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Trump presidency leads to lasting set of emotions

My friends and I are senior citizens whose lives were changed when Donald J. Trump surprised everyone (including himself) and became our 45th president. We, like many of our friends, have voted for both Democratic and Republican candidates. Sometimes our candidates won, sometimes they lost. Our lives went on. But not this time! Why?

This president is different. He has ignored the norms associated with the presidency. He has also ignored the separation of powers and shows no respect for the rule of law that undergirds our democracy. We worry about the short- and long-term effects of his presidency on us, our grandchildren and our country.

A few examples:

• Relationships with friends, church members, colleagues and family — The most troubling effect is our relationships with friends and family. Everyone is either for or against Trump. No one is undecided. People have made up their minds and are unwilling to even talk about their views, much less listen to anyone who disagrees. In the past, we could share our thoughts then listen patiently to the other side and either agree to disagree or say “that’s a good point—let me think about it.” Not now!

• Sleep — For the first time in our lives, some of us have trouble sleeping. We are so “wired” by each day’s news or so worried about what the next day’s news may bring that we can’t sleep.

• Keeping up with the news —We spend hours watching cable and network TV. Some even spend time on social media. We never did this before.

• Sadness — We are sad that the United States has lost its place as leader of the free world and we are sad about what this may mean to countries who need a role model or a helping hand.

• Lack of confidence in the White House — We lack confidence in a president who lies constantly and who relies on his ego rather than facts. We also lack confidence in the competence and integrity of several members of his constantly changing White House executive group including some cabinet heads. Many of these people, although unqualified, were selected because they would do whatever he wanted.

• Disappointment in the Republican Party — Some of us were loyal Republicans but now see a party whose current leaders and congressional members seem unwilling to confront Trump for fear he will “primary” them if they run for re-election or campaign against them. Most believe that, if they lose his core supporters, they cannot be re-elected.

• Anger — Most of us have grandchildren and we are angry because issues that will have major consequences for them such as global warming, income inequality, job preparation and health care are not being addressed. His personal behaviors and his policies had already convinced us that we could not vote for him this time — and then he showed a total lack of both management and leadership ability to handle his first national emergency.

We have had enough.



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