EXPECT THE WORST, HOPE FOR BETTER by ELLIN CURLEY

I’ve figured out how to mentally and emotionally survive the next four years under Donald Trump. (If there is a God, please let it be only four years!). I’m not proud of the plan I’ve come up with. But I think it will work for me. It is not for the faint of heart, so for some of you, don’t try this at home.

Basically, I’m going to expect the worst from the Federal Government on most fronts. I have already mourned the loss of an environmental policy that fights climate change. Therefore, I will not bleed again and again as the environmental progress we’ve made is chipped away, bit by bit. At the end of Trump’s term, I’ll be thrilled if we can still safely breathe the air and drink the water in most of the country.

2016-electoral-college-map-states-clinton-won-blue-states-trump-won-redI have already surrendered the ideal that the U.S. government will promote individual rights – civil rights, right to choose, LGBT rights, freedom of speech and press, freedom from deportation, hate crimes and voter suppression, and so on. I will look only to the Blue states to protect individual rights, as many states have already promised to do. Selfishly, I live in a Blue state block so I hope to be shielded from the worst of the onslaught against rights that will take place elsewhere in the country.

I know that neither health care nor public schools will get the programs or the financial support I believe they should. I promise not to freak out at every attempt to destroy both systems. I’ll hope that the inertia of a huge bureaucracy — and the incompetence of the incoming administration — will at least mitigate the radical nature of the changes the Trumpettes want to make. But basically I will assume that for public education and national health insurance plans, the next four years will be like Moses’ time wandering in the desert. (At least this time it should be four years and not forty!)

As for foreign policy and the economy, if we don’t end up in a major recession, a nuclear war, or under martial law, I’ll consider it a win.

Illustration: Bangor Daily Tribune

Illustration: Bangor Daily Tribune

The one area where I can’t hide my head in the sand, is the media. My only hope that we will again function as an enlightened, progressive country, lies with the press and media. We can keep our ideals alive if at least some voices in publications, on television, and online remain sources of facts, truth, and real news. With their support we can fight back against the monsters roaming the land, trying to destroy everything about us that is decent and good. We will survive to triumph again — as long as progressive voices can to be heard, and continue to share ideas and plans for political resistance.

Other than keeping some form of resistance and truth alive, I have no hope for the Trump years. So I can’t be disappointed or surprised by pretty much anything. I won’t enjoy watching the world going to Hell in a hand basket. But I may be able to weather the experience without having a complete meltdown.

10 thoughts on “EXPECT THE WORST, HOPE FOR BETTER by ELLIN CURLEY

    • Hoping for the better is fine as long as you can handle the disappointments that are sure to come in the next 4 years. I’m just trying to avoid being in a perpetual state of panic and frustration. Therefore, accepting that my worst fears may actually be realized allows me to continue to function without constant meltdowns. It’s pure self preservation.

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  1. Personally, I think we are entitled to at least one major meltdown. As long as we don’t spend the next four years in a perpetual state of collapse. I am planning to hide inside of science fiction and fantasy novels. And take a lot of pictures of birds and the river and my dogs.

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    • My point is you have to find a way to live through the next 4 years without endless mental breakdowns. My way is to accept the inevitable and not sweat the small stuff. Just get alarmed when they actually try to take away my free press and right to disagree.

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  2. I, unfortunately, do not live in a blue block. I live in what everyone out there calls a fly-over state in the middle of the country, red as red can be…and I am terrified! I, too, plan on taking lots of pictures of the natural world that I pray will not damaged too much in the next four years. I also will call out lies whenever I hear them, offer sources of real and accurate information as best I can, and continue to work with children through our conservation department, hoping to help raise a new generation of Americans who understand the blessings of our world and why we need to protect it.. .its natural beauty, and its people, those who call this earth home. Yeah, that’s all of us. Maybe if we stay really busy on preserving what is good, this four years will pass into history faster than we imagine…I hope!

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    • I believe the next 4 years won’t be as terrible as they could be because most people are like you. They care about others and will work to help those in need, fight for the environment and the Constitution on a state and local level. Already, donations to charities and progressive organizations have skyrocketed. We will have to be the good in the country now. We can’t rely on the government to do it for us. I feel for you having to live in a red state. I hope there are enough like minded people in your community who can work with you to preserve our inherent decency as a people.

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  3. Ellin, “Expect the worst” is a good way to start. I mix that with optimism. Why? Well, I just do. After spending more than 40 plus years — a center stage mic holder in our 3 ring circus world — I still mix optimism with cynicism and brace myself for what happens.

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    • I grew up with stories of the Holocaust and people being taken from their homes in the middle of the night. I overreact to any sign of authoritarianism, anti-semitism and other bigotry (particularly on a government level), fascism, etc. So it’s hard for me to keep hoping and have my hopes dashed on a regular basis. I get too anxious every time I realize anew that the intentions of the government are no longer good or humane or decent. Everyone has to deal with this in their own way. But we have to continue to support each other and our values and not let the government take those away from us.

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      • My mother saturated me with tales of the Nazis, newsreels of concentration camps, books about the holocaust and THEN I moved to Israel where “never forget” really IS the national motto. I get it. But I also need to find a way to not live in a state of nervous prostration all the time. Which for me is escaping mentally to places that don’t exist and periodically surfacing and writing about stuff that I find particularly appalling. I can’t do it all the time or I will be a basket case. I would like to actually outlive this presidency, not wind up a casualty of it.

        I think this is also a good opportunity for young Americans to put down their mobile phones and go out into the world. They are the people who will be most severely affected but whatever is to come and they need to rise to challenge.

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