Living in Society

Coping with 45

Oklahoma Attorney General and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt meets with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst in her office.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt meets with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst in her office. Photo source: Radio Iowa

Coping with Donald Trump during the next four years will require critical thinking and teamwork.

Our legitimate yet imperfect electoral process took the next step yesterday. A joint session of the U.S. Congress counted the electoral votes and determined Trump won the general election. All that remains is the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony, after which he will be the 45th President of the United States.

I would never have predicted writing such words. I still feel a little numb after the election and that’s a good thing. Our nation survived Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. We will survive Donald J. Trump.

If I got upset last week, it was after seeing this photograph of Trump’s nominee to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with Iowa’s junior U.S. Senator. It served as a reminder that the figurehead at the top of the administration is less important than the work being done by his employees and appointees. Scott Pruitt is expected to dismantle much of the Obama administration’s work to protect the environment at EPA, including the Clean Power Plan.

As ridiculous and petty as many of Trump’s public statements seem, his government will be no trivial threat to everything we hold dear. It’s clear where the government will be going under 45: rolling back progressive initiatives since the New Deal in a full court press.

To cope with Trump’s presidency, and to keep my sanity and mental health, it is critical to watch, listen and learn about his and his minions’ efforts. It is equally important to evaluate his opponents’ arguments and actions, and keep my own powder dry so I’m able to use my limited resources effectively.

I’m ready to take action to defend our progressive way of life. I’m not willing to randomly select points of outrage driven by Trump’s effective management of corporate media.

The key to perseverance in Trumpworld is to first take care of oneself. Without that, effectiveness in resistance would be diminished. I am ready for Trumpworld knowing I’m not alone in feeling this way.