During last Saturday’s “Greg Gutfeld Show” (named after me, oddly), I went over the accomplishments made during Donald Trump’s first year — and there were prominent ones — from the defeat of ISIS, to the explosive economy.
I’ve done this summarizing before, and every time I do it, I notice that it doesn’t feel as great as it should. It’s as if these achievements count less because it’s coming at some emotional cost that I’ve felt over these last 13 months.
You have to be honest with me: You too feel anxiety under the current Trump era. Part of it is due to Trump himself: Every day he appears to be walking the ledge, with the country in his hands. Will he offend half of America? Will he taunt a hermit kingdom to wage war? Will he upset an entire gender, industry or ally? Add to that an especially loud opposition that proclaims every Trump action or tweet to be the harbinger of the apocalypse. It’s a fight every day, and it’s never been louder, or more hysterical. Every day is the first day of the end of the world.
Yet every day, things seem to turn out fine. Sure, we live the Trump presidency in a day by day fashion, but each day seems to be working out for the American people. Hell, even his adversaries are having to admit the guy’s tax plan has kicked the economy into a higher gear. I’m watching bonuses getting doled out by the millions, and thousands of new jobs created, thanks to his policies.
Never mind the sound and fury, Trump gets through it all, taking the heat, and we reap the benefits.
He’s like a drunk walking home during an earthquake. Both effects (booze and seismic shakes) cancel each other out, and he makes it home in a straight line, without a scratch.
But this emotional fallout still exists.
It’s due to what Trump plays with (big dangerous issues, not marginal stuff like nutrition and wetlands) and how he plays them (with little regard to the politically correct vernacular) and that brings us alarm. Because of this, people like me living in the media/political/entertainment bubble, it’s as if we’re in one of those scary looking taverns in old westerns — where the sense of calm feels only temporary, before the next murderous brawl breaks out. I hope it’s not that way with you.
But this is how it feels with Trump, for me — until I slow down and see what’s really going on.
And when you slow down and analyze the nature and consequence of his tweets — as one example — you realize that the sense of chaos is a sign not of trouble, but of good times.
And good news.
Do you think that in a terrible time — of deadly wars and economic ills — we would tolerate a leader who trolls his adversaries daily on social networks?
No. But in good times, we’ll put up with almost anything.
This past Saturday he tweeted this, about the Women’s March:
“Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”
Whether you like him or not, you have to credit him for targeting so much good-natured tomfoolery at a group of people who might tear him to shreds if given the chance.
It was a perfect troll, a perfect tweet. And it served a key purpose: putting himself on the side of fun.
And by responding to that tweet with anything but a smile, you’re on the other side of fun. You’re part of the non-fun.
Now tweets like this contribute to the overarching sense of chaos. It’s just another thing piled onto a whole bunch of things (he’s tweeting this, mind you, during a government shutdown, during a brouhaha over immigration and on the heels of his use of a certain caustic term referring to poorly run third world countries).
But if you slow down and take a step back you realize that the tweet isn’t reflecting unease at all — but reveals a country operating at full steam — so productive and peaceful that its boss can tweet out his cheerful thoughts just for kicks and giggles.
This is why, at least for now, he shouldn’t stop tweeting.
For the overwhelming message his tweets convey is that, “hey pal, things are great, lighten up, we can have fun here.”
The only worry, in my mind, is when he stops tweeting. Because that means things are bad.
Fact is, you can learn to embrace the appearance of chaos, and the churning emotional unease it causes, by taking these steps:
1. Acknowledge good things are happening in our country, mainly because our country is strong, industrious and can withstand any man or movement
2. Admit that there is a cost to Trump — that such a personality/force like him will create disruption, and highly vocal animosity that can be jarring
3. Trace that cost back to our country’s ability to soldier it. The only reason why so many small disturbing and surprising things are happening at once is because of the enabling of big, efficient things make it possible. Policies unleash those big efficient things (deregulation, tax reform) and that allows us to cater to the other sillier conflicts (Twitter wars, bad words, marginal scandals).
4. Stay calm, laugh at the little things, and be hopeful the big things keep happening. Because, so far, that seems to be the trend.