Not insane, nor ignorant

So, we’re almost at the year and a half mark. There have been times when I’m really really mad about what is happening. And there have been times, maybe even an entire week here or there, when I forgot that Trump was president. There were weeks when I emailed senators every day and then months when I never called at all. But what I’m looking for a place somewhere in the middle where I’m engaged but I don’t feel insane with anger.

I’m getting better at this I think. One thing is I read less news. The news is bad. It’s really really bad pretty much all of the time. And there are times when I’ve binged on news. But I’m getting better at turning it off when I’ve had enough.

And then, right when I get to that point where I’m starting to boil–like when I’m reading about how Trump is separating kids from their parents at the border–I stop reading and I call my Senators whose numbers are all saved in my phone. I used to send faxes, but a good source told me that faxes probably just end up in an email inbox. I call my New York Senators. And I call my Kansas Senators too. Sometimes the Kansas office admins ask me where I live and I say Leawood and I feel kind of bad about lying, but then I think about all the times our president has lied and I feel okay.

Per a friend’s recommendation I’ve been listening to Pod Save America, a podcast by some former Obama staffers, and I get so mad I usually call my senators before the podcast is even over. And then I don’t finish the podcast. And I think that’s okay.

And I’m trying to be nice. It sounds dumb. But yeah, be nice. Even to people you don’t like. I’m not good at these things. Like, I am not so nice sometimes. But, you know, I’m trying.


  1. You know that children being separated from their parents is a direct result of their parents being undocumented, illegal migrants, right ? As in, NONE of them should be here to begin with.

    If you are stupid and negligent enough to drag your children illegally into another country, YOU are the bad guy when you get jailed and temporarily separated from them.

    And just to save you from your rehearsed response, let me guess – I’m a racist, bigoted, supremacist.. Did I forget anything?

    1. Amanda I’d just say you have a serious lack of discernment, which doesn’t make you a bad person, just a thoughtless and unreflective one prone to falling into moral error. If you take the risk these people take you aren’t stupid or negligent. You are running away from something far worse. So, think about it. Carefully. Why would you be willing to trust your chances on crossing two borders to enter a country where you know there will be a chance you will lose your children? If you don’t reflect on this question carefully, well, then you are perhaps a racist and a bigot. If you do perhaps there’s some hope for you.

      1. My discernment is for the citizens of the United States ; NOT for the illegal, undocumented migrants of the United States or their children.

        I don’t care WHAT they’re running from, run in the other direction or wait in line like everyone else.

        Racist bigot ? Hahaha shocking, a liberal who name calls people who disagree with their position..

        Can you please explain thoroughly how one could in any way be considered racist or a bigot for having the opinion that people should become documented citizens before entering a new country with or without children ?

  2. Love this!
    Great piece, Anne. I think a majority of the nation shares your feelings and process – although, more should listen to Pod Save America, no doubt.

  3. Well, if it makes you feel any better they do pay attention to the faxes and while one isn’t really all that important on its own it’s part of a small drip that eventually fills a bucket. They do pay attention to the buckets and that’s important, so drip, drip, drip away. It’s important and incredibly useful. But being nice, hey, I am trying to do the same thing. It isn’t always working for me either, but if there’s something to be said about what’s not working it definitely comes back to large groups of people not being nice. We need large groups of people to be nice, so I’m with you on this one.

  4. Amanda I guess you just aren’t very aware about history, your, ours or anyone else’s for that matter. And you are, on top of that, very angry about something that makes absolutely no sense. You live in the world’s wealthiest country. You have a standard of living that you take for granted that’s historically exceptional. What gives? Why are you so upset? Where did your ancestors come from? If they came early enough in our history they just had to show up at the dock. If they came a bit later and were Asian, Italian, Jewish or Slavic they probably were what we would call “illegals.” Yep. We all have an illegal alien somewhere in our family history. All of us.

    Oh, but let’s just cut to the problem of discernment, which you don’t get. You are a human being first. Before anything else. You are an American second. As an American you probably have ready the Declaration of Independence. Read it again. All of us are created equal. Not as Americans. As equal. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are everybody’s, not yours or mine or something unique to Americans. So cut it out. A human being in trouble who rode a thousand miles on top of a railroad car to escape something awful is perhaps someone you make jump through a clerical shitshow but that doesn’t make them any less desperate. Or human. Your kind of thinking killed millions of people in the past. Still kills people. So, cut it out. Show some moral thinking and quit this nonsense about “Americans” because it’s really nonsense when people are so scared they are willing to lose their kids to some Border Patrol officer. Put yourself in their place and act at least a little decently.

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