How much more can we take?
Editor’s note: I originally wrote the following as a Facebook post late Friday (Jan. 8) following the most tumultuous week in Washington, D.C., since the War of 1812.
I’m tired. I’ve consumed more articles over the past few days than I normally would in a month or more.
I’ve waded into the comments sections of multiple news sites, and read as people berate each other as Nazis and commies and traitors and Dumbocrats and DEMONrats. I’ve questioned the logic of friends and strangers alike, received a handful of gratifying “Likes” in return, been called a “(expletive) idiot” and have been told I’m what’s wrong with this country by someone I’ve known since the fifth grade.
And in the middle of it all, a feeling came over me today: God, I’m tired of the pandemic.
I’m tired of wearing a mask; tired of my glasses fogging up. I just want to go out for a steak dinner. I want to go to a movie. I want to drop by my folks’ place unannounced for lunch. I’d like to meet and hold the new nephew who now has a couple of teeth and is crawling.
But I want to do my part, and I’m too much of a germaphobe to stroll unmasked into Texas Roadhouse or get on a plane.
Or maybe they’re right. Maybe I’m just a sheep. Maybe I haven’t done enough research.
You’re right about one thing: I don’t like Donald Trump. But to be fair, I thought he was a jerk on “The Apprentice,” too. I’m consistent like that.
I never really had feelings for or against any other president before now. Before, the president was just some guy I would never meet who lived in a castle far away. Then the guy from “The Apprentice” became president and, suddenly, all anyone could talk about was him.
My God; how does he do it? How can one man consume so much oxygen?
How is it he can be both Christ and Antichrist, depending on the company you keep on any given day?
Is he really the greatest president in our lifetime, as some insist, or the worst of all time, as others say?
I dunno; my life is pretty much the same as it was four and a half years ago, other than the fact that health insurance premiums keep going up. I sure would have liked to hear about his better, cheaper alternative to Obamacare. Guess we’ll never know now.
People, though, seem meaner than before.
By Christmas Eve, it had dawned on us that we hadn’t yet driven around to look at Christmas lights. So we piled into the car, pajamas on, to see what we could see. Not much this year.
We nevertheless had the radio tuned to the all-Christmas station.
But then we drove past one home with a bright light fixed on a brilliant blue flag displayed on a garage: “TRUMP 2020,” it said, “F--- YOUR FEELINGS.” (Except not bleeped out.) We turned the radio off and went home.
Now I’m just flat tired. I know you’re tired, too.
And yet I have to keep going. I’m midway to earning a master’s degree in mental health counseling. I couldn’t afford undergrad 25 years ago, and I still can’t afford this, either.
But everyone tells me I’m doing the right thing.
After this week, I couldn’t agree more.
A Jefferson native, Andrew McGinn is editor of The Jefferson Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.