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funksands On January - 3 - 2017


Happy New Year….

With the recent election the GOP has taken control of the US House, Senate, the Presidency, Supreme Court, the vast majority of governorships and statehouses across the country. Their political control of the nation is nearly complete. For liberals, moderates and some conservatives, the next two years are going to be difficult to stomach politically. How should we deal with this new landscape? What is the best response? What should we focus on while the reactionaries finally get to run the nation? I have a few tips that might help you not only mentally and emotionally handle the next couple of years, but could give you some useful ideas to work on.

1. Ignore Trump

This may be impossible. He’d like it to be impossible. His #1 skill is drawing attention to himself, and he and his staff will employ his considerable talent to draw and rivet press and public attention to his hi-jinx.

But ignore him you must.
He is a compulsive liar
And utterly full of s**t
And a sociopath

What exactly will it gain you to fact-check an attention-seeking compulsive liar for the next four years? He doesn’t care, most of his supporters don’t care, and you’ll wast valuable energy on an activity that provides no tangible benefit to you or your community or nation.

I’m not advocating ignorance of his actions! Be vigilant! But understand a goal of Trump and the GOP is to draw your attention to the laser disco ball of the Trump experience while quiet, buttoned-up staffers busily tunnel under your social security, medicare, wallet, schools and environment.

(from WikiHow)
To deal with a sociopath, think like one.
When you interact with a sociopath, keep your guard up and resist the temptation to talk it out or change the person. (Including his hard-core supporters!)

Remember that sociopaths aren’t motivated by love, but by power, so you want to show them you won’t give them power over you. (That means ignoring them!)

This brings us to the second step of maintaining your sanity during the next 2 years:

2. Pay very close attention to your state, local and Congressional reps for the next year!! (You’ll have less time to worry about Trump)

These are the bodies that have actual impact on your day-to-day life! The President has an outsized influence on foreign policy but very little domestic power.

Take time to look up the bills they are putting up for a vote

Take the time to look up the rules and regs (or repeal of them) they are trying to implement

Get involved with your local and state party chapters

The state and federal GOP know they have 1 year to bum rush as much toxic legislation through that they can. 1 year to accomplish everything they’ve been dreaming of as quickly as possible. Why 1 year? Well year 2 is spent letting the electorate cool off and forget the most egregious actions in time for mid-terms and re-election.

Spend special time paying attention to the organization ALEC. They’ll be writing most of the legislation that your Republican legislature and governor are going to try to pass.



3. Spend less time on social media* / Spend less time watching the MSM

The internet is a double-edged sword. Nowhere is there more information about anything you’d like to know more about. This is unhelpful. Trying to wade through a sea of information and spending precious time and energy sifting through it to find useful, true information is daunting.

The MSM has already proven that they are unable (and unwilling) to act as a check on power of our government. The vast majority of large national media outlets are owned by corporations or families/foundations that need to to turn a profit, not perform journalism.

A comment section of an online article may be an entertaining place to do battle, but very few of the commenters there are interested in learning anything new or having their opinions changed.

In the autocratic plutocracy you now live in, you don’t have time for clickbait, and long protracted Facebook battles over how much President Obama’s vacations cost.

Spend your time being far more choosy about the sources of information that you use. And any source of information needs to be evaluated very closely. Have higher standards!

From the University of Santa Cruz:

“Not all information is created equal. Just because you find information (on the internet) it does not guarantee that it is accurate or good (information). In an academic setting, being able to critically evaluate information is necessary in order to conduct quality research. Each item you find must be evaluated to determine its quality and credibility in order to best support your research.

To evaluate a source consider the following:

Who published the source? Is it a university press or a large reputable publisher? Is it from a government agency? Is the source self-published? What is the purpose of the publication? Where does the information in the source come from? Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched, or is it questionable and unsupported by evidence? Is there a list of references or works cited? What is the quality of these references? Who is the author? What are the author’s credentials (educational background, past writing, experience) in this area? Have you seen the author’s name cited in other sources or bibliographies? Is the content a first-hand account or is it being retold? Primary sources are the raw material of the research process; secondary sources are based on primary sources.

When was the source published? Is the source current or out of date for your topic?

What is the author’s intention? Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda? Is the author’s point of view objective and impartial? Is the language free of emotion-rousing words or bias?”
https://www.propublica.org  Is a good place to start!

