Grab ’Em by the Passion

Remember that you can be thoroughly anti-Trump without being completely Trump-obsessed.

Comments: 179

  1. Repub losses keep piling on, Repudiation of the Don A real grand scale loser Few picks by each chooser Wicked Warlock's so woebegone. So sour, so dour, so surly And with a hairpiece that’s not curly, Sits grimacing, pouting, Conflicted and shouting By post-election hurly burly. So let’s dwell on the new The House members crew Infrastructure, Health Care, Senate cuts, beware, And make for a nationwide Blue.

  2. @Larry Eisenberg Democrats should have accepted the 2016 election.

  3. Well Mr. Blow, you are 100% right and 100% wrong, both at the same time. You have now attained quantum logic status. You registered both a 1 and 0 at the same time. Trump must be stopped. He is out of control. True, Trump craves attention. He wants adulation, but he still loves the attacks because he wants to be the center of everything. In fact, I am convinced that he devotes much energy into coming up with ways to be in the headlines each day. He wants all of us looking at him constantly. He doesn't campaign for any reason other than the satisfaction he gets from the crowds. That's why we fight back. I for one am working very hard to pound on him virtually each and every day. Just as every bit of hate speech eventually culminates into hateful acts, including murder, every bit of rhetoric those of us actively engaged in combating Trump results in turning votes against him. It all adds up. The price to pay if we lose is fascism and all that entails. So we fight. We complain, we read and we post comments. None of us are going to stop until Trump is pushed aside. Most likely, Trump will start his own TV network after he leaves office, unless he is incarcerated. I would venture to guess his Fox News buddies will staff the thing. So basically as long as there is Trump, we must push back with everything we have. Doctors tell us to take all of our antibiotics to make sure the infection is gone. Trump is one whopper of an infection.

  4. I have learned first hand that the most devastating thing you can do to a sociopath is to totally ignore them. We have the right to turn off Trump or anyone else whenever they spew blatant lies, foment hate or demonize any group. You will also thank yourself for clearing your mind of toxic garbage as well as training the media to become responsible again.

  5. @Bruce Rozenblit "Most likely, Trump will start his own TV network after he leaves offic" Rest assured no Dem president nor Congress will grant this street thug a license to spew hatred and incite violence. One FIX news is one too many.

  6. @Bruce Rozenblit I agree with your points that Donald (and the spineless Republicans who enable him) should not be ignored; they must be challenged. Fortunately, Donald is in essence a spoiled brat who lacks discipline, for which I am grateful. Imagine if he were an authoritarian who didn't just want to be adored; then he would be much more dangerous.

  7. YUUUCK, good god please change the headline - absolutely tasteless and gross!! Can't even read the article. Visceral disgust at this headline.

  8. @Grace Thorsen Your disgust should be directed at Trump, - similar to "don't shoot the messenger"..

  9. ''...simply ignore a sitting president of the United States. That would not only be a dereliction of duty, it would also be folly. '' - Aye, it would be, but what is also dereliction is how slow on the uptick the press has been to call out the president as a liar (I know, I know - I harp) At any rate, I do agree with your premise, and that is to focus on the positive. There are some outstanding new members of the house that are truly Progressive, and there is going to be the optics of a woman (the Speaker) standing up to the President. What is not a given is how the press will react to the deluge of bills that are going to come the President and Senate's way from that house, which are going to be decisively different from what the house has been doing for the last 2 years. (tax theft in the trillions for the rich and renaming post offices) Is the press going to be declaring it business as usual, gridlock & like with the obligatory false equivalency, or will it show Democrats trying to move the country forward, while republicans do what they do every time Democrats are in power = obstruct. We shall see...

  10. @FunkyIrishman I agree. During Obama’s tenure the GOP earned the title of “the party of NO”. We haven’t seen that moniker printed for the past two years . Has the media already forgotten all the obstruction caused by the GOP? Will the GOP now bring it all back to obstruct the new House? Will the media report it? It remains to be seen. We can be sure that McConnell will claim to say that he was the first to suggest bipartisanship (last week), to which I say LOL buddy.

  11. @FunkyIrishman "We shall see..."-Donald Trump

  12. Here's what's not being covered by the major news sources but brought up on minor sources. The president appears to be bitter, sulking, and unable to face the public. Notably, he failed to go to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans' Day, something past presidents have done for decades. Is he ill? is he embarrassed by the Paris fiasco? Is he in a mental slump? If the president is unable to do his duty, for whatever reason, the public needs to know. Why didn't the president venture forth from the White House on Veterans' Day? Low energy from his trip? Crying in his Diet Coke? If the president is unfit, the press needs to dig this out.

  13. @Linda: Actually, Trump’s sour mood and staffers concerned about his health (weight gain and looking ill) were reported on the CNN web site. That he is intellectually and ethically unfit for the presidency was clear from day one, but now he doesn’t seem up to the job physically as well.

  14. @Linda Despite the omnipresent Overcoat tailored by Omar the tent maker, he’s obviously gained a massive amount of weight. Edging very close to 300 pounds, in my professional estimation. Not good, especially at his age. Just saying.

  15. @Linda Trump was in France on Veterans Day putatively to attend a commemoration of 100th anniversary of the end of World War one the origin of the Nov. 11th holiday. He could not make it to the ceremony because of rain even though 69 other heads of state managed.

  16. Unpleasant a topic as Trump is, we cannot and should not avert our eyes and ears. True, he has great power from his office, distinct from that which we grant him with our attention. He will make a mockery of our highest office, at home and abroad, whether we tune in or not. But we also can't lose focus of the things for which he must be held accountable. When a sitting president 'makes an example of' a reporter for being persistent, we must not turn away. When a sitting president tries remaking the Justice Department into an extension of his authority, we must not turn away. When we learn of a steep increase in hate crimes during the first year of his presidency, unmistakably connected to the dark impulses he encourages, we must not turn away. We have to simply channel that outrage into something constructive. Last week, we saw that fury in the heavy midterm turnout, wherein Democrats gained control of the House, and gave Republicans sharp competition that was once unthinkable. Beholding Trump is repulsive, but rather than ignoring him, the key is to find a positive response to the endless offenses.

  17. @NM Don't forget the separation of children from their parents, many of whom will probably never be reunited again. That, in my mind, is one of the most evil things the Trump administration has done. Absolutely unforgivable.

  18. The Democratic House and anti-Trumpers have an easy path to American greatness: 1. Pass a new Voting Rights Act that enfranchises eligible voters by enumerating easy, accessible voter registration that does not discriminate against minorities, the poor and college students, that gives more transparency and safety valves to voter file purges, that mandates auditable voting machines and voting results, that provides funding for modern voting mechanisms nationwide at all polling stations, that moves voting to a Saturday or Sunday and expands absentee voting mechanisms...and let the Republican Senate and Trump object to democracy and explain their opposition to the will of the public. 2. Pass a nationwide infrastructure jobs bill to be paid for by reversing the 2017 Tax Cut for The Rich...then let the GOP Senate explain why paying for the gold toenail polish of the 0.1% was a job-maker, but paying for 99% infrastructure is a job-killer. 3. Pass a campaign finance and dark political money reform law that prohibits unlimited political contributions from the 0.1%; implement a maximum political contribution of $1000 per person/entity...and let the Republican Senate and Trump explain to America why the 0.1% political sugar daddy sewer is necessary in a democracy. Let the Democratic House Make Legislation Great Again while the Republican Robber Barons and the Imposter-In-Chief continue to rot America from the inside and impale themselves on their contempt for the American people.

  19. @Socrates, now we are talking! My question is this: why should we need national legislation to ensure what should be no brainer in the USA I thought I lived in.

  20. @Socrates We showed with these election results our goal is to bring democracy back to life. Knocking on doors educating our communities we are committed to change, holding our new elected officials accountable for their speeches , votes and representing us the people. Standing engaged and committed. Not allowing social media to tell us how to think. We have so much to do so much to be proud of. Their is no room for trump noise but we will watch him and his swamp administration. Everyday is another day to move , forward to find those missing children who are in a cage somewhere and keep trumps feet to the fire. We are so excited to be involved in destroying fascism and moving proactively forwArd with everyone.

  21. All fantastic, exciting stuff! Just one tiny detail. we haven't just yet declared the Republic of blue States. and that's what this would take.

  22. Passion is going to be so much easier with this wonderful group of Dem candidates arriving in DC. What substantial, engaging, thoughtful people they are! Every time I get to see another interview I am more passionate. These are impressive folks. The way forward looks thrilling.

  23. The way I keep from from obsessing on every embarrassing act emanating from 1600 is to remember that there is a showman in there determined to distract us from the dismantling of our social contract. I have to remind myself and others almost daily to focus on the policy actions, not the sideshows. It isn't easy.

