Dealing with Trumpy memes
“Soleimani posted memes antagonizing Trump on social media,” The Washington Post reported. Rather than merely clap back, President Trump ordered the assassination of the notorious Iranian general, terrorist organizer, Mideast mayhem guy and U.S. ally against ISIS.
Soon after, a Trump-loving Facebook friend posted a meme attacking Democrats for having the unmitigated gall to question the president’s decision. Who are we to doubt Trump’s ever-changing and dubious justification? Or his neglect of the president’s duty to inform Congress — whose 535 members represent the people — before committing our daughters and sons, our blood and treasure, to war?
Was this Trumpy meme meant to antagonize? Or to helpfully school stupid, arrogant, America-hating Democrats that patriotism means supporting whatever this president does? Or was it merely to express an opinion, albeit stated as fact, so sorry/not sorry if Democrats can’t handle the truth?
In any case, after three years of Trumpy memes snarking on the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for Trump and continue to disapprove of him — because attacking losers is what graceful winners do — I don’t know if or how to respond anymore.
As a last-ditch grasp for sanity, I’m working through the seven stages of grief to deal with Trumpy memes:
1. Shock and disbelief
What?! You “watched Democrats” “mourn” over the death of Soleimani? Really?!
Yes, you can make this sh*t up. This meme does.
Setting aside what the Trump media declares with cherry-picked and distorted “facts” to incite fans for viewers and ad money, do you truly believe Americans who question Trump are stupid, horrible or misguided? Why do you need to smear half of America, people like me?
You didn’t mean to antagonize. You really don’t believe this meme factually describes your fellow Americans — including family members — who might be Democrats, many who are common-sense moderates. Which is why Joe Biden remains our clear front-runner.
I know your memes are just jokes. It’s fun. You’re having a snarky hoot and sharing it with fellow Democrat-haters so they have a snarky hoot too.
As a Democrat, I’m a terrible horrible no good very bad person, wracked with shame from original sin and too many sins on my own to enumerate. As someone who even Jesus can’t find a way to love, I’m doomed when The Rapture comes and will roast in everlasting hellfire — excuse my language — because I don’t love Trump like Jesus-lovers do.
I’m also ashamed because I don’t believe the federal government should be dictating our most private, personal decisions such as reproductive choices. And I question why right-wingers who normally hate government want to use government to impose their moral values on all Americans.
4. Anger and bargaining
How dare you attack me just for being a Democrat? And when I’m provoked, as you intend or maybe don’t care, you play the whatabout card, such as, “What about when the liberals attack Trump, which is really an attack on me?”
When I’m done sputtering over the head-spinning illogic meant to shut me down, I try to reason. Do two wrongs make a right? Aren’t you supposed to be smarter and better than the Democrats? If true, why sink to our level? Is this a race to the bottom?
How about if we just respect one another, try to get along, and find common ground to move the country forward? Even if this president gleefully divides us for his political advantage?
5. Depression, loneliness, reflection
Yes, I know, as a Democrat, I’m the absolute pits of the world, as John McEnroe famously said about an umpire calling his match. Maybe I’m the only American who thinks Trump is the absolute pits of the world. Maybe I’ve missed why Trump deserves to be on Mount Rushmore because I was blinded by liberal college indoctrination of weak minds. Jesus! Why am I so awful?
6. Reconstruction and working through
This is the stage where I accept reality (Trump speaks for the hopes and fears of Americans who hate liberals and brown immigrants), and plan to move on with my life (supporting anyone, even any Republican, who can get Trump the hell out of the White House, excuse my language.)
This is the final but hardest stage in dealing with Trumpy memes that declare people like me mourn terrorists.
Applying the traditional Irish prayer, should I ask God to grant me the serenity to accept Trump things I cannot change? The courage to change Trump things I can? And the wisdom to know the difference?
Can I accept four more years of Trump? Or should I flee Washington for Northeast Maine where there’s spotty cable and internet, get a Subaru Forester, launch a charming bed and breakfast with a solar-powered sustainable organic herb farm supplying five-star farm-to-table restaurants, and forget about politics altogether?
In any event, with the thoughts and prayers of my Democrat Facebook friends, I hope to let the Trumpy memes on my news feed glide off me like rain on your wedding day.
As former Commissioner Charles Dreyfus said in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, after being driven crazy by Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau, “Every day I’m getting better and better.”
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.