The Anxiety Of Hope

In a newly released poll, when asked “Would you vote for Donald Trump again?” 73% of Trump voters said…

“Yes I’d absolutely vote for Donald Trump again…despite the fact that his election eerily seemed to do little to quell the emptiness & vague feelings of dissatisfaction that appear to haunt me on an almost daily basis…and regardless of the sad fact that there have been very few traces of the delight that I always thought lower taxes, fewer Mexicans and the gutting of government programs designed to help the less fortunate, would bring me. Which is odd because when Trump was nominated, I genuinely took so much joy in the opportunity his campaign offered me to finally stick a thumb in the eye of all the “elites” that I had always been told were responsible for my vague lurking feelings of inexplicable despair. I was extremely optimistic that the election of someone who infuriated everyone I have spent so many years despising, would eventually ease my pain and somehow quell the haunting suspicions I harbor that much of my life, despite the outward trappings of success, has been a dreary, superficial slog devoid of passion or emotional authenticity. I thought the election of Trump would finally fulfill me and make me giddy…and it did…briefly…but sadly I’ve found that momentary satiation to be fleeting.

Don’t get me wrong…the fact that all the “libtards”, “snowflakes” and “feminazis” continue to feel emotionally devastated by the election results DOES offer me OCCASIONAL twinges of smug satisfaction. But the most prevalent overarching experience inside me remains one of haunted uneasiness and even a vague sense that, despite making what I still desperately insist was the right choice, the hope that Trump’s election would be an emotional game changer for me has turned out to be just another in a long line of mental obsessions which have never brought me anything but momentary distraction from a core feeling of misery, joylessness and angst. I can’t even describe what a let down it was to realize that perhaps even if they banned all Muslims and Mexicans, my life would not instantly be transformed into the Broadway musical I had anticipated it would be whenever I pictured a world filled only with people who looked like me. I cannot understand why having lower marginal tax rates, a total absence of government regulations, absolutely no protections for the environment and the defunding of Planned Parenthood have not been able to allay the hollowness that pervades me and grows by the minute. I cannot understand why the knowledge that poor women will no longer be able to get contraception in states nowhere near where I live, isn’t the healing balm I envisioned it would be when I cast my ballot for Trump back in November.

Yes I still get some joy knowing that minorities and feminists are suffering under this administration…Yes it still gives me a jolt of sadistic glee when I hear about some new Trump executive order that will allow big corporations to rake in billions more in profits at the expense of the poor and the environment….But that ephemeral experience of bliss still doesn’t seem able to dispel the nagging suspicion that I am but a sad facade, secretly longing only for the simple joys of my childhood where I loved open heartedly and without limits. Even reading news stories about how mentally ill people will now be able to purchase firearms or that fewer and fewer people might be able to get affordable health care thanks to the Trump administration no longer seem able to put a spring in my step.

Of course I know that this could just be a phase…and perhaps if Trump is eventually able to pass a few more draconian travel restrictions and throw a few more elderly people off food stamps it will break the spell and I will once again experience the same simple pleasure I felt eating ice cream or playing on a seesaw when I was six…when all things seemed possible…back when I was filled with playful wonder & spontaneity.…before hating those I perceive as “other” became the all consuming passion of my life. But as the days pass and my bewilderment grows, I find myself strangely baffled that these big political changes still seem to bring me no respite, no surcease…no rest from the prison cell of the pervasive, gnawing self loathing I have always managed to hide from all but the most insightful observers. I am hoping desperately that a few more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the further curtailing of restrictions on Wall Street firms, increasing rollbacks of Civil Rights Laws and maybe the lessening of protections for LGBT Americans will eventually brighten my mood. But as my doubts grow and this strange baffling joylessness continues to envelop me, the certainty that Trump’s election would grant me relief from my personal discontentment seems more and more like an illusory, ever receding mirage.”