  24. I value my sanity. Regarding Trump, I have come up with a strategy that has made me a happier man. I no longer allow visuals of Trump or the sound of Trump's voice into my brain.That means that I have cut out all cable and network TV news. That means no CNN, no MSNBC, and no ABC, NBC and CBS. I keep up by reading and taking notes. I have shifted my focus to an attempt to comprehend the "psychological and neural factors that underlie much of the Trump supporter's unbridled allegiance." "Conservatives have an exaggerated fear response." For white Christian Trump fanatics, "religions, political ideologies and national identities act as a buffer to this fear by instilling life with meaning and value."

  25. A while back Wolf Blitzer said in response to criticism that he and others pay too much attention to Donald Trump that, “when the president says something, we have to report it.” I would accept that when the president does something it should be reported, but I see no reason that the press needs to repeat his various ramblings. How about “President Trump spoke today about (fill in blank), but did not contribute anything worth repeating.” This way what he did (speak) is reported, but we can ignore the details unless what he says is actually of any significance.

  26. @George Mandeville - And here's me thinking just the opposite. His ravings to the press before he went off to Europe to put on yet another ham-fisted display of his woefully inadequate grasp of history should become Exhibit A come January when Congress starts the process of removing him from office in accordance with the 25th Amendment as stipulated in the Bill of Rights. And can we please stop calling it "Trumpism" like it is something new? There is nothing original about bigotry, womanizing, demagoguery, abuse of power, or narcissistic megalomania. Sure, it's nasty as all get out. But the man is ill. Giving his condition an anthropomorphic name isn't a cure. It's encouragement. And now a little something for Mr. Roddy: "It's the Confederacy, stupid!", and I say, give it to 'em! Hey, it's just the Deep South and flyover country. Who'll miss 'em? It might just be a better deal than having Trump pull 30 percent into new Nationalist Party. And with today's Dick Tracy technology, it might not be the headache it once was. I say if Great Britain can work through the Ireland problem with Brexit, then we can pull this off. We'll still have Lady Liberty and the Port of Oakland. Let 'em build their own walls.

  27. Human beings have a bias towards the negative and Trump is a huge negative. He also threatens our survival as a species. How many people could avoid talking about a hideous Monster in their basement that wants to burn down their house. You may be enjoying a nice dinner with friends but you know he is there. In the basement. The Monster.

  28. Trump is less a problem than Trump's supporters. They may only consist of forty percent of the population, but they are disproportionately present on social media, with letters to the editor, at city council and supervisors' meetings, and on television and talk radio. They know, and Trump has proved, a vocal minority can intimidate, dominate, and win. While it's correct to argue we should not be "completely Trump-obsessed," it's just as correct to claim we should be devising a strategy and tactics to counter his malign influence.

  29. @Eric Caine Agreed, to a large extent. Yes, the Trump followers are a dark side of Americana. I'm not buying that they are the lost, the forgotten, slice of the American mainstay. Regardless of their motives, and I will grant some grips should be given attention, such as decades of lost wage growth proportional with the overall economy. Even though they cheer characters like Trump, or Walker here in WI, when they give tax breaks to the rich, legislate against organized labor, etc. Hello! The democratic party, the democratic-socialist and other progressive movements are the help source there; not the GOP. Trump will be gone, one way or another, as the majority of voters have awakened... if the majority acts, and stays engaged, contrary to its past passivity (2016 election) that powerful Trump minority will wither under the heat. Democracy must be attended to, there are other systems in the waiting, "watching the herd" if you will, and if we're limping, they'll pounce.

  30. @Eric Caine Pls c my idea vis-a-vis boycotts of Twitter and FOX advertisers.

  31. I so agree Charles and my way of coping is to BE the anti-trump. That means not engaging in the mudslinging and being thoughtful and conscious of my words and deeds. I will march and vote and resist but I will not hate, even though I want to. I don't know who said "an eye for an eye just makes everyone blind" but have you ever noticed if someone yells at you and you don't respond they deflate? I just want some peace.

  32. Engagement. A key word in Charles op-ed.  After the preemptive war started in Iraq I  was devastated by this. Never in my life did this happen, it was wrong, and made my blood boil. Then the 2004 election came along, and with that hope, I began to follow MoveOn.org, went to local meet ups, then supported Howard Dean and went to the Iowa caucuses to knock on doors. I engaged, and it helped me to keep believing in our country. Bush got 4 more years, but ultimately we won with President Obama. Trump is a terrible human being, so if we want to beat him, ENGAGE.

  33. As a PTSD, as in Persistent Trump Stress Disorder, sufferer, I'd welcome less Trump coverage especially of : his rallies, his tweets, his degrading name calling which should be treated like hateful curse words and bleeped out, his palace intrigues in The White House, and his truly "fake news" attempts that, as a narcissist, he needs to get constant attention such as his attacks on the media. Now that Democrats have come off life-support and will control the House, let's focus on them and how they handle important issues like gun regulation, immigration especially the DACA program, protecting the Special Counsel investigation by Robert Mueller, taking charge of tariffs as is their Constitutional responsibility and ending Trump's reckless trade wars, protecting Obamacare and strengthening it, and, of course, their other major mission to act as a "check and balance" to his executive overreach. Let's give the Democrats to megaphone and focus on real policies for the people who voted for them.

  34. Charles, even before Trump was incredibly elected you came down on him with every new published opinion piece. Now all of a sudden you want to make nice? I read your line " to simply ignore a sitting president of the United States. That would not only be a dereliction of duty, it would also be folly." Ignore him? The media has tendered to Trump billions of dollars of free advertising, and given the fact his face is constantly on cable, or in the headlines of major newspapers, it's possibly time for a little ignoring. Trump is a scourge on our America, our society, and has managed to disrupt our leadership and credibility globally. Ignoring him, of course, will not diminish alt right media from worshiping Trump, but will continue with their misinformation, to Dem detriment. So what else is new? But, you know what, if voters, including the Trump base, will for just a thin minute evaluate whether this man can sit with any of our previous Presidents, then they might have an epiphany. Ignoring some of his vile nonsense would not be such a bad idea. His supporters will find all they need on the alt stations, or alt press who will continually feed their frenzy.

  35. @MarnS We need to boycott advertisers on Fox so as to starve that purveyor of lies, misinformation, deceit and propaganda of revenue. Can we all boycott Twitter until it blocks DontheCon's account? OAT: I urge all writers here to break extended ideas into paragraphs? I now routinely skip over long posts that do not follow this ancient rule of the essayist.

  36. @marjorie trifon If only all of your suggestions would come to fruition. The key issue here is that those who have decided to join the Trump cult should consider following legitimate news sources, such as the NYT, rather than be polluted with the misinformation that has skewed our election process, and spawned such a POTUS. Thanks for the reply.

  37. I am also excited about the experienced Democrats in power again who will be able to pass strong legislation through the House in any case. It’s not just the new members who have great ideas.

  38. Trump will be gone soon, by the end of Frbruary. We also need to concerned about the remainder of the Party. Don't forget they nominated him. Let's also recognize the Democrats did not offer good alternatives, although I feel either Hillary or Sanders would have been a better choice. Anyone who does not think that Citizens United or gerrymandering had nothing to do with what we have sitting in the White House is missing a major cause of our current problems.

  39. "When you obsess about a problem, you have less energy and passion to pursue solutions. When you fret over every outrage, you elevate those outrages." Charles, you hit the ground running and haven't let up until your last column when you admit that it takes an enormous amount of energy to resist the very concept of a president like Donald Trump. This column seems like another installment in your realization that two years of resistance really take their toll. I confess I've been one of those who question the media and their breathless coverage of every tweet, video clip, wink, scowl, raised eyebrow, and Mussolini heat tilt this man displays to the world. And yet you make the best argument, which was sort of my point three days ago: we can't afford to take our eyes off the ball, not to wallow but to wage. After reading this, I think I need to cut at least half my reading about a president who deserves so little of our attention, but which by no means lets us off the hook. So my new plan is, don't obsess but don't stop watching less in case I miss something. I need the daily reminders that I'll never get "used" to a presidency the keeps hitting new lows.

  40. @ChristineMcM Christine - I completely concur with your new plan of not obsessing but also not stop watching either. This presidency has been utterly exhausting to read and follow, yet it is only in its second year. Some days I wonder where I will garner the energy and strength to weather two more years. But burying one's head in the sand is never the answer. Continuing to remain informed is crucial, but keeping one's emotions and blood pressure in check is key. I've been going for more frequent and longer walks since Trump took office just to reduce the stress, anxiety and anger I feel. I refuse to become obsessed with the actions of this reckless knucklehead. I continue to focus on 2020 with hopes of him and his pals being dethroned.

