Stopping the machine

During the last six or so years I was teaching, I got one or two migraines every month, or more if it was a really bad month. I had gotten them prior to that time, but they weren’t that common. After I left teaching, the migraines stopped. As you might imagine, I didn’t miss them.

Two months ago, I started getting them again. I was puzzled, and started looking for what the cause might be. I think I’ve landed on it: the Republican primaries; in particular, one candidate. When I look at my mental, emotional, and physical reaction to any news about this candidate, I see an elevated level of stress. So while the following is certainly political, it’s also for my health.

In thinking about what might help stop the machine that is this candidate’s campaign, I’ve decided that for my part, I can stop offering him free publicity. He has boasted that he hasn’t had to buy much of it, and he’s right: we’re publicizing him every time we leave him on our televisions, forward or like a post about him–pro or con–on social media, or read an article about him. Simply using his name on social media helps to promote him. Given that the only thing I want to hear about him is that he’s dropped his run for the presidency, I can easily give up all of the above. I’d hear that good news somehow; otherwise, I don’t want to know what malfeasance he’s been up to.

From now on, I’ll be avoiding any articles about him. I’ll also be blocking any posts I see about him on Facebook. If someone is on my “Friends” list, with rare exceptions, they know me well enough to know that there is nothing about this man with which I agree. I don’t need to like posts to prove it. I’ll also be excusing myself from any place that has him on television. This might hamper me socially for a few months, but gardening season is coming. I can live with that. I can also hopefully get fewer migraines.

Except in my own life, alone, I won’t make much difference to his publicity machine. But if more people decided to follow along, I wonder what might happen?

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