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The endless rage of the Donald Trump election

Probably this is too personal, too emo, too revelatory, but here we go:

I'm pissed. All the time.

If you're paying close attention to the election, I suspect you are also pissed all the time. But maybe you're not.

It's clear, though, a lot of people are pissed all the time.

Now: Some of this is almost certainly fair. Donald Trump keeps finding new ways to demonstrate he'd be a very poor president. Possibly disastrous. It's rage-inducing to see smart people make implausible arguments for him, or — worse in my view — pretend his candidacy isn't the vehicle for the new ascendancy of white-nationalist anti-semitism it clearly is.

The problem is this: I don't trust my rage.

I don't trust it to help me make sound judgments. I don't trust it to help me deal with people fairly. I don't trust it to help me preserve friendships that I want to last beyond this stupid, stupid election.

On the other hand, I'm also worried that in my caution to keep rage from clouding my vision, I'll stop short of calling out bad things (like anti-Semitism) for what they are.

I have my biases, no doubt. But within those parameters, I do want to be fair to people who think differently from me.

None of this is paralyzing. But it does slow me down. Perhaps that's for the best. In any case: I'm tired of being pissed all the time. There's got to be a better way.


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Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

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