For the past year or so — and particularly over the past three months — the idea that we (normal people) need to do everything within our power to prevent Donald Trump from being normalized has been a consistent theme. As normal people, it is our duty to remain steadfast and to not allow the things he does and the things coming out of his mouth to be the status quo. It's an idea that manages to be both hopeful and pragmatic. Perhaps we can't do anything about the election and his new job title, but we can and should be vigilant and we can and should weaponize that vigilance; using it as shield and a sworn to protect ourselves from and slice through his relentless fuckshit.
And this sounds great. Until you realize it's impossible.
I've been dealing with a nasty virus over the last week that has left me without much of a voice. Every time I speak, it sounds like I'm trying to rap The Whisper Song at the world's saddest cruise ship karaoke night. Also, instead of leaving the house during the day to find somewhere with good soup and comfortable chairs to work and write, I've stayed home all week. And since I was home today, I was able to watch Trump's press conference; allowing me to witness and acknowledge the futility of the effort to prevent him from being normalized. I know this point has been made ad nauseum, but after being reminded of it today it bears repeating — everything about him is absurd to the point of parody. Every. Single. Thing. The way he looks. The way he dresses. The way he talks. The words that escape his mouth when he opens his mouth to speak. His mannerisms and body language. The types of scandals associated with him. He is a spectacle. The spectacle. King Kong, but without the chains and the cage and the hand size.
This will be America's reality over (at least) the next four years. Which means that any serious effort to prevent him from being normalized should possess, along with an edict to thwart him at each pass, a tirelessness with fact checking and other mundane measures necessary to hold him to some standard of accountability. But, realistically, how can we remain steadfast to call out everything he does when literally everything he does is worthy of that type of attention? How do you combat relentless fuckshit without relentless attention to the relentless fuckshit — leaving no time or energy left to do much of anything else?
This is a question I've asked myself when thinking about how I "should" write about Trump. He is the world's biggest story — and a story that's particularly relevant to me, as what he does and who he is is a direct and unambiguous referendum on who I am. But I also don't want to spend any more time than necessary thinking and writing about him either. But how do you define "necessary?" I don't want VSB to contain multiple Trump-related stories every week. But it can. Because he provides an orgy of material. And, since it can, should it?
These are not rhetorical questions, by the way. I'm asking not as a literary device, but because I literally don't have answers and I wish to find them. If you have them, please share. I'm stumped.