Columns, Opinion

Burke’s Bully Pulpit: Sometimes I forget Trump is president

Sometimes I forget that Donald Trump is the president. I don’t have any quarrels with him anymore. This isn’t to say that I approve of all of the dumb stuff that comes out of his mouth — it’s to say that I don’t have the capacity to care about him like I used to. I have stopped paying as much attention to what he says and what people say about him. I know it’s probably irresponsible — being a journalism major and all — but it’s been nice.

Trump comes up in arguments and I can now, actually, zone out of the conversation. Before, I would be giving stats on top of stats to disprove counterpoints to my own arguments. Now, I just let people believe what they want to believe. It hit me that I don’t need to prove why I like things one way or the other to anybody. If all that goes through your mind when having a political discussion is defending the president at all costs, that’s fine. I don’t think you’re ever going to change your mind, so I’m done wasting my breath trying to convince you to read real news.

In the same breath, I’m off all social media outlets. I have retired from the days where I would look at my phone for five hours. I’m starting to enjoy reading books again. I know this might seem like I just took a left turn from my discussion on Trump, but I didn’t. The overarching point is this: you can’t live your life defending yourself, or someone that you admire, to strangers on the internet. You can’t live a happy life when all you care about is making sure the people around you think you’re cool and smart. I see adults on Facebook sharing every single thought that comes to their mind, in what seems to be a sad attempt at proving their worth. I know I used to do this, but I was a teenager. It’s baffling to me now.

Unlike social media, I haven’t abandoned politics completely — I still read all the stories from credentialed news sites and stay informed so I can make a good decision when I vote — I just don’t think anyone cares how I think. Maybe that’s because I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. A huge part of making a decision is coming to a conclusion by yourself. Being a spigot of mainstream media buzzwords in an attempt to change someone’s mind on an important issue is ridiculous.

The days of learning from an open dialogue are apparently lost. I’ll never know what it’s like because, by the time I had formed political opinions, InfoWars was getting press credentials at the White House.

If you’re yelling “WITCH HUNT!” or “TRUMP IS THE DEVIL!” stop for a second. Where is this anger getting you? Both sides are equally frustrated that the other operates the way they do. At this point, I honestly might want to have a discussion with a Trump supporter more than I’d want to have one with a super left-wing college student. I don’t want to make some broad statement about how this polarization in our country has become so widespread that we can never have a relationship with the other side. I won’t say that because it’s ridiculous. Maybe if people could chill out when talking about politics, we could start to get somewhere.

I really don’t know where I’m going with this whole thing. I think this is my long-winded reflection on why I don’t talk politics anymore. In short, it has become a TV game show of “Who Can Lie the Best?” and I don’t want to watch it anymore.

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