  41. @Marge Keller Yes--the problem is that he's kept us on defense. We have to defend Muslims, we have to defend LGBQ military members, we have to defend children separated from their parents at the border. I don't think we had a choice in those matters, or in several others. What's different now is, with the House in Democratic hands, we can go on offense. We can, I hope, put him on his heels and reduce the harm he's able to do. Republicans also had to notice how the last election went. They must also understand at this point that "the embrace" of Trump is not necessarily an e-ticket. That may change their attitudes about protecting him.

  42. The press must report what Trump is doing, but they must report on the less titillating things: what is he doing on the deregulation front, especially on environmental issues, and not who he's "doing" (that should probably be past tense). I thought it was really interesting that Bob Woodward pointed out that, immediately following the release of information on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Pussygate tape was released. Guess which item got our attention.

  43. Look Ahead rules for the Trump Era: 1. Auto-mute radio and TV clips of both Trump and Sarah Sanders. If you count to ten, you can usually rejoin regular radio broadcasting without missing anything. Why listen to lies? 2. Ignore the daily Trump Sturm und Drang. It is targeted at the Trump base in order to distract from reality. The caravan "invasion" is a good example. Some 50,000 were detained at the US Mexico border in October and yet Trump wants you to think the caravan of a few thousand is an invasion worthy of sending the US military to the border (and voting Republican). 3. Don't ignore the real threats that Trump is trying to distract you from, especially climate change, environmental damage and financial larceny.

  44. I agree that hand wringing, despair, and obsession are not very productive. Let's focus instead on these two paths: Noam Chomsky, the great philosopher, recently described the President as criminally insane. That carries far more of the ring of truth than those who treat Trump as simply a bad President. The corollary here is that around 40% of us think he's just fine, providing evidence that his disease is communicable. Let's address how they got to that point, and it's not just stupidity: Trump has been enabled by lunatic media companies, including Fox, Sinclair, and talk radio, especially Limbaugh and Alex Jones. Crazy is as crazy listens. The second thing we need to do is to employ our best weapon: sharp satiric humor. We no longer have George Carlin or Richard Pryor, but Steven Colbert is certainly a good start. There must be more of his type on the bench, and they need to be heard, especially young comics. Since Trump is so sensitive to criticism, let's amp it up, and show the world what he really is: a ridiculous figure, who could not locate his own butt with a road map. One of the President's many faults is that he has almost no sense of humor, unless you include schoolboy taunts in describing his opponents. If the humorous attacks hit home, his insanity will reach full flower, and he will self immolate. It's a dirty job to clean up the fatty, orange mess that remains, but somebody has to do it.

  45. @Mike Roddy--Don't forget about Alec Baldwin!! His Donald Trump impersonations on SNL are spot on!!

  46. Noam Chomsky is a linguist. His diagnosis of Trump as "criminally insane" carries as much weight as yours or mine (unless you're qualified, in which case... why are you citing Noam Chomsky?)

  47. @Scott K. I cited Chomsky because of his direct language, which few seem to have the gumption to use. His status as a philosopher is secondary.

  48. Why don't all the press attend all the presidential press conferences and just ask one question, such as, "When will you show us your tax returns?" Keep on asking and asking the same question until it is answered. The question should be on a topic not of Trump's choosing?

  49. Better yet Elijah Cummings can subpoena the returns. When Trump predictably fights that move, reporters can ask him exactly what is he trying to hide from the American people.

  50. @R That's exactly what the press should do with that question and others but they never will. They always think they have to blaze their own trail and the result is that Trump and Huckabee Sanders always get a free pass.

  51. Opposition to Trump and--let's not forget--his many fervent supporters would do well to focus on reinforcing the major obstacles that he will face in the next few months. One is the Democratic control of the House, just a few weeks away. Infrastructure? Reform of mandatory sentencing? No. In what way would those things hobble Trump? How about gerrymandering? How about four-hour outdoor all-weather waits to cast a ballot? How about voting on Sundays? Or making election day a national holiday? And the big one: fixing our broken antique, the Electoral College. Democrats, if you clearly and openly fight for Democracy, elections and re-elections and majorities will follow. Don't get distracted and whirled into Trump's tumble-dryer all-spin news-cycle politics. Democrats are for Democracy. Republicans are for winning while losing the popular vote and unrepresentative representatives. The second obstacle Trump will shortly face is the Mueller report. Is there a working group of Democrat veterans that are pre-planning to maximize the political impact of this event? Which committees will take up the leading roles? Who will be the party spokesperson? If impeachment is not a practical recourse what will be the preferred option with 2020 in mind? Each month highlight one or two points of the report so they won't be lost in the hailstorm of lies, blaming immigrants, the press and the French.

  52. If passionate, even obsessed, voters were responsible for the remarkable Democratic wins and the decisive Republican losses in the midterm elections, then I say bring those constructive emotions on!

  53. Well said - to feed into Trump is nothing more than reaffirming his power over us - the Democrats that were elected won on the strength of their messages, on those things that they could do to improve the lives of the average person! Such had wide appeal to voters. We need candidates, and especially a Presidential candidate, that understand the importance of the Democratic Party returning to its roots, serving the average person, meeting their needs - the public is tiring of Trump's message of fear and hate! We need a more hopeful brand, a more hopeful leader, one that can both unite and excite . . . keeping my fingers crossed - can we find a new Obama?

  54. After the midterm elections, at least the legislative worst of the Republican Party is over. There are still the courts, and of course the actions of the Executive Branch, to worry about, but there is now room to at least imagine a better world. The Democrats must hold firm to a more moral, more decent, way of doing things than the Republicans have shown. But they must now truly show a plan for governing towards the future. They must pass the legislation they truly want the US Government to run by, the rules they want the American People to follow. And when the Republicans in the Senate ignore them, and they will. And when the President vetoes everything in an attempt to force a win for him. And when the Main Stream Media says that they need to compromise on the wall, on atrocity all for a happy middle ground that doesn't disturb rich white men. The Democrats still need to hold firm to a future that they believe in. A future for all Americans, and the diverse group that voted for them. Of which Rich White Men were a small minority.

  55. Charles, I confess that I am obsessed with the fact that the soulless commander in chief is our commander in chief. He has already caused permanent profound damage to this country and the rest of the world. I have no way to cure myself. Kyrsten Sinema's and Ann Kirkpatrick's triumphs helped a great deal, but they and all the other Democrats can't do anything until January. Until then, I'm unable to budge to a lesser level of despair.

  56. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that ..."currently, 42 percent of liberal Democrats say Trump’s presidency comes up in conversations very often; that is double the share of conservatives and moderates who say this". Perhaps this is because conservatives brought up President Obama in every conversation for over 8 years and now don't really want to have pointed out to them their incredible hypocrisy of complaining about everything from golfing to Dijon mustard to accusing him of being the anti-Christ. Family members and neighbors who relentlessly trashed former President Obama at weddings, picnics, funerals, and in grocery stores haven't said one word to me about President Trump. Perhaps they realize the truth about what they put into the White House and don't want to admit it, but I will certainly call them out if they ever give me the chance.

  57. On point and correct. I am as liberal and angry as they get but I do not obsess about Trump. I temper the news by listening to the comedians (Oliver, Colbert, the rotating panel on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me) and most of the time muting the radio or TV whenever Trump is speaking. Instead I prefer to read what dribble and bile has passed his lips.

  58. I believe that Trump is a symptom of the larger mood/problem in this country. Until we address the anger, racism and strange behavior of the deep conservative portions of the country, we may only be in for more polarization over time. There are likely more "Trumps" forthcoming after this one. Time to figure out how to reign in our Constitution and find some way to safeguard checks and balances while we still can.

  59. I am far more concerned with Trump working to become the first US dictator since George III. Everything he does points towards that, whether it's undermining confidence in, and stirring up hatred of the press, calling votes against his choices "rigged" without evidence, deliberately scaring and then enraging his base to hatred and even violence, accusing people of what he is doing, setting up "enemies" to be accused and even arrested, and putting our nation at risk of economic and real war in the world. His total jerkiness is less important than the catastrophic damage he is attempting to wreak on our Constitution.

  60. @Dadof2: Trump stands on the shoulders of people who want to abolish separation of church and state in the US.

  61. @Steve Bolger Agreed. They've been laying the groundwork for this for 8 years hard-core, but for 50 years since Nixon. Ironically, on a personal basis, Dubya is the least racist Republican President since Garfield!

  62. I think what Mr. Blow is advocating for will happen no matter what due to Trump fatigue. Aren't we all sensing some that now?

  63. There is a place for cold contempt for the semblance of a man who resides in the White House as we continue our actions to bring back rule of law and civility to our country. Trump for the second year will not show his face at the Kennedy Awards ceremonies knowing the cold shoulder her will receive there. The House was not won by attacks, we all know who he is. It was won by solid actions and people showing up to do the right thing through love of country.

