For the last two years my morning regimen had changed very little: up around six, write for a few hours, forty-five minutes on the treadmill, etc.
That time on the treadmill had been very important: it was time I spent reading the New York Times or some other paper I can squint from my iPad.
But lately, my habits have been changing: I find myself reading more apolitical articles and avoiding any story with Trump mentioned in the headline or the lede. It’s my new ostrich approach to the news, and though it may not be particularly courageous or even very novel, I find myself enjoying it more and more.
For instance, in the past two weeks I’ve learned quite a bit about Meghan Markle—she married into British royalty, did you know?
And there was a school shooting in Houston—were you aware that the possession of assault rifles and the ownership of guns by lunatics still prevail?
Also, Starbucks is planning to close all 8000 stores tomorrow afternoon to provide racial-bias training to its 175,000 employees. I assume it’s avoiding rather than teaching racial bias, but either way, did you even realize racism was still prevalent? After the Civil War? After the sixties’ marches? After Obama? Wow.
And Philip Roth died! Remember that novel he wrote, The Plot Against America? It’s based on Charles Lindbergh winning the 1940 presidential election and spreading his own brand of nativism, isolationism, and antisemitism across America. That Roth sure had some wild imagination, eh?
Yesterday Ireland repealed its abortion ban. Really, be honest, did you know there was one? An abortion ban I mean, not an Ireland. If I weren’t off politics I’d say that this is a remarkable step to the left on a continent (or a hundred miles from a continent) that’s riding a runaway train to the right. I’d even say it’s a hopeful sign if I hadn’t stopped looking for one.
And how about MeWe, the new social networking website marketing itself as a safe alternative to Facebook? I checked out some of the testimonials, most of them from wingnuts whose rights to publish their bilious tripe on Facebook have been rescinded by the Zuckerberg police. To paraphrase an unknown wag, MeWe will probably fill a much-needed void.
So then, two weeks older and infinitely wiser. Honestly folks, a world without Trump is a pretty good world. The downside, of course, is that if enough of us stop paying attention, the world without Trump will become Trump without end.
Maybe I should reassess—but not until I learn a little more about the best summertime desserts.
The Plot Against America is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004. It is an alternative history in which Franklin D. Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindbergh. The novel follows the fortunes of the Roth family during the Lindbergh presidency, as antisemitism becomes more accepted in American life and Jewish-American families like the Roths are persecuted on various levels. The narrator and central character in the novel is the young Philip, and the care with which his confusion and terror are rendered makes the novel as much about the mysteries of growing up as about American politics. Roth based his novel on the isolationist ideas espoused by Lindbergh in real life as a spokesman for the America First Committee, and on his own experiences growing up in Newark, New Jersey. The novel depicts the Weequahic section of Newark which includes Weequahic High School from which Roth graduated.