The last week has been hard on everyone. I have two ideas that help with that. The first is to get involved in resisting this bullshit. I already put some ideas up, some of which people might have misunderstood. I don’t want you to go hug a Trump voter. Join whatever group you want. Join something. Look for a chance to link up with likeminded groups to defend American values in solidarity. If you are going to those protests, try to make some contacts to build a network. Strengthen your existing networks. The only thing I would add to this general good life advice is to apply some strategic message discipline. Having Steve fucking Bannon work in the White House should horrify my conservative neighbor down the street just as much as my own family. At the same time my neighbor’s reaction will different if I tell him you are horrible and stupid because you voted for this, versus this is NOT you and I know you did NOT vote for this, and I hope you will agree with me that this guy and the behavior he represents is not acceptable in the America we both believe in. Don’t go looking for Trump supporters, but if you can’t avoid it or you meet a reporter or something consider a little message discipline. A little media/communications savvy makes the difference between shouting and tangible progress. This is activism 101, and it basically describes our policy for dealing with restive muslim populations as well (don’t make your problem bigger than it needs to be).
But there’s something even more important – get some sleep. Trump is a chronic problem that we won’t be able to fight without rest. Like a lot of you I had a rough couple of nights last week, until I figured out something that I decided I might as well share. Stress tends to go to my stomach. I already take antacids/antigas once in a while, but this time they were not cutting it. So I tried something that sounds really dumb. I closed my eyes and counted all the things in my bedroom. Then I counted the stuff downstairs. Then I started lumping things into categories. Gradually the panicked thoughts about the end of western civilization gave way to the more important job of naming all the books on my bedstand. After a while my stomach quit turning and I have had decent sleep since. Now a couple times a day I stop and count the random stuff around me. It seems to help me keep a level head. If you think you might need something like this, try it and let me know if it helps.