It boggles my mind why so many Americans, especially those who are educated and politically aware, are either oblivious to what's going on with President Trump, the Russia investigation, the wall and the shutdown, or they simply don't care.
This came to mind yesterday as I spoke to a highly respected physician who is a national leader in his field. When the conversation turned to politics, Trump and the wall, he said, "Well Trump is a lunatic, but I just tune this stuff out. It's just all crazy, and the media just makes it worse."
Ah, the so-called enemy of the people.
The physician said he was happy with the Trump administration's deregulatory efforts, which reduces paperwork and complexity for doctors' practices. That's all he seemed to care about. Not that Trump may be trying to seize power by declaring a national emergency so he can build his wall, or that the FBI launched an investigation of his ties with Russia after he fired FBI Director James Comey, or that he constantly lies about everything to justify what he wants, or that he promotes racism and sexism.
So as far as the doc is concerned it's just about the benefits his profession is gaining from Trump's efforts to undo regulatory actions taken by the Obama administration to reduce healthcare costs and provide coverage for more Americans.
It doesn't matter that Trump denies the potential devastation of climate change; that he wants to sell off huge chunks of our nation's land reserves for oil, gas and mining; that he's determined to drill offshore everywhere except Florida, where his cherished Mar-a-Lago is located.
None of that is his concern.
Then, I had a conversation with an old friend, a retired professional who also has a brilliant mind. Actually, he called to wish me a Happy Birthday, but then I mentioned something about Trump. I just can't help myself, sometimes. It was in the context of an article I saw in The Washington Post.
"I don't read The Post," my friend said. "It's all political and it's all just a bunch of crap going after Trump."
"Really? You don't want reporting that tells you what your president and others in power are doing that affects you?" I asked.
"Let's talk about something else," he said.
Then, there is the self employed psychologist, a person who strongly believes in equality and hates the actions of Trump and his Republican pals in Congress.
But she's oblivious to day to day developments. She doesn't watch the news or read the papers. She's extremely busy, I get that, with her family, her business, her clients, her life. But it's hard to understand why, if she feels so strongly about things, that she doesn't do something. There are plenty of opportunities, especially here in the blood red state of South Carolina.
Is it Just Me?
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I've just got politics in my blood from writing about it, working on Capitol Hill for two Congressmen -- including during Watergate -- that I just can't sit by and complain without doing at least something.
That's one reason I've volunteered to help the local Democratic party, and it's why I write this blog. Whether it's of value to anyone else, I sometimes wonder. But it's one way I have of staying sane. And in these times, that is becoming increasingly difficult to do.