Thursday, December 29, 2016

Depression and Donald Trump

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The easiest way to describe depression, at least what it is like for me, is that your brain sends you a barrage of negative and false messages; your brain tells you that you are worthless, stupid, everyone hates you, and that no one would miss you. As I have gotten older, it has become easier for me to counter these negative thoughts with reality. What I have been struggling with since the election is: How do you combat these negative thoughts when most of the negative thoughts are true?

Godwin's Law, for those that aren't familiar, is a term coined to explain that the longer an Internet argument goes on, the higher the probability someone will be referred to as Hitler. Comparing someone to Hitler is usually hyperbole, and when someone tosses out the comparison, it tends to signal the end of all reasonable discussion. Trump has stated that he would consider a registry and armbands for Muslims. If that does not warrant a comparison to Hitler, I don't know what would. Hitler didn't campaign on a promise of murdering over 10 million people. Trump's consideration of modeling Holocaust practices should have been enough on its own to dissuade anyone with a conscience from voting for him, however, there were plenty of other horrific things that should have kept good people from voting for him: mocking a person with a disability, joking about sexual assault, and his countless put-downs of other races, religions, and women. This is not about Republican vs Democrat. This is not about a difference of political beliefs. This is about a difference in a basic level of humanity. Any reasonable and reasonably well educated person should be terrified of a Trump presidency. Yet almost 63 million people voted for Trump and over 90 million eligible voters did not vote at all.

Immediately following the election, the negativity of my depression screamed at me that 63 million people in the United States are bigots that hate people that are not like them. While I have been able to tell my brain that many people who voted for Trump are not bigots, the truth remains that the best case scenario is that a large portion of those 63 million people are apathetic about racism; they did not think that blatant, unapologetic racism should be enough to make someone unfit for presidency. That does not comfort me. It should not comfort you either.

You can read all my “Depression and…” posts by clicking here.

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