As of today, we have only one month and one day until the US presidential election. That can seem hard to believe, especially if you buy into the theory that this year has been going on forever and all our memories of the past are fake.
I hate to say it, but in the next month the election is just going to intensify. It’s going to be the last sixteen months again, only more. Terrorists will attack and one of the candidates will congratulate himself. Ex-wives and beauty pageant contestants and small dogs will come forward to explain how that candidate mistreated them. The Christian Right will continue its long, humiliating slide into irrelevance.
And the news is going to be wall-to-wall coverage of that rascal. You’ll log onto twitter and everyone will be tweeting about him, even the folks who don’t like him. (Especially them). He’s succeeded in creating what most narcissists can only dream of: a republic where he is the sole topic of conversation, now and always, forever and ever.
What if we just stopped?
What if we all agreed, for the next month, not to talk about this man?
Not to tweet about him?
I can hear you objecting. “He’s the most dangerous candidate nominated by a major party in our lifetimes; this is about good and evil; we have to do whatever we can to stop him.”
I don’t disagree.
I just don’t think that “fighting him” and “ignoring him” are mutually exclusive.
Especially not for a man as narcissistic and thin-skinned as this one.
If no one was talking about him, what would he do? Would he wither? Would he disappear?
Or would he just explode?
Quite possibly he would. The only reason he hasn’t yet is because we haven’t tried it. We keep trying to fight him with words and attention, and that just gives him oxygen, and energy.
So let’s agree to stop talking about him. From now until the election, let’s shun him with our hearts and with our words. Let’s pretend he’s not there.
He’ll be the guy in the coffee shop sitting down next to us, waving his arms, trying to get our attention. And we’ll put in our headphones and turn up the music and read our books in peace while he slowly self-consumes with rage.
Imagine how he’ll feel when he logs onto twitter and not a single person has tweeted about him.
Imagine how much happier we’ll be, how much calmer it will be in a world where he doesn’t matter.
Sometimes it feels like we’re addicted to talking about him. But there are thousands of other things that are Not Him, each of which is more delightful and interesting. Here are a few suggestions to help you start a non-You-Know-Who-related conversation:
– Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” trilogy (Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys which is inferior but worth reading)
– hot-air balloons floating above church spires
– a goldendoodle in need of a good home
– the Blessed Virgin Mary
– a lighthouse that sells fudge and ice cream
– fox fur stoles
– sheep: do they go to heaven
– shooting jackets worn over fancy waistcoats
– cathedral parapets
– a hand-cranked sewing machine
– the 1973 film version of The Three Musketeers starring Michael York
– an empire gown made of the purest white linen
– a rusty clawfoot tub filled with perfumes and various unguents
– a boot-scraper chasing a sedan chair mounted on poles