We’ve become creatures of habit these days and one of our habits is going to our favorite food truck every Saturday night. The owner is a nice guy and he tried really hard. The food is good and it affords us the opportunity to take our portable chairs out, have a nice meal, and enjoy the autumn weather while we still can.
As you might imagine, we’ve become used to him and he’s become used to us. We are regulars. As such, he always comes around and chats with us for twenty or thirty minutes. In the meantime, he’s told us stories about his childhood and his time in the military. Some of those stories have gotten really personal and really troubling.
Of course, it is not my place to reveal any details. After all, we’ve shared some details from our lives as well. Following World War I, we began to notice a new condition that they called shell shock back then. We call it PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) these days. Essentially for those that aren’t familiar, PTSD is a delayed response to acute stress. It can be triggered by one singular event or a series of events over time.
Symptoms will vary depending on the sufferer, but usually people afflicted with the condition are more jumpy, have difficulty sleeping, are quicker to anger, and are prone to anxiety and/or panic attacks. This is caused by the body constantly reliving the trauma. This can take place during dreams or simply the body remembering the trauma through other triggers.
My father told us a story of a professor he had that had been in World War II that would suddenly go nuts whenever someone dropped a book. Usually such an event would lead to the end of the class for that day. You can imagine a few students doing this on purpose to get out of class. We probably all know someone like that or may have been that person ourselves.
Simply put, we aren’t built to deal with trauma. Our bodies do the best they can to get us through unscathed, but the scars will always remain. Living in America itself is becoming a traumatic experience. Add all of the events together and it is easy to see why a growing number of people are reporting issues with anxiety and depression. Funny, but the statement in the last paragraph cuts both ways. We know someone suffering from PTSD. We also know someone that would gladly drop the book to trigger an anxiety event. What separates us is how we view that person.
On the internet, we usually call that person a troll. They have been called instigators in past generations. We all know them. They were the kid in school that pit you against your friend and then stood back and watched the fireworks. They never threw a punch and yet they always seemed to be involved in every fight we were ever involved in.
Our president is that person and it is high time we chronicle what that has done to us collectively. Arguments are a part of life. Arguments are a part of political theatre. We have always been divided left and right, red and blue, Democrat and Republican. That hasn’t changed. The intensity of the fighting has changed. The frequency of the fighting has changed. As I said earlier, we aren’t built for this. We were never intended to withstand this much animus on a daily basis.
On the heels of my last piece, the president chose to leave Walter Reed and go on a drive by where he could greet his fans and supporters. Secret Service had to ride in the car with him. They will now have quarantine. The driver will have to quarantine. Could you imagine if he actually got out of the car and shook people’s hands?
At this point, he is being a troll. He is fueling outrage because doing that somehow makes it possible for him to “own the libruls.” For those familiar, this is precisely the kