrote recently about not waking up every day to peruse rants on Facebook. I’ve kept my pledge to check the source of anything I share, but I’m becoming bogged down in a quagmire of extreme views.
I also watched more mainstream national news in recent weeks than I have in years, continue to tune in National Public Radio every morning and generally, have become a much better national citizen than I have been in years.
I watched Face the Nation on Sunday and found fascinating the statistics that show why the political situation in Washington, D.C. is so fluid right now. Hardcore Trump fans are as entrenched as ever and the resisters equally so.
Somewhere in the middle lie the majority -- Republicans and Democrats who might be able to throw their support behind the president if he can effect change in the economy. I find this interesting, because every statistic I can find shows the economy is doing quite well.
What I find curious is that Republicans who voted for Trump only as an antidote to Hillary use as an excuse for Trump’s misrepresentation of facts the belief that Hillary lied all the time. Not exactly a glowing endorsement. Kind of like saying so what if Putin is a killer, America has killers, too.
That so many of Trump’s apologists are willing to look the other way on myriad other issues that have the potential to erode our Constitutional rights is perplexing. Hardcore Trump fans like the fact he is shaking up Washington. I get it. No one wants gridlock. But no one wants a dictatorship either.
I watch a clip a friend shared of Keith Olberman who, in a rapid fire video, offers the 50 Craziest things Trump has done as president and it’s absolutely mind boggling.
Any single one of these 50 crazy things, in any other administration, would be a major incident -- citing massacres that never happened, reporting murder statistics opposite of reality, claiming a bus of illegal voters cast their ballots in New Hampshire -- any one of these things in the past, could have fueled the news cycle for days if not weeks. But the hits just keep coming.
Hasn’t this gone beyond the missteps of a new and inexperienced administration?
Another post that made an impression on me was a Playboy piece (Playboy!) that made the argument Donald Trump IS making America great again, simply by rousing a mostly apathetic citizenry into action -- either to staunchly defend Trump or to resist every action he takes.
The funny thing is, we used to be great because we recognized the value of a lot of things that don’t make money. The United States of America is not and never should become a corporation -- unless you want a nation driven by bottom lines and headed by a CEO who is out of touch with most people’s reality.
Then, there was the silencing of Elizabeth Warren in the Senate and the eloquent speech by Marco Rubio who makes the point that if we can’t even be civil in the Senate -- a place we send our representatives to hash out what our country will become in the future -- our nation is doomed.
Next, I see a post about an offer of $1,000 to the first person who shares proof of a bus delivering illegal voters anywhere, and another about an obscure rule from the 1920s that can be used to require the president to turn over his tax returns to Congress so they can keep an eye on potential conflicts of interest. News like this heartens me because I like the truth and I like transparency. A natural skeptic and Doubting Thomas, I don’t take much on faith. Show me the facts.
Besides sharing a post showing the T-shirt with the slogan “Nevertheless, she persisted,” last week I also shared on my personal page one of testimony Fred Rogers gave in 1969 in support of public broadcasting. We could really use a Fred Rogers today. If we could all just play nice!
I watched Saturday Night Live on Saturday and found it mean spirited, no longer funny.
None of this is laughable.
What it is is exhausting. And that is perhaps the most concerning. At some point it’s all just too much, but like a train wreck, we dare not look away.