  64. Well, Mr. Blow, I think that you're spot on suggesting that we stop being "obsessed" with Trump. It would probably be the healthy thing to do. I would love to be free of the fear of what he will do next to endanger, insult or embarrass all or some of us who love our country. I'd love it if he had proven me wrong and become the president he might have become, if he only had a heart. But sadly, he doesn't. Trump morphed from second rate real estate developer/failed casino owner/failed football team owner/golf course developer/and reality tv personality to President of the United States with the expected results. He has handled diplomatic matters with our allies with all the grace of an MMA fighter. He has cozied up to dictators and strongmen, rudely criticizing the leaders of our allied nations. His budgetary priorities are shockingly inappropriate, and his party has allowed him to conduct personal business while serving as president, enriching himself and his family. There is so much more to be fearful about - but we all know the sad stories. I'd love to forget about it all - seriously! I do! But how can I?

  65. @Chris Wildman, By keeping the focus of attention on your reaction and those of others, while we coast the big tidal wave that is perilous to our Constitution and well-being.

  66. I have found over the past two years, that my anger and frustration is far worse with those in unison. Arguing with the opposition is obviously a fruitful exercise but pounding my fist with all who agree is no consolation either. They say misery loves company but, in my case, it only raises my blood pressure.

  67. There is no easy answer to Trumpism. He's the symptom, not the cause. But one thing is for sure. There wouldn't be a United States of America if the colonies hadn't obsessed and fretted over British outrages.

  68. @We'll always have Paris: There might have been a continental Canada instead.

  69. The best remedy is to remain laser-focused on the ballot box - which both giveth and taketh away. This is, by far, what the right fears the most, as evidenced by the panic of Kemp (Georgia) and Scott (Florida) as they egregiously flail about in trying to wrest their very own positions from the electorate. It was thus truly magnificent news that the new, “swamp-drained” House will be addressing voting rights directly, pushing towards popular initiatives like automatic or easier voter registration.

  70. @John B. Bravo!

  71. @John B: Abuse of the structural inequalities of representation in this relic of slavery system has revealed that it is fatally flawed.

  72. I heartily agree on all points. On the one hand, I can't put Donald Trump out of my mind. I don't even want to, for the reasons you cite. On the other hand, I believe absolutely that the surest way to rid America of this menace, whether incarnate as the man Donald Trump or seeping through society as a toxic moral substance, is not wailing and gnashing of teeth but high-spirited camaraderie in pursuit of a just and decent alternative. As far as Trump the man is concerned, it's just possible that between now and the next Republican convention we'll get some help from the man himself. Mustn't count on it, of course, but it is conceivable that, if he comes to think a bid for re-election will end in a blow to his ego, he'll claim to have accomplished everything imaginable in a single glorious term and return to private fraud. It would be like him. Of course, he'd have to count on escaping prosecution, but that, too, is conceivable. Let's show that while we take the current danger seriously we don't waste respect or fear on Donald Trump. The sight of a Democratic Party happily striding forward, joining hands with more and more Americans who are ready to look past this awful period, could be the crucial bucket of water that leaves the arch-villain melting … melting.

  73. Wow ... nicely done.

  74. Charles, there is something you are missing at least when it comes to me. And I am sure I speak for a few others out there as well. Some might say that I am obsessed with Trump and that he has "grabbed me by the passion." But it is my passion and love for America and its ideals that drives my seeming obsession with him. I am so concerned that this greatest of human experiments in governance, founded upon radical and unique ideals that have moved the world, is being denigrated every day. It is my pride in such luminous symbols of American goodness- Abraham Lincoln, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil Rights movement, and the values for which we stand- that drives my passion, although it can look like an obsession with Donald Trump. I don't hate him; rather, I hate what he is doing to our nation. I am anti-Trump, I am Trump-obsessed, because I love my country, and I will not rest until he is out of office.

  75. @JB. Very well said, JB.

  76. Donald who? I cherish the rare Trump-free moments which sometimes can last much longer. I was on a seven-night transatlantic voyage and, not only did I not hear the name of the guy who is president, but I rarely gave him a thought. The joys of no newspaper, radio, cable news, cell phone, or internet. For some a spa, for others the ocean.

  77. @arp I am now taking 2-3 day breaks from the media after being totally addicted to minute by minute feeds over the last 3 years. It takes discipline, but has cause more peace, reflection and determination to use my energies to affect change in good ways. Oddly, this is exactly what media does not want to happen with us. They need us tuned in. It's advertising revenue. But guess what? The American public is not only pushing away from the lunacy of governance that has been going on over the past few years, but we have grown weary of the polarization caused by right and left wing media. We've had an overdose of opinion based news reporting. Many of us are turning to news outlets like BBC and NPR for simple reporting of daily news. Just the facts.

  78. @arp Great comment, my wife and I are going on a Caribbean cruise next month and 7 days of no Trump sounds like a dream.

  79. What's the matter with being Trump obsessed. It's because Trump is going to Trump that obsession is the only way to roll. If your not obsessed, you might miss something. He wants to grab us by the passion? We want to defeat him by our passion. Especially now that we have a venue for our passion in the House. We've gone through the valley, now it's time to enjoy the view from the mountaintop.

  80. Maybe his new AG has already looked at Mueller’s notes and briefed the president. I would think that would make for a panicky few days until the narcissism regained control. As a veteran, I think his absence from the ceremony in France and on Veterans Day is (inadvertently) the most decent thing he’s done in his whole life. We must all remember that the draft was a zero sum game. Trump didn’t go, so someone who wouldn’t have had to did. Draftees had 30% casualties. What happened to Trump’s soldier? Did he come back alive? In one piece? Sane?

  81. @Luke sorry. Cadet Bone Spurs is a disgrace. My son is an F18 Super Hornet pilot flying off the Ronald Reagan. I cannot believe that this shameful human being is his Commander in Chief.

  82. @Luke no doubt you are correct! When service and serving was inconvenient he failed to rise to the occasion. I was 17 and received a high lottery number so was not drafted, but have always wondered how I would have responded to the call. My hope is I would have stood up and met the challenge, but I’ll never know. I do have friends who served some came back in one piece and are ok, others died or are troubled still. So bone spurs may have sent one of those men in his place. Now 45 is using troops as props for his southern border show. I’m pretty sure that guarding us from unarmed refugees is not what any soldier had in mind when they signed up. “Rocks are weapons” so feel free to shoot these desperate folks is an embarrassment for our armed forces and country, at least some of us.

  83. Yes. Channel all that anger into something productive. Then get all your friends and family to help out too. The midterms show clearly how a clear choice can succeed. We need to keep moving: not throw a temper tantrum. Resist.

  84. When one's child is having a tantrum, many parents just walk away and leave the child and by ignoring him, the tantrum generally ceases. I feel as if the way Mr. Trump acts is a never ending tantrum. At first, one pays attention as something serious might be going on. Eventually, one either has to walk away or get caught in a never ending battle to see who is dominant. Unfortunately, not making an effort to change things by getting involved in positive ways politically, is giving ground to what he represents.

  85. Yes, we have to move on to actions which help change what we deplore. And it doesn't surprise me that the more liberal one is, the harder it is to stop obsessing ( hey, someone has to make up for the oblivious!) Bottom line: trying to ignore Trump and Co is like ignoring a toothache. It eats away at your verve and concentration until you finally have the rot removed.

  86. @cheryl: They're ignoring a fire burning up the planet.

  87. CHARLES Presents viable arguments against focusing on Trump. However, it has been pointed out by brain scientists that negative thoughts have survival value, since they are a warning against danger. Trump, like it or not, represents an existential threat for the entire planet. That's something to think about very very carefully. Still, it's important to know when to disengage--when to challenge the cycle of automatic depressive thoughts.

  88. As always, Mr. Blow, thanks for the excellent advice. A few short weeks ago, in another country (and within the embassy of another country), a journalist’s fingers were cut off before he was murdered. A few days ago, an American journalist was banned from attending White House press conferences. We should all be thankful that we still have the freedom to express our feelings, whatever they may be, to as many people as possible as often and as respectfully as possible. We must protect that freedom. If others choose not to listen to what we are telling ourselves or what the media tells us, then so be it. This is no time to play ostrich and pretend that if we do so, what angers and frightens us will somehow go away. Yes, we are the loyal opposition. Yes, we have been, are and will continue to do whatever it takes to rid this country of the plague of illegitimacy that has tried to divide and destroy it. Yes, we’re beginning to win. And yes, we are more susceptible to stressing out and should probably pace ourselves more to handle it better. But no, we cannot, must not, ever stop resisting until we rid ourselves of what has gone wrong with and what has been done to our democracy. The mind is a muscle that must be exercised daily lest it atrophy. Use it or lose it. And don’t forget to breathe.