4. Don’t stay outraged!

You can’t stay outraged for the next 4 years. You’ll harm your mental and physical health. Why do you think some older white men are dropping dead at an alarming rate? 24 years of foaming at the mouth over the Clintons, Obamas and the shadowy liberal agenda are literally killing them. Burning yourself to a cinder emotionally does you and your family no favors.


Stay focused instead. Narrow your outrage to a laser-beam, shorten your playing field. You can’t go crazy over every issue there is. Pick one or two that are most important and become an expert, an advocate, an irritant.

If LGBT rights are the most important thing you are concerned about, become a warrior for that.
If protection of Social Security is the most important thing to you, become a constant irritant to your state and federal officials about that topic.
If wealth and income inequality is the single biggest threat to our nation, then act like it.

The GOP understands this. Their sole focus is funneling wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. That’s it. One or two goals. Guns and abortion are means used to continue to gather and hold political power in order to accomplish their overarching objective. Learn something from them.

Get some more exercise.

Practice calming breathing and meditation exercises.

Spend more time outside.

Take up a new hobby.

Pace yourself. Get strong, stay healthy, stay focused.

Your nation and your neighbors need you.

*except for PlanetPOV of course

Written by funksands

There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know. Additionally there is bacon.

29 Responses so far.

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  1. LightningJoe says:

    Some Trump supporters (at least) are certifiably insane, or hopeless bigots (I know some), but there were a lot of people whose votes showed ignorance of the man. Many voted for him BUT didn’t expect him to win. Some of those have expressed regret to me for the “decision” they made.

    I think they liked trump SIMPLY because he was the first non-DC personality to run for a long time. Full Stop. People CRAVE direct democracy, see DC as flouting that wish, and will try anything to get it, even throwing the country under the bus.

    Remember, that was also why they liked Reagan, because he’d never been in national office (and yes, they fell similarly for his teevee shine).

    And they expect Trump’s business sense to cut through the BS… but they forget he only has an attention span five minutes long, and that many if not most problems that make it to the Oval Orifice are truly thorny, requiring MUCH more thought than Trump will be willing to give them.

    Sure, they just might expect the Dems to control him, but I assure you all, that means NOTHING in the near term. The ROTpublicans will drive us over the cliff long before the Dems have any chance to weigh in (but then that WILL make the BLAME for it clear to all). They’ve already started, trying to ease their own ethics rules, and setting up a vote to take healthcare that works from Twenty Milliooo,ooon citizens.

    It’s enough to make a dolphin give up! So long, and thanks for all the fish!

    • funksands says:

      Joe, that’s pretty good analysis. I don’t personally know a lot of Trump voters, but have been hearing a lot of anecdotal stories about Trump voters that voted for him, knowing full well how full of crap he is, but seeing that as a positive, and not believing that he’ll do half the things he’s threatened to do.

      Very strange.

  2. Fuzzy Dunlop says:


  3. Nirek says:

    Funk, I find it hard to ignore trump. He contradicts himself regularly. He lies more often than anyone I’ve ever heard and gets away with it. The “news” never seems to question his lies. He also doesn’t seem to have paid any taxes over several years! If I didn’t pay my taxes I would be in jail.

    Your advice is excellent, though. Keeping track of local and state legislation will help me to ignore trump.

    Peace, my friend.

    • funksands says:

      Nirek no doubt it is nearly impossible to ignore him. Just keep telling yourself that your attention is his #1 goal. Eventually it may work.

  4. funksands says:

    BTW, big kudos to whomever designed the logo attached at the top of my story! Well done!

  5. AdLib says:

    Funk, such clear headed and reasoned advice, just what’s needed right now.

    The MSM has successfully whipped up hysteria around Trump to cash in and as a consequence, help elect him. Best to do as as the Brits coined, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

    If we react to every little utterance of Trump’s, we participate in and become part of the problem. Those who wish to control the many need disruption and distraction.

    We should ignore the BS he spews (except the lies about vital matters) and react with purpose and unity against the actions he takes against the American people.

    History shows that the party in power is most likely to lose the midterms as a normal course of events. With all the damage to our society and democracy that Trump has vowed and Repubs in Congress promise, a focused and unified response to Trump and Repubs will help to defeat them in 2018 and 2020.

