Dan Rather: ‘Beware the Trump Fatigue’

by on September 4, 2019 · 3 comments

in Politics

Dan Rather at the beach, 2017. From his facebook.

By Dan Rather /Dan Rather facebook / Aug. 28, 2019

Beware fatigue. It is easy to say, of course, much harder to achieve.

Memories jump to mind of fourth quarter huddles with my high school football team and a coach exhorting us to dig deeper. The thought enters the mind, “Sure coach, but you don’t know how licked we are.” Of course you would never utter the words, and deep down you knew he was right. I have seen so many times where those with the advantage falter from exhaustion.

We are at a moment when the sheer cumulative toll of the Trump presidency strikes with the relentlessness of a summer heat waves (which many of us have also been contending with this year, thanks likely to the climate crisis the President dismisses).

In one sense, as the president’s poll numbers falter and the lists of the aggrieved and outraged swell, we can see that what’s exhausting so many is also hampering his path to reelection.

There is a lot of truth in that.

But I would suggest that as the president becomes more desperate in finding a path to reelection, wielding exhaustion may be his biggest weapon. And to this end he will likely have allies from Republicans running for Senate, the House, and state races.

There is every expectation that 2020 will see record voter turnout, and even a few percentage points of burnout may be the difference in close races. Whether the presidential race ends up being close or not remains to be seen. But the bigger the wave, if there is a wave, the more the direction of this country will change.

For those who look at the calendar, or their Twitter feed, and wonder how they can hold on to months of uncertainty when days can feel like months in and of themselves, I offer this advice. Pace yourself.

Understand that the struggle for justice and American democracy will take many forms and require energy and engagement from many types of people. Find ways to lean on others, to take turns on the watch. It’s okay to be tired, but find a way to refresh in time for next November.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Frances O'Neill Zimmerman September 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Actually, the General Election is the November after next November.
It is a long slog and it feels as if we are skirting disasters miraculously at every turn. How long will we stay lucky? Domestic and international peace is tested, environmental progress is being thwarted, economic instability threatens. Meanwhile, Starbucks across this country has quit selling newspapers since yesterday. I’m glad we have the OB Rag
and the Resister Sisters. And from now on I’m going to Peets or the Pannikin.


Frank Gormlie September 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Trump fatigue is a real thing – I’ve seen it with mine own eyes, I have. I’ve seen it in myself – a news hound since before college – and in my loved ones. It’s very difficult to watch the news. Trump is probably counting on this – as Rather says – but we can’t let it swallow us up whole. Take a breather – and come out fighting when it’s time.


retired botanist September 5, 2019 at 4:03 pm

It IS a real thing! And sometimes coffee helps with the fatigue so, as Frances says, just make sure its not a coffee company with a bad business model or, worse, some company like Keurig with their evil, PLASTIC coffee pods!

Like Warren said last night in the town hall, its easy to get distracted by light bulbs, straws, etc- which are all worthy issues to address, and I commend all who make the effort to get society to quit these practices- but this is the “whack-a-mole” landscape that the current administration promotes: fling a bomb in the opposite corner and the rabble will get caught up with the newest, possibly comparatively petty, outrage.

To wit: Sharpiegate. Honestly, if I didn’t understand our climate chaos emergency as well as I do, I’d almost think Trump was somehow in cahoots with Dorian! This latest climate tragedy has us all in its heart-breaking grip, and appropriately so, but we shouldn’t forget that the reason so many are now suffering from this latest climate event is because the fossil fuel industry, the climate deniers, the plastics manufacturers, and all the other lobbyists lined up at the Congressional doors, are quietly, quickly, and relentlessly pushing their own agendas.
Its exhausting trying to prioritize in this day and age…where’s the coffee?!! :-)


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