  89. Maybe many of us are speaking about trump often because we need to both let out our rage but we also need to connect to other people so we feel support. A year before the election, I moved to the Bronx. Connecting and resisting with my neighbors has helped me cope. And I now have a new group of friends that are helping me feel right at home here.

  90. Just paid attention tot he photO: I'd recognize those little hands anywhere; but nice work on getting the expression just right.

  91. I am not sure when Trump will be gone but he will. In fact Trump is over but unless we unite Trumpism will win. The greatest danger lies ahead as the oligarchs line up behind one of their own, Mitt Romney, for 2020 and we really move into a complete takeover of the state by the business and financial powers behind the throne. The goal now must be to stop the GOP dead in the water. Mid-terms are a good start. Dems need focus and leadership to save us all. And we need to let moderates into the process.

  92. @Bill Wilson Bill, oddly right now, most of us would take any leader who represented decency, sanity and fair representation of the people. Isn't it crazy how in a short 3 years, we've been worn down to this point?!

  93. There is another factor in this news imbalance, namely how we support learning or rather how we fail to support rational learning. It’s too complicated for this space, but essentially we support a huge degree of relevant learning and almost none of what people need to understand who they are and what they need to be successful adults. This focus is primarily a factor of testing and making good, compliant workers. The inability to understand the self-relevant stuff makes us real susceptible to the titalating irrelevant. Hence, we have Trump, who is completely involved in the irrelevant and made up keep them coming news cycle

  94. You are right to point out the many fresh new faces in Congress that will serve as a springboard to change and I can’t wait to see what they get up to. I loved seeing their eagerness (and naïveté) as they took part in freshmen orientation. Their youthfulness and willingness to fight are something we haven’t seen in decades and even though I know Nancy Pelosi will remain their leader, good on them for not backing down in their quest to remove her. The differences in the photos of the Republican side of the House and the Democratic side were stark: all rich old white men on one side, and a diverse mix of black, white, brown, female, male, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, old, young, and everything else that is representative of our country in real time.

  95. @Frau Greta At the Boston 4th of July celebration on the Esplanade, hundreds of thousands gather alongside the banks of the Charles River for the music and fireworks. The last time I was able to attend a few years back the faces of the many people were exactly you described: a diverse mix ...... What a wonderful sight to see such a gathering, rich in its diversity, all celebrating the founding of the country.

  96. I suggest shifting focus whenever the negativity of Trumpism becomes so overwhelming that depression and despair kicks in. Shift focus to solutions, energize passion and compassion toward positive actions we can take to overcome Trumpism. But keeping that steady eye on him and keeping up the drumbeat on his lies, hatred, racism, etc etc is also important. It has been effective at keeping him in check. If the press had not been as persistent as it has been at calling him out every single day, on all of his behaviors God only knows what damage he would have done. He needs the monitoring. So balancing focus for those in the trenches, for the press I say keep up the good work, don't let up on him, but also make sure to highlight the victories like the midterms to keep our morale up.

  97. @Ellen Liberals constantly scream racist without ever providing an example. Balancing focus is not something the media do - otherwise they would occasionally provide a positive article.

  98. Charles...you've been my hero for as long as I can remember, but this one has me at a loss. The press, with a little help from friends abroad, got our fearless leader elected in the first place and keeps his persona front and center absent any accountability whatsoever. The entire playing field must be shifted toward serious discussion on serious issues with a sense of urgency. The suggestion, if I understood you correctly, that the consuming public is to blame is analogous to blaming smokers for the evil deeds of the tobacco companies.

  99. All true Charles. However, people must remember that Trump's tweets & rants on the campaign trail are "official statements or policies of the United States". They are therefore subject to being publicized, reviewed & discussed by the press & the citizens. So here we are.

  100. Yes when it comes to politics the media must focus on technical matters more and the facts of technical matters more rigorously. They they must clearly and honestly expose cause, effect, logic flaws/propriety, and factual flaws/truth. They must insert things into an overall working models (not just throw out tidbits) and help us understand where things might lead or not lead functionally. It is their job to help us know and understand - to know the pros and cons of our voting decisions. This is an awesome responsibility they - the free press - has. They must be privy to things we might be denied then they must let us know what we have to know without damaging innocent people, security, or other operations. They must be objective while NOT being impartial about or silent about the truth/facts. That is they must honor the truth/facts regardless of their personal likes/dislikes. They can offer opinions based on evidence and bona fide tested rigorous models but not skew things to suit themselves. They must present very complex things simply and understandably to lay people with sparse time. It is a tough job and only tough honest intelligent truth seekers need apply. It is a job that must be performed intensely and well. And it is ESSENTIAL to any vibrant healthy democracy and any believer in democracy should cherish and protect it. Real journalism is vilified or perversely distorted by the GOP apparatus. Only dictators do that! Think about that!

  101. The reality is that the informed person has more reason to be obsessed than the uninformed. The Trumpers ,in particular, are uninformed, getting what they believe is news from Fox.

  102. I am content enough to know that Trump's agenda for the last two years of his term is dead on arrival on Capitol Hill, and that there isn't going to be a penny for his Mexican wall or any more of his tariffs. If he wants to do anything besides sit in his high chair and whine on Twitter, he is going to have to learn to compromise. That gives me comfort, not anxiety.

  103. I have reached some island of peace by thinking of our President as a “symptom”, rather than a “cause”. In the context of any disorder, causes are the problem on which one should spend their thoughts, energy and efforts. Symptoms are simply side effects to be alleviated while one focuses ones efforts on the cause. In the case of Trump, I realize that there are many potential Trumps waiting in the wings like sneezes and stomach upset unexpressed until the underlying disorder is identified and dealt with. Sneezes can result in big problems as I know from having sneezed violently three times while driving at 17 Jane hitting a parked car. However the real cause was my inexperience. Now when I have a sneeze explosion when driving, I slow down to a stop or pull over. I don’t fret over the symptom. I have allergies as the cause, which bothers me and which gets me upset, not the sneezes. The Donald is a four year sneeze explosion. We need to simply get plenty of tissues, take antihistamines and get over it. The cause is the underlying demographic trend in the country which has caused a portion of the population to act sick. We should just slowly pull over, wipe up the disgusting mess and wait for the allergy season to pass.

  104. @Ralph Hirsch What a metaphor! Kudos!

  105. @Ralph HirschYes! Ezra Levine a co-founder of the progressive group “Indivisible” said a healthy democracy would have resisted Trump the way a healthy body resists a virus. That (& no longer watching cable news) has helped me shift my focus to cause rather than effect.

  106. @Ralph Hirsch I wholeheartedly agree with your Trump is a "symptom" and we need to focus on "causes" analysis, but your "The cause is the underlying demographic trend in the country which has caused a portion of the population to act sick." is vague. I think it is pretty clear that the moral rot and the substitution of propaganda for reasoned argument in the Republican party is the cause. Instead of a two party system, we have one political party opposed by a cult.

  107. I agree with this assessment. What I do find surprising is that with the nonstop, blanketed news coverage of this man there is rarely a mention that he has an intractable personality disorder. Once we realize that fundamental truth, we can stop hoping for some kind of positive change and just acknowledge that he will never ever be any better than he is. So yes, let’s move on to more productive thoughts and actions.

  108. Health care, health care, health care. Then work on addressing climate change, infrastructure reform and investing in education. We have control of one branch of government. We now have a seat at the table. We, as Dems, need to stand for something, not just oppose the person in the White House. He loves to have his name in the news and the constant fighting and insulting only helps him, because it distracts from the real issues.

  109. "Lastly, Robert Mueller is still on the job." Several weeks ago, this paper published extensive evidence that Donald Trump's personal fortune is a myth emanating from dynastic, massive tax fraud. Mr. Trump appears to be in no danger from these revelations due to statutes of limitation, and his hard core base probably consider it to be "fake news". I believe Robert Mueller's findings will be more difficult for Trump and his craven enablers to dismiss. If justice is still a viable concept, Bernie Madoff could be orienting Donald Trump to his new residence fairly soon.

  110. One can also be thoroughly anti-Trump without voting for Democrats. For "old school Republicans," that would be like breaking a leg to ease the pain of a broken arm.

  111. @Southern Man "old school Republicans" ARE todays Democrats. Fiscal responsibility - Democrat; international cooperation - Democrat; moderate to liberal social policies - Democrat. Dud, your a Democrat!

