This evening I had an unwarranted attack at the grocery store that left me shaking. I was loading my groceries into my trunk when I heard someone behind me say, “Biden-Harris, huh?” Presumably this was a comment on my bumper sticker.
I turned, and the man pointed to his MAGA hat and jeered, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
I just smiled and replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”
At that, his face became livid and enraged, he took a step toward me and raised his hand while screaming, “GO FUCK YOURSELF!”
I was stunned.
A completely unwarranted, unprovoked attack. On a complete stranger minding her own business. In a grocery store parking lot.
Because, make no mistake: THIS IS WHO THEY ARE.
Believe me, I have been around plenty of 45 folk and Republicans. I have spent time in several small towns that were filled with them — the stickers, the signs, the banners. I have them in my family. And although I have my own very different opinion, not once have I ever made a comment of any kind towards a total stranger, and never even considered screaming something so vile as “Go fuck yourself” to anyone’s face.
Why? Because I am decent. And the people like this man who attached me are not.
This is the bottom-feeding level of humanity in which they exist. When this man told me to go fuck myself, I simply smiled at him sweetly and said, “Spoken like a true Trumpster: full of kindness and integrity.”
I’m sure he’ll never get it. None of them will. Because, again, THIS IS WHO THEY ARE. Filled with rage, filled with hate, filled with fear. Why? I honestly don’t know, and probably never will.
But I know one thing: I AM DONE WITH THEM.
This incident came on the heels of a wonderful weekend, to me, of rejoicing and celebrating in the fact that the American people said no to four more years of Donald Trump. That we can finally move past having a president who constantly lies to us. Who leads on a platform of diviseness and hate. I understand that is just my feeling and opinion, and those on the losing side are disappointed. Just as I was four years ago. Just as I have been many times.
But here’s the difference: In all those times, I NEVER ONCE screamed “Go fuck yourself” in someone’s face. I never once screamed voter fraud without one iota of evidence. I never once attacked America and its democratic process. I was disappointed, and I dealt with it. Even when my candidate actually WON the popular vote, something that Trump has failed to do either this time around, or the last time.
But this evening’s incident left me with an epiphany, and one that I think is important. One that I’d like to share.
We should ALL be done with them.
I realized that the incident, and Trump’s statement last Thursday night, and the attack on American democracy, and all the rhetoric that has gone on was starting to make me feel bad. To make me feel as shitty as I have for the last four years, as shitty as I do every time Trump does or says something even more vile.
And then I thought….why? Why am I allowing them to cause me to feel this way? Why am I allowing them to steal my joy, my optimism, my future?
And I realized….ENOUGH.
I think that too many of us have spent the last four years giving the MAGA folks far too much of our attention and energy. Trump operates on a platform of bullying, and so does his cult. Bullies love attention — and it doesn’t matter if that’s good attention or bad attention. They feed on it, like vampires.
And we just keep giving it to them.
We are guilty — because we keep piling kindling on top of their bonfire, with our attention and with our energy. We have given them far more of either of these things than they deserve. We hand it to them on a silver platter, and they consume it, stoke their rage and hatred with it.
Enough is enough. It’s time to stop that.
If you deprive a fire of oxygen, it dies out. And so my epiphany was simply this: I made a decision to just stop. Stop giving the 45 cult an audience. Stop giving them, or their leader, my attention or energy. Deprive them of that oxygen, while not letting them deprive me of my joy, my optimism, my excitement for the future. If you take away their air, they will suffocate.
Because here’s the reality: they are dying. They are done. Their time is over. Their days and their numbers are dwindling, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
So we just stop. Stop giving them our attention or energy.
Now, let me be straight: I am not at all suggesting we bury our heads in the sand and become uninformed. That we ignore reality and what’s happening in the world. But there is a VERY big difference between being informed, keeping up with news and media and world happenings, being active participants, and working toward our future — and wasting any of that time or energy on THEM. On their shenanigans and bluster and bullying and fear tactics.
What would it look like if we all just took that away?
From this moment on Trump has ceased to exist for me. He is the ultimate bully, the ultimate vampire — he feeds off attention, good and bad. He NEEDS it. He will not go gracefully into the night. I don’t believe he will ever concede, nor ever do anything graceful in his exit. But I don’t intend to give him ONE MORE SECOND of my energy. Not one more second of attention. He’s not important enough. He’s a cancerous blip in our history, nothing more. As far as I’m concerned, he no longer exists. If we all deprive him of the attention he craves like oxygen, he’ll suffocate. And good riddance.
And so here is my proposition to you: that we all do just that.
That we resolve to focus on the positive. On moving forward, on building greater things, on our own joy and plans and momentum. And that we deprive every single one of these hate-mongerers even once ounce of air. That we, as Stephen Colbert put it, let them suck silence. That we claim the future for ourselves, and leave them in the past.
Where they belong.