On Not Watching The Debates.

My daughter asked me last night if I was going to watch the debates and I said, “Hell no.” First of all? I already voted so it’s seriously a moo point for me. (What’s up, Joey Tribbiani?) Second of all? There’s no way it would play out to ease my anxiety in any way and I’m trying my best not to do things that intentionally increase my anxiety. Even if Biden was perfect and Trump was terrible – which was the best case for me – I would still be terribly anxious.

Mainly because I can’t watch Trump speak.

Like…as we were talking last night it occurred to me that the only time I’ve “watched” our President speak since he was elected was in soundbites/clips on new shows. I am physically unable to sit through him talking for anything longer than that…my blood pressure sky rockets, tunnel vision kicks in, and heartrate increases.

I am not exaggerating.

I have an uncontrollable physical response to watching him speak, it’s like a storm of rage and anxiety just immediately starts brewing in every system in my body and I get a headache and I have to a) turn off whatever I’m watching or b) leave.

When I start thinking about Trump’s political successes I always end up hating Fox News. I’m bound to watching Fox News regularly (it’s usually on at Mom’s) and I just need everyone to understand: If all you watched was Fox News? You would have a very different view of our President.

I often see people lament how they don’t understand how anyone can support Trump but I tell you: Watch Fox News for 24 hours and imagine if you knew nothing else (turn off the fact-checking part of your brain) and you would see how Trump keeps winning. The way those pundits and anchors gloss over his “mistakes” and hyper focus on anything making “The Liberal Left” look bad…it gives you an entirely different view of what’s going on in this country. The politicians they question, the pundits that comment, the anchors that do the interviewing…it’s like their only goal is to preserve GOP control and to me? It’s TERRIFYING.

So, no. I didn’t watch the debate. I’m in a very fragile mental state right now and even if Biden had been perfect by my standards (which I didn’t expect, he’s not the best in a debate format) it would have done nothing to ease my anxiety because I still would have had to listen to Trump speak which my body and mind can not handle right now.

I did read Heather Cox Richardson’s take, like I do every day since I discovered her. (Subscribe to her page and get her articles to your inbox every day!)

But Trump performed as he did because it’s all he’s got. He has no policies, no platform, no plans that he can sell to the American people, and no attention span either to govern or to explain how he wants to govern. So his only option is to dominate. Even he knows that ploy is a desperate one. Tonight’s tell was actually in his dominance play itself: overt bullying like he displayed tonight is actually a sign of weakness and abuse, not of true power.

Heather Cox Richardson

I’ve read a few other reviews (I’m not watching ANY set of clips THANK YOU VERY MUCH) and I feel like it panned out exactly how I expected.

Do you know how you have those memories of embarrassing moments that you can’t stop replaying in your head when you’re least expecting it? That’s how I envision what seeing last night’s debate would do to me. My brain would just randomly decide to remind me terrible things Trump said and the replay in my brain would be traumatizing on repeat and I do NOT need that to add to the barely-manageable political anxiety.

Just vote. I already did.

3 thoughts on “On Not Watching The Debates.”

  1. Taking care of yourself and knowing your own emotional boundaries is SO IMPORTANT. Especially when you live in a red state! I watched, It was as horrible as you assumed it would be. I’ll watch the VP debate but I don’t think I’ll be watching the rest of the presidential debates for the very same reason. It won’t change my vote and will just make me more anxious and scared.

  2. I’m exactly the same way, although I’m still waiting to cast my vote. I was going to vote by mail, but that seems too precarious, so I’m masking up and going in.

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