  112. I almost lost hope when my country voted in 2004 to support a man who started a war. It voted to support torture as American policy. I was ashamed to be part of this and felt awkward interacting with others. I knew half of them actively supported promoting horror and the betrayal of America's aspiration to be "Good." I assumed Republicans' actions were "not normal;" a manipulated and mistaken response to 9/11. An anomaly. I was wrong. I now feel completely awkward and fearful when seeing "Red Hats." That anyone could support this obvious hack and villain is stunning. Trump is not well. He was, is, insightful to know he can treat voters with contempt and appeal to the worst instincts to successfully motivate them. I had no idea this would work after 1930's Germany. A minority, but a huge portion of my countrymen now support Republican policies championing an assault on truth, denying the rights of their (mostly brown)neighbors to vote, and an ideology of hate and fear of "Others," even poor women & children fleeing violence and poverty. McConnell is not sick. He uses Trump and has reveled in Republicans' trade of American ideals for tax breaks and judges. He allowed millions to suffer in support of his power rather than working with Obama to fix the economy. It is not Trump. He has shown that the ugliness I thought was a tiny minority of America is promoted & countenanced by Republicans and is now the face of America. I am obseessed with its defeat.

  113. There are a few false premises operating in this piece. 1. Trump as a "problem"/"disease" -- Not once does Mr. Blow even fathom the possibility that Trumpism might - even partially - be a reaction to certain failures of the Liberal consensus. 2. The idea that the media, especially the corporate media, does not have a vested interest in commodifying anti-Trump rage. -- Not once does Blow suggest any connection between the saturation of Trump coverage and the obvious fact that mainstream media companies have done quite well by Trump in terms of viewership and ad revenue. Corporate media outlets have a financial interest in inflaming Trump hysteria, not dousing it. While the second premise verges on a sort of professional dishonesty, the first premise is politically damaging and counterproductive to anyone hoping to move past Trumpism because it both exonerates the failures of the opposition and de-incentivizes the necessity of any sort of political adjustment. If Trump is just a virulent disease entirely extrinsic to the Washington Consensus, why change anything?

  114. I doubt that the news media will ever ignore Donald Trump as evidenced by the fact that they faithfully attend not only his press conferences but the briefings of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In neither do they ever really get honest answers to their questions. So I have another suggestion for the reporters: Every time either Trump or Sanders tells a lie ask them over and over again for evidence of what they said. Be relentless and aggressive in demanding evidence. Too often, reporters simply let a lie slide by without even questioning it. Don't do that. Ask for proof.

  115. Two more years. We should hope that Democrats will effectively play their hand in the House. We really need to hope for that. And we need to help them all that we can. If I had a hammer I'd hammer in the morning I'd hammer in the evening All over this land I'd hammer out danger I'd hammer out a warning I'd hammer out love between My brothers and my sisters All over this land

  116. Do as I say, not as I do? How about appearing on CNN to argue with people whose ideas are pointedly dishonest and perpetually overheated? Is it useful to dignify Katrina Pearson with a retort? Or does appearing on the shows help with name recognition and building celebrity, which of course won't hurt in selling books and negotiating salaries, later on down the line? I appreciate the attempt, but there is more that everyone can do, including you and me. And please, the press does not report on Trump out of a sense of responsibility, they do it because it requires no effort, the way it would to do a lot better job. Its hard to make reports on Yemen or infrastructure sexy enough to gain the audience that draws advertising dollars. Which means of course that people will starve and dams will crumble, while we learn about Melania's helmet, or Javanka gets resurrected for the 80th time in a Sunday spread. Cable CEOs are greedy and lazy, as are newscasters, pundits, and the rest of human beings. It does require some discipline and sacrifice to do a good job. But people grow easily accustomed to their status, and their luxuries. They get used to having their stories write themselves, without lifting up a pen. I'm not sure that those who are perched in the cat bird seat, are well suited to lecture the rest of us commoners.

  117. I realize that a president of the U.S. cannot be ignored by the media but Trump governs by photo ops and he uses cable TV news outlets to promote his image. But I don't understand why cable news is obliged to cover everyone of his red-hat political campaign rallies while ignoring campaign events for Democrats. What ever happened to the doctrine of equal-time?

  118. @Whole Grains Ronald Reagan got rid of it.

  119. I agree we should focus on issues Trump's administration has raised. Mr. Blow says “the left began to do it this month.” I beg to differ. Since 2016, millions of people have opposed Trump’s policies. We contacted our representatives and questioned them at town halls. We registered voters. We met, evaluated and endorsed candidates. We wrote letters to the editor. The 2018 election proved that work worthwhile. However, there is still much to do. Just before the election, eleven people were murdered at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. A Trump supporter mailed bombs to 16 people. Two people, shopping while black, were killed in Kentucky. 5000 troops deployed to the border to ‘protect’ us from desperate people fleeing violence and poverty. Trump proposed to end birthright citizenship and define transgender people out of existence. The problems made manifest since 2016 are structural problems in society: racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, and economic inequality to name just a few. Since 2016, they have dominated our public life. Politicians know they can be used to get and keep power. Progress is always slower than we would like. Martin Luther King said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' But the arc doesn’t bend toward justice unless millions of people push it that way. Jews believe one of their obligations is repairing the world. It is up to all of us to do what we can to begin that work If not now, when?

  120. "Why doesn’t the news media simply ignore Donald Trump? Or, at least, cover him far less?" says Blow. Then continues to give DJT more chatter. The media cannot stay away from the Trump circus because it equates to advertising money for the media outlets. While I agree that as a nation most of us are weary of the negativity, polarization and division caused by our current creepster-in-chief, we cannot stay away from the unbelievable acts of sensationalism that is spewed out every day by this loser, his administration and the congress owned by him. He has succeeded. I would propose that the media start focusing on stories of goodness and citizens working together. Most of us are starved for inspiring news and stories that heal, inspire and educate us as a people. God knows that we will never get this kind of messaging from our leaders. The last time I remember being inspired by anything from Washington, D.C. was during the funeral of John McCain. I see locally in communities, that this is where the real work of citizenship and good governance is taking place. Citizens are generally engaged and care about issues affecting their communities. Americans need to show another view of what success is.

  121. Thanking Doug Mills for an excellent accompanying photo:)

  122. For me and others on the Left, Trump just says out loud what many (most? all?) Republicans have been doing on the QT for decades. Between teaching policy and diversity courses, I've had ample opportunities to lecture on the Southern Strategy; Lee Atwater's 1981 interview; Weyrich's "goo-goo syndrome" and voter suppression; the influence of the Christian Right on policies that negatively affect women, LGBTQI persons, persons of other religions, and the nonreligious; and anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric of the far right. It's never been just about Trump but, rather, about Republicans creeping and now lurching further and further toward a fascist theocracy. So, let's discuss the fact that Alabama just amended their state constitution to allow the display of the Bible's "10 Commandments" on public property. I'm not sure which 10 commandments from the Bible they're planning to display (Maybe the set that includes "do not boil a kid in its mother's milk"?), but this should concern all of us. I wonder how the extremely conservative majority on SCOTUS might rule should any case on this reach its docket?

  123. Criticism of the press, in terms of problems generated with public opinion, go back a long ways and include the writings of Walter Lippmann: "Public Opinion," 1922 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Opinion_(book) ) ). He felt it was almost impossible to organize facts completely and accurately--they are organized with a certain selective bias to portray a selective view of events. That observation still holds. Lippmann also noted that mass media was inevitably subject to manipulation--something we see on a daily basis. These are not reasons not to have news reports, but so much of what we get is punditry. That is not going to stop. The lack of editorial control in most social media amplifies Lippmann's articulated concerns. I am not defending what we see in Trump. He is extraordinary example of just how bad things can get. He is a symptom of longstanding problems that have festered and grown.

  124. I have been Trump obsessed for two years. I think, as a gay man, that was in part a function of feeling unprotected in this political environment. The assaults on minorities of all stripes has been exhausting. But, as Mr. Blow says, the new climate in Washington takes at least some of the stress off. Knowing that the checks and balances upon which our democracy depends are at least in part operational has been a great relief. Perhaps the spotlight can now turn away from the clown in the center ring, and we will no longer need to feed the insatiable narcissist the constant attention his bad behavior demands.

  125. I've found that working on elections and issue advocacy channels my anti-Trump energy. It means I can release it in productive form rather than ruminating. Not everyone likes political action, but another option is working to help the people Trump is hurting most. Immigrants and refugees, racial and religious minorities, LGBT individuals, poor people... all are taking a much worse hit than middle class white people. Even supporting the arts counts as resistance, in my book. Resistance to a sterile anti-culture that seems to be animating the hard right.

  126. The media need not ignore Trump. However they must stop providing him with a megaphone to amplify his falsehoods. This means not playing his sound clips repeatedly, and not sharing his tweets verbatim, because in so doing, the media becomes complicit in spreading his lies as propaganda. Earlier this week, I heard an NPR reporter say (approximately), "I'm not going to read this tweet because it's so full of things that are just plain counterfactual." That was the wisest and most responsible thing that I've heard from a journalist all year. That reporter recognized that it's not responsible to repeat Trump's lies, and then explain why they're blatantly untrue. With that approach, his falsehoods still spread and get drummed into the ears of listeners, and the media becomes a tool for his propaganda. Journalists -- and all of us -- need to exercise responsibility. Don't repeat Trump's lies even if your goal is to critique them. Go straight to the critique. If you need a quote or a sound clip to add punch to your reporting, look for other voices who are speaking the truth.

  127. @Joel Geier Amen! Tweete, insults, and daily bleats are not news. I no longer read columns about dt with his picture above it. I could read this one because his face was covered.

  128. As Mr. Blow avers, "... we must also focus on the future." Fair enough, but the Democratic Party will find it very difficult to focus on the future with a top leadership mired in the past. There is much chatter these days about the leadership future of Nancy Pelosi. I take all the arguments about her past performance and, like her supporters, instinctively recoil at the prospect of denying her the House speakership simply because the GOP has so relentlessly demonized her. That said, the Democratic Party will fail to capture the imagination of an energing generation of voters if its top leadership is comprised of septuagenarians. It is time for the old guard to hand over the reins to a new generation of bright, energetic political leaders. I do not think Nancy Pelosi should be removed now, but I believe she should voluntarily step aside before the coming presidential election and assume a new role as esteemed mentor to those who follow in her path. If she does this, other old-guard Party leaders should follow her example.

  129. @John lebaron Great Idea!

  130. Let me be succinct! Best, most informative reporting at Times newspaper comes from those willing to go where many others would fear to tread, like Kristof, Nossiter,those who collaborated on "24 Hours in Puerto Rico,"as well as those who returned to Mosul after the eviction of the ISIS zealots to tell us how gruesome and seemingly hopeless daily life had become for returning families, but who ,through endurance, were determined to restore the battered city. Great reporting all around. "D'autre part,"there are the "stay-at-homes,"columnists who make a nice living contributing from time to time, and who profit big time from second jobs as guests on cable t.v. channels with a left wing slant and frequent gigs as lecturers at universities via the Speakers Bureau. One should never become complacent in the news business!

  131. The single achievement of the Trump presidency is his destruction of the Republican Party. He is doing a great job on his own but he needs our help.

  132. Excellent column. You are right that Trumpism is a disease, a cancer that may be able to be identified with a specific tumor, but that has spread through our country’s body. You write of “overwhelming” it. The steps you shared are more like medicine: every day, good medicine of decency and focus and effort, taken patiently, sometimes with pinpoint radiation, all dedicated to weakening and finally eliminating for the long term that which would kill us as a free, brave, and compassionate country.

  133. Distraction is a danger, but Trump is a motivator in both directions. Those whose passions are engaged and enraged by what's happening to us should use that passion as fuel. Voting booths, campaigns, demonstrations, protests, economic boycotts, writings, social media posts, mailings, non-violent movements in general are all a part of one process of both resistance and achieving change. The sit-ins, marches, and bus boycotts of the 60's achieved lasting social change. Today nobody would even think that they could tell a passenger that they must give up their seat (which the law then required) or that a person couldn't sit a lunch counter because of his race. We got the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Non-violent resistance can work. The problems are many, but most seem traceable to money - big money, 0.1% ers, big business - and its dominant influence on our government. Frederick Douglass famously said, "Power never yields anything but on a demand." It's time for some demanding.

  134. Today, it is embarrassing to be an American. My husband and I were traveling internationally for over a month in Eastern Europe and Africa. The question always was “What in God’s name has happened to your country?” Our only response could be that the president is an ignorant,childish megalomaniac who only cares about enriching his family and supporters. To hell with the environment, to hell with people in need, to hell with with democracy. He is a scourge on this country. And the sad thing is that people around the world see this, but his supporters still blindingly rally around his racist, misogynist, sexiest agenda.

  135. Trump masterfully and successfully sucks the air out of every room every day, fills Cable News and talk shows with Trump 24 hours a day (unless there is a real disaster), fills talk radio with Trump all day and garners the headlines of newspapers each day. And, the media has been and is complicit in Trump’s brainwashing of America. Each and every day Trump throws raw meat to the frenzied media with outrageous Tweets, crazy misleading comments, outright lies and unpresidential behavior all to the delight of the media who suck up his crap and rush to get it onto the news, radio or in the newspaper. And, while Trump plays the media like a symphony there is no leading voice from the Democrats to counter and balance his nonsense. While Trump may not know or appreciate history he does know and follow the rise to power play books of despots like fascist Mussolini, Nazi Hitler and Communist Stalin as he is succeeding in destroying the Republican Party and Rep,acing it with the Party of Trump.

  136. Thank you Charles for giving we liberals a little redirection. We should also thank Trump for showing us what hell is really like. That's what it took to also redirect the country. It has been so exciting to see new, energy emerging for the Democrats and for the country. The efforts of young women in politics raise my hope that the future may be in good hands after all. We cannot become numb to Trump's antics but we don't have to focus on them. Times could become exciting.

  137. Another good one from Blow.

  138. A wise man once told me that the only way out is through. In my view, that wisdom applies here. The recent mid term elections were a good beginning, evidence of a great awakening. I don't believe impeachment is the way to go, too bitter, too divisive. I do think reasoned opposition and progressive legislation will demonstrate to the public at large who has the better way forward. As the civil rights movement had it, keep your eyes on the prize. In this way, we can finally solve this in 2020. And who knows, the way he's going he may implode before then.

  139. While reading this article and the comments following, I thought of people like the late Dick Tuck. It occurred t me that the most effective way to deal with Mr. Trump is to use ridicule against him and his minions. Tuck was well known for his bedeviling of Richard Nixon, among others. Perhaps some deep pocketed Democrat could fund a series of prizes for effective skewering of Mr. Trump. There is ample fuel available to stoke this particular fire. His no-account sons, his wife and his various hangers on all provide materiel that lends itself to ridicule. And that's not even taking into account certain revelations made by some of his love interests, (Hey! This is a family newspaper.), that recounted tales of his oddly shaped anatomy, and his mediocre performance. Make Mr. Trump a universe subject of ridicule. That's how you deal with him. Make him a laughing stock. Nothing would make him angrier...

  140. Not being Trump-obsessed during the Age of Trump? It's like not being "obsessed" with Hitler during the Third Reich. Trump is the problem. The fact that there are so many ignorant people who will support Trump shows an existential defect in our democracy. Until that's addressed, we don't even know if democracy has a future here.

  141. Does being anti-Trump without being Trump-obsessed mean that people fortunate enough to be columnists at the New York Times might be able to consider writing about something... ANYTHING... else?

  142. “These people, like the Antifa—they better hope that the opposition to Antifa decides not to mobilize. Because if they do, they’re much tougher. Much stronger. Potentially much more violent,” Trump told conservative news site The Daily Caller in an interview in the Oval Office on Wednesday. “And Antifa’s going to be in big trouble.” That's a lot more than "winking" at racists. That's breaking out a wad of cash and asking, "How much?"

  143. Trumpism is vandalism, which is more fun for the vandal than for the person being trashed with infantile nonsense.

  144. spot on!

  145. Trumpism IS a disease, an STD. A Socially Transmitted Disease. The victims are infected thru their Ears, and pass it on via their mouths. And fingers, thru UNsocial media. Put down the Facebook, get a real education, and a clue. And, the absolute worst insult to Trump is Laughing, AT Him. It works very well with his Fans, also. They become enraged, then avoid you in the future. Winning !!!

  146. @Phyliss Dalmatian Count me as a “Phyliss Fan”.

  147. Fine suggestion, but let us readers check up on your future columns and see if you take your own good aldvice.

  148. I'm just a little confused, Mr. Blow. For two years now, you have steadfastly and stoically devoted your column to an expression of your own outrage, while channeling ours, regarding the Charade of Trump. Yet, suddenly, you are admonishing us not to obsess. Huh? What gives?

  149. yes, not covering larger damages done by the mistake would be dereliction of duty, the media could absolutely never again mention his tweeting at least for a couple of days until it has been clarified, walked back, reinterpreted into something not retarded or denied that it was ever said despite evidence to the contrary. this is where his id and 8 year old spoiled brat tend to throw red meat to the feeble of mind and if you let fox have it lock stock and barrel, the rest of the country and world, would profusely thank you.

  150. I have to say this. Today is an exceptional day for New York Times! Not a single headline with the name I shall not say. Only three with it in the summary and buried. Only your piece has his picture that for a change I liked! Yes, covering the potus is must, but lies are not news anymore. Divisive, racist, unsubstantiated claims have no place in the headlines in NYT. This is not the Enquirer! Suggest covering such things by stating and giving more real estate to the truth first and the buried in the middle say what the potus tweeted without using the name. No free publicity to anyone who is disingenuous, spewing hatred or lying. By the same token promote truth and genuinely compassionate words. Yes we can get into a debate about what is truth but if a claim is unsubstantiated or if a statement is questionable, it should not be headlined. You do a disservice to those who skim your paper. Splashing and focusing on the truth, not only fits what you do, it also removes the dereliction you mentioned. You can cover without glorifying. I think that is the point everybody is trying to make. Thank you.

