Two hypotheses regarding Donald Trump’s surge in the polls.
The first: Trump’s plain-speaking approach serves as a political corrective, a rallying cry against tired postmodern identity politics. His campaign is a referendum against evil Progressives and their audacious demands that all persons deserve dignity and a chance to succeed.
The second: Trump’s rise signals the next stage in the natural progression of a morally bankrupt political system that bears no relation to the people it claims to represent.
Ann Coulter but with less testosterone, Trump “gets” nothing and he’ll get nothing done. He’s the political voice of disaffected Americans who sacrifice their economic interests for the promise of making America great again—code for kicking out Mexicans and drug-testing welfare recipients.
Obama became a celebrity president. Trump wants to be celebrity-in-chief—executive producer of a new brand of must-see TV.
In my encounters with other depressed and anxious people I have found behind their struggles a deep sense of compassion. Are they compassionate as a result of living with mental illness or is their “sickness” a natural response to being highly sensitive to their own bodies and the needs of others?
Like Forrest Gump says about whether we are free or determined by outside forces, maybe it’s both. Maybe both are happening at the same time. Sensitive folks take things harder than most people, and in coping with their pain want to ease the suffering of others.
I’m a sensitive guy, no doubt. While we’ve made some progress, it’s still unmanly to be sensitive. Dare I say many alpha males find sensitive guys “womanly,” or another hot-button name for lady parts? Don’t forget what term middle school boys (and grown men who act like boys) hurl at anyone deemed “gay.”
That’s the thing. Sometimes I feel the need to come out as straight. Just because I write poetry or don’t wave my dick around and drool like a frat boy, doesn’t mean I’m not attracted to Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Schumer or almost any woman who is both: (1) conscious; and (2) in my line of sight.
Maybe it’s my below-normal testosterone levels or how high my voice sounds over the phone. Thank God I’m not into musical theater and don’t have any fashion sense.
Okay, now I’m being a dick. But if you’re reading, J-Law, I hope you get my point.
The Three Major Musts (irrational beliefs that make us miserable) from author Will Ross:
- I must do well and win the approval of others or else I am no good.
- Other people must do “the right thing” or else they are no good and deserve to be punished.
- Life must be easy, without discomfort or inconvenience.
Nothing and nobody’s perfect. Therapists and direct experience keep telling me this.
It hasn’t stopped me this week from going all the way back—197 posts ago—to my first Sharp Left Turns entry in 2008. Going back, that is, to check for errors. Broken links. Questionable word choice. An errant comma or block quote improperly marked.
It’s kinda nuts.
I want to present my best work, my best self. High standards matter, but having everything turn out just right is the dream of robots or super-smart little green men from Mars.
Overthinking past performances drains pleasure of its fantasy, and fantasy of its pleasure. A blog’s charm is its immediacy, its quick reaction time. Events happen and words spontaneously flow. Obsessing over minor flaws tends to kill the mood, like tracing a lover’s mole during foreplay.
For me perfectionism is about control. If things aren’t in order I freak out. Somehow a single mistake detracts from the overall message. What’s behind this? Essentially I want you to think I’m clever, that my thoughts matter, that my words speak magic. I’m looking for acceptance that’s impossible to attain—impossible because not everyone will (or should) like me all the time.
If the world were perfect, there’d be no need for perfectionists. No need for humans, really—by the grace of God made wholly imperfect.