I’m incredibly grateful to have been wrong. Donald Dump didn’t destroy the world or even the United States of America. It would seem that we were all granted a reprieve.
The Biden administration seems thus far to be capable, diverse, and thoughtful in how it is going to go about fixing things with a focus on racial justice, climate change, handling the pandemic, and somehow saving the economy. As much as Biden wasn’t my particular favorite out of the candidates who ran on the Democrat side – it seems like he may very well be the perfect person for the job at this particular time. Not the least of which is that he is such a centrist that if there is any hope at all of repairing the massive divide in the USA, he has the largest chance of success.
And here we are – one week into a new presidency. The virus hasn’t gone away. The economy is still in shambles. The world is still in a precarious position as climate change and political upheavals take place – but it seems we are in a better place. Take a breath. Relax. Chill.
One thing I noticed this week is that many people (myself included) are – despite the positive news with the Biden administration – in a dark place. In looking inside myself, I find that I am on the edge of depression – which makes no sense at first, but upon examining it – I think I am coming to some sort of understanding of it.
The world is in chaos. Complete and total chaos. Almost every bit of it is beyond our control – there is nothing we can do about it. There is almost nothing we can do about climate disasters, racism, the pandemic, the economy, or any other global issue at the moment. I’m not saying that this wasn’t the case for the past couple of years, because it was – but at least for the past four years – there was someone who insisted on parading around in all of our faces, going on late night tweet storms, saying abhorrent things, making awful policy decisions, telling lies, and making himself the face of all of our fears, anger, and outrage.
For the moment, anyway, he is gone. All that fear, anger, and outrage however – is still there. The issue right now for many of us is that there is not a Donald Dump to put it on. Where does it go? What do we do with it? I don’t have an answer.
I do understand that I’ve been in a heightened state of alertness for the past four years – I’ve had adrenaline from fear and speculation pooling in my brain – waiting for the news that the brown shirts were going to round up my group, a group, any group – the socialists, the non-christians, Muslims, anarchists, suspected antifa – whatever. I’ve been waiting for the attack on the walls of modern civilization – an attack that looked like it was happening on January 6th but which then fizzled out as the ‘attackers’ were finally revealed as a bunch of low intelligence buffoons acting on their own fears and anger.
That heightened state and the chemicals it created over the past four years – it doesn’t just evaporate when Biden boringly starts signing well thought out executive orders or the Senate agrees on a power sharing deal. It is still there – the habit of anxiety, alertness, paranoia, and fear -and it needs to be dealt with. I’m seeing a lot of people who don’t regularly look inward, suddenly facing all of this. They are unable to process what is happening. As a result, they are getting depressed.
Then they are getting confused because 1) Donald Dump is gone 2) a rational human being is in charge of the White House – and isn’t that what they wanted? Why are they getting depressed.
Here’s the answer: We are in late stage capitalism, there is a global pandemic, totalitarianism is still on the rise, unemployment is at lifetime record levels, thousands of people are dying from an uncured disease every day, and there is no certainty in the world. The world has totally and completely changed and our lives have been turned completely upside down and the person who was easiest to blame for all of it – is no longer performing on the stage in front of us. Without him – we are forced to look at ourselves and our world in a different light.
Anyway – I hope all that makes sense. The takeaway is this – if you are feeling depressed, sad, uncomfortable, or other hard emotions right now – take it easy on yourself. Know that you are not alone. Carry on. Get through today and then deal with tomorrow.