  151. Charles, I think you are correct. And I also appreciate that the photos accompanying your articles have not been showing djt's face... I am tired of looking at it!

  152. Misery loves company.

  153. Would that every photo published looked just like this one! I do agree that the headline is almost as tasteless as trump is, though. Please send it for rewrite!

  154. 'Remember that you can be thoroughly anti-Trump without being completely Trump-obsessed.' Charles - I don't think you practice what you preach. I doubt you can go 5 minutes without saying (or writing) something anti-Trump.

  155. Of course he can't be "ignored", but maybe that opaque square that you used to cover his head in this column could become a requirement every time you publish a photo? You would be doing everybody a tremendous favor by not forcing us to look at his frightening visage and his clown hair.

  156. Thank you.

  157. "Trump is dominating liberal discussion in a way that I think could be damaging to us in the long term." And Blow has no part in that discussion? Maybe he can find another topic one week with no mention of the T-word.

  158. but Charles, you have been the most relentlessly Trump obsessed columnist in the country. And we love you for it. The fierceness of your anger, and your unwillingness to compromise your principles is an inspiration.

  159. Maybe we need a 12 step group...AA for DonJ

  160. At least Trump doesn't even try to act like he's a decent person. He would be even more dangerous if he was more deceptive. He makes it perfectly clear that he is an abomination. I think even he is shocked how despicable he's allowed to behave without any of his followers caring. Of course there is a much smaller percentage of Republicans that want to talk about him. Surely many of these people are humiliated by their own lack of integrity and don't want to expose their support of this horrible man.

  161. Okay I can do this. I have to say the results of the midterms have helped to alleviate my obsession. There are actually people in Congress now who have the power to check and balance. A wonderful, diverse and compelling group of new House members who can DO lots of different things to protect our democracy. Up until the election, the Trump train was full steam and now it's idling at the station. So a big thank you to all the people who worked on every campaign across our country to achieve election victories at every level of government! The citizens have responded to the Trump grab with one of our own. Keep up the hard work, we have two more years of Mango Madness. And we are not even half way up the hill. But it's a good start!

  162. @Elizabeth “Mango Madness”, I had not heard that one before. Thanks for putting a smile on my face!

  163. I suggest reading "The Guns of August" and "The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich". As Trump and his tag-team partner Putin put the choke hold on Western civilization, the parallels with last century's buildups to slaughter cannot be missed. Fueling all of this is a trust and reliance on fantasy and delusion for the prey, and the almost gleeful purveyance of propaganda by the predators. Institutions can only be eroded to a point, and then they topple in the blink of an eye. American society is bubbling up explosive fumes. Trump is the catalyst. Europe is on the verge of breaking up under the strain of hard right nationalism. Putin AND Trump are the catalysts for that. We have a President who rivals Putin in his ability to lie, cheat, steal, threaten, and extort. The only Putin vice that Trump seems to be missing is the habit of murder. Judging from Trump's own words, he has that last step on his Christmas wish list. If he gets his wish, what then? Trump shrugged his shoulders at Putin's murders. Trump tried to cover up the Saudi Prince's butchering of the reporter. Trump sat back and permitted Turkish government thugs to beat up protesters within sight of the White House. Trump bragged about shooting someone down on 5th Avenue. He suggested violence against protesters and reporters. He applauded violence at his rallies. Trump praised Nazis. I think that it's better to be passionate about words now, rather than to be forced to be passionate about guns later.

  164. @Wiley Cousins Thank you for the recommendations, I'll grab those books. Was never interested in history before, but the scales have fallen from my eyes.

  165. Just out of curiosity, what did President Obama’s do when Putin had journalists murdered, rivals served plutonium tea, and airliners blown out of the sky?

  166. Unfortunately, trump is not someone I can read about, look at his disgusting fake hair, or listen to his phony, lying voice without becoming enraged and thoroughly disgusted with this entire country. I will never believe we as a nation elected this fool. Instead, I read less and less each day of this paper because I need to concentrate on my own miserable existence in this world, not his. I used to subscribe to a paper in San Francisco and one in Houston just to read something form somewhere else besides the Dallas Morning News. Yuck. Try living in Texas for a year if you hate trump and what he represents. It's horrible. Now I work the mini puzzle, scan the headlines and close my iPad. Yep. No reading so the plus side is no stupid advertisements to read for things I'll never be able to afford in this 'booming economy' that the apprentice loves to take credit for. Enough to make me throw up; however I won't let trump be the reason I experience the pain and disgust of vomiting; I just quit reading about him or turn off the tv every time he appears. It works well. Let the politicians we elected take care of trump. Yeah right.

  167. It's time to focus on progressive ideas that the new Dems ran on. It's time to cover their work in the house and what they want to accomplish. If Trump does something illegal or so horrific lets nail him every time but otherwise let's put him on the back burner. Every time the left accomplishes something good for the country we need to shout it from the highest hill and let America see that we are fighting for ALL Americans and their best interests even if they hate to admit it.

  168. "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. ... Well, I believe in God...and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Söze." Make that Trump!

  169. Trump and his followers are diseased. The “patients” have presented with cognitive deficiencies accompanied by a lack of effect (human emotions) and myopia.

  170. Trump is the human incarnation of internet trolling. We figured this whole thing out circa 1992: Don't feed the trolls.

  171. In 1991, after the Saddam’s Republican Guards surrendered to the Americans during Desert Storm, back in Washington, nearly retired old General Kelly was giving his daily press briefing and was asked a question by a journalist, “now that the Iraqis have surrendered, are you still keeping a close eye on them?” General Kelly quickly replied, “have you ever seen a cat outside a mouse hole?”

  172. Your argument doesn't hold water. Journalists are indeed responsible to research and report but it doesn't have to be on the front page or a top story. Put your commentaries on the Trump Administration on the back pages of the NY Times and use the front pages to discuss issues every day Americans face like lack of health care, student debt, low-wage jobs, unaffordable housing, homelessness, etc.

  173. Not being outraged at Trump is like ignoring foul smelling puss oozing from a boil the size of a watermelon on your nose. You can't do it. No. We can't ignore Trump. Or his enablers in Congress. Or his supporters who have emerged from America's bogs and cesspools. "We ought to resist, resist, resist until we hurl the demagogues and tyrants from their imagined thrones." Alexander Hamilton Let us be passionate. Let us rage. Let us resist! Let us cut off the boil. Let us hurl Trump, Republicans and their supporters back into their cesspools and bogs.

  174. Amen, amen, amen to Mr. Blow's theme here. I can be broadly informed on the very serious threats and challenges of Trumpism without giving over my life to them. Maybe we need a dose of " Accept the things you cannot change and find courage to change the things you can." I cannot change who he is or how he behaves. I can focus my energy on the actions that I can take to assure that this assault on our sensibilities...and our freedoms....does not continue. We saw a beginning in the mid-term election outcomes. We need to elevate ourselves and push on.

  175. Mr. Blow, as one of those liberals you are talking about, I am moved pass Trump---his is what he is--a racists, a sexists, a liar...No, what troubles me are the daily contacts I have with neighbors and strangers who appear to accept Trump's behavior as normal---Sometimes, in certain settings, I feel like Randle Patrick McMurphy in one flew over the cuckoo's nest.

  176. I just want him out of office. And I want America to look at how this malevolent malcontent became President.

  177. It is not Trump that is my major cause of irritation and distress. It is the hypocrisy and complicity of the GOP leadership, and the apparent ignorant glee his misbehavior elicits from his base that u find incomprehensible and infuriating.

  178. I've always called it the "Jerry Springer Effect." Why would someone watch a show that features the most depraved, disgusting and outrageous behaviors? Obvious answer: it makes us feel better about ourselves. Whatever is going wrong in our lives, whatever foolish or outrageous behaviors we've engaged in, we can always tune in to "that" show, watch "those" people, shake our heads in disgust, and be reassured that no matter how bad we are, someone out there is worse. Trump is like the bearded lady show at the carnival: we just can't resist looking. And when he gobbles up all the oxygen, we simply blame the news media for featuring all those stories that folks just can't get enough of.

  179. “Please don’t squeeze the Charman (toilet tissue)! The most obnoxious tv commercial stayed with the viewer into the store, past the cashier, and as they brought the product home. The unbridled obnoxious Trump reminds all of us of the worst aspects of humanity and motivates his supporters to act out their unmitigated anger and unchecked impulses to dominate others.