    It seems like the majority of Americans have been going through the various stages of grief and hopefully are working through it for the most part. With cool-headed thinking as you share in your post, we can respond to the next 2-4 years with purpose and success.

    • funksands says:

      Ad, thank you so much. Unfortunately I’ve been forced to examine this by my poor wife who has been an emotional wreck since the election. There is so much personally at stake for our family that she is deeply afraid of the near future. She even has a “Stay Outraged” bumper sticker on her car.

      Since the election, she’s lost sleep, and is mentally exhausted by the last couple of months.

      He’s not even inaugurated yet, how does this help her fight him over the next 2 years?

      • AdLib says:

        Funk, I’ve mentioned before that this period between the election and the inauguration is like purgatory for a majority of Americans. They’re upset and depressed and don’t have Trump’s actions yet to bring them together in a purposeful way.

        Hate to say it but I think we have to wait until Trump starts making actual decisions that undermine the country and the people, then I think people will be driven to defiance and activism and the anti-Trump/anti-GOP majority in this country will become more unified and energized.

        What many people understandably overlook is that when the public turns against a President and a party, they lose the resolve to continue down the same path. Your wife’s concerns are very legit but I’d just point to the anti-ethics committee reversal in The House to illustrate how popular opinion can indeed derail Repubs and Trump.

  6. kesmarn says:

    Funk, I just love this article. It’s so full of — well — of sanity! So many people that I know (and love) are emotionally close to exhaustion after a 2 year (crazy-grueling) primary season and then an even more draining presidential campaign. I’ve heard friends weep, yell, sigh and rant. And I don’t blame them.

    But doing the things you’re suggesting is a blueprint to actually surviving (oh yeah… there it is in the title) the next four years. Which is really what we need to do. An activist who has expired is measurably less effective than one who is still among the living — scientists tell us.

    One question: after having witnessed a Day One head-on collision between the House GOP (with their sneaky plan to gut to Ethics Committee) and The Donald, do you think that they and he might — in combination — inadvertently do some of the work of cleaning house for us? By that I mean, do you think there’s a chance that there will be such a savage free-for-all struggle for power in this newly chaotic environment that they will eliminate/devour a number of their own?

    It’s always helpful when the trash takes itself out. Frees up our energy for other pursuits.

    • funksands says:

      Kes, to elaborate, Trump views winning the Presidency as goal 1. Goal 2 is personal enrichment. He’ll get to do so as long as he rubber-stamps whatever the GOP puts in front of him.

      And thanks for the kind words!

      • kesmarn says:

        Funk, that’s the thing I’m wondering about: will Trump indeed rubber-stamp everything the GOP puts in front of him? He pushed back on the plan to gut the Ethics Office, and he doesn’t seem to be giving them any encouragement with their nefarious plan to get rid of Obamacare either.

        I’m wondering whether McConnell and Ryan’s dream of having a useful dunce in the Oval Office who will docilely do as he’s told is realistic? Trump doesn’t seem to have that sort of personality from what the campaign has shown about him. Predictable, he ain’t!

        • funksands says:

          Kes, he pushed back because the optics were indirectly bad FOR HIM not because he disagreed with their actions. They’ve already said that they’ll do it this summer and I expect him to not utter a peep.

          That said, he could surprise me. One hope for us may be that he is so focused on personal enrichment that he decides not playing ball with his party all the time is a better visual. Now that he has the ring, he doesn’t need to show any deference to party leaders or wise men.

    • funksands says:

      No. No chance

  7. Kalima says:

    Love the title, funk. I suppose that the incoming trump presidency is much like going on a dangerous safari with guides who don’t know the way, the way home, or how many potentially hungry wild animals are waiting to eat you for lunch.

    I especially agree with the need to form an interest and participate in local and state elections if you are not already involved in getting Progressives elected in the midterms. This is what Bernie Sanders has been working on since before the Democratic Convention last year.

    Working so hard to ignore trump in the new year, but I dislike ignorance and bad manners, and I post news stories and opinion pieces on MB. It’s hard to switch off when the new leader of a powerful nation is a lying, self enhancing, foul-mouthed ignoramus of gigantic proportions who might start another war just because he feels slighted. Ignore him while watching him like a hawk.

    Posted this yesterday and think this writer has the right ideas too. That instead of feeling limp and dejected, Progressives should be emboldened and ready to fight back. They feed off of your fear and desparation, so don’t feed the trolls.


    Trump and Brexit left progressives aghast. They should be emboldened | Jeff Sparrow |



    And this.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton Will Attend the Trump Inauguration


    • funksands says:

      Kalima, that article you posted is an excellent companion to what I wrote.

      It may be impossible to ignore Trump w/o also losing track of him. What I do know is that our attention is what he desires most in the world. If we can withhold it then that is a small win.

      • Kalima says:

        Your article was a breath of fresh air when too many people seem to have gone into hibernation to lick their wounds. Now is the time to work on grassroot projects. A time to come together to strengthen goals and fight hard against the craziness to come. It’s also a time to buy plenty of eye drops and tissues for the tiredness that daily eye rolling can bring, and those tissues will be useful for wiping our eyes when we have to laugh too hard, or wipe beverages off our computer screens as the insanity unfolds.

        Happy New Year. funk! It will be tough but it will also be what we choose to make it.

        • funksands says:

          Kalima, Happy New Year to you too! We don’t need to despair just because we live in a neo-autocratic plutocracy. Just focus, take care of ourselves and work hard and I think we’ll all be surprised at the results down the road.

          • Kalima says:

            You could be right. Just read this last night and it sounded encouraging.

            Poll: Voters in Trump states want Democrats to keep him in check


            • funksands says:

              Kalima/Ad There have been some very surprising interviews with Trump voters over the last couple of months. While anecdotal, they seem to shed some light on what Trump voters think.

              They believe he’s full of crap.
              And therefore won’t do most of the crazy things he’s promised
              And so they’ll get to keep the stuff they like while America gets great again.

              It’s interesting.

            • Kalima says:

              I agree, and also with not becoming too despondent about things that haven’t even happened yet or might actually never happen. We know what trump is up to by the many rich dudes he has nominated or has around him him after blasting Clinton about her Wall Street connections. We know that the only thing that powers him is money, fame and retaliation. He’s clueless about policy so will ensure that when he leaves or is thrown out of office, he will have benefited greatly in one way or the other. I also don’t think for a moment that he will endure being bossed around by the gop. At the end of his term, republicans will once again have shown the country and the world how incompetent they are when it comes to the economy, and that if they try to repeal the ACA, they have no viable plan b. A republican built powder keg will blow up in their faces, and hopefully in 2018.

            • AdLib says:

              Kalima, now that I got it out of my system, I would actually wonder if this does not affirm that Trump voters voted only to express anger (like Brexit voters) and not because they supported anything he BS’ed about.

              And perhaps many were voting against the deaf establishment that Hillary represented.

              What this poll does represent though is that Dems should comeback with landslide victories in 2018 and 2020…if they present a populist/anti-plutocratic platform.

              Trump and the GOP would seem to be far less powerful than they seem. Public outcry will be very powerful and influential, we can’t voluntarily disarm ourselves through defeatism or cynicism. Activism will make a huge difference when the majority is opposed to those in power.

            • Kalima says:

              Exactly AdLib. I had to read it twice to make sure that my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. They voted for trump but want Dems to keep him in check? Have you ever heard anything so bizarre. It sounded encouraging because they are either insane, voted for trump out of spite, or are already experiencing buyer’s remorse. Crazy!

            • AdLib says:

              Kalima, so to put it simply, “Trump voters are morons”?

              They want Dems, who have no majority and don’t control the WH to keep a check on the lunatic they voted into the highest office in the world?


              They voted Trump in but oppose what he would do?

              I know the majority of American voters voted against Trump and oppose him so the majority in this country is reasoned and sane.

              But this minority who voted for Trump? They make a great argument against democracy and for keeping the ACA and the mental health coverage it offers.

  8. gyp46 says:

    Sage advice, I will attempt to take it (some anyway) to heart. Learning that many will never wake from the thrall of the ‘flimflam man’ has been eye opening to say the least, and still leaves me flabbergasted !

    • funksands says:

      Thanks. It will take some time, but holding Trump and his hard-core fans to a standard that neither of them has any interest in is a lesson that we all need to learn.

  9. VegasBabe says:

    I’m not a psych professional so I can’t call the man a sociopath but I will and can ignore him as I would anyone whose rhetoric offends and disgusts.

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