Friday, March 17, 2017
Nation’s Liberals Suffering From Trump Outrage Fatigue
San Francisco's Arthur Flauman is one liberal who has chosen to take a hiatus from his seething rage over Trump Administration policies.
"Every day, my friends send me e-mails exposing Trump's corrupt environmental policies," said Flauman, a member of both the Green Party and the Sierra Club. "I used to spend close to an hour following all the links, and I'd be shocked and outraged by the irreversible damage being done to our land. Global warming is real. At some point, though, I got annoyed with the demanding tone of the e-mails. The use of coal again to make electricity is bogus, but I'm not going to forward a six-page e-mail to all my friends—especially one written by a man who signs his name 'Leaf.' Now, if a message's subject line contains the word 'Trump,' it goes straight into the trash."
Neas found that many survey participants who attended anti-Trump protests in November after Trump's win could barely summon the energy to read news articles about the subject in by the middle of March 2017.
Portland, OR resident Suzanne Marshal compared herself to an addict, needing increasingly large doses of perceived Trump injustices to achieve a state of anger.
"Even though I know how seriously messed-up the situation is in Iraq, and Syria and Yemen where I've became inured to all but the most extreme levels of wrongdoing," Marshal said. "For weeks, no amount of insane tweeting could get me mad. Then he banned Muslims who should have a right to come to America, and I was off again. As each court ruled against Trump —I don't know. It's like a switch in my head turned off again."
Neas said that the danger of Trump fatigue was greater among liberals who regularly seek cause for outrage.
"For a while, I wanted more Trump fuel for the fire, to really get my blood boiling," said Madison, WI resident Dorothy Levine, a reproductive-rights activist and former Sanders campaign volunteer. "I read the policy papers on the Correct the Record web site. I subscribed to The Nation. I emailed cartoons by Tom Tomorrow and Ted Rall. I listened to NPR all day. But then, it was like, while I was reading Alec Baldwin's Trump book, and saw there were eight more must-read anti-Trump books coming out. It was overwhelming. By the time they release 'The Circus' about the Trump election on Showtime, I'll be too exhausted to watch.
"It used to be that I would turn on Pacifica Radio and be incensed at the top of every hour," Levine added. "Now, I could find out that Trump plans to deport every 10th citizen and I'd barely blink an eye, much less raise a finger."
Of the liberal Democrats afflicted with fatigue, many said they are still haunted by the specters of their former outrage.
"I can't even look at the back of my Prius anymore," said one Syracuse, NY liberal who wished to remain anonymous. "My 'Dump Trump' and 'Love Trump's Hate' bumper stickers just remind me of the angry feelings I can't sustain. I still have an 'I'm With Her' campaign sign hanging up in my cubicle at work, but if someone starts to talk about Trump, I can't take it. I'm like, 'Yes, we all hate Trump. He's literally Dr Evil. Yup, he's Putin's bitch. This is obvious. How many times can we say it? Now, excuse me, will you let me through so I can microwave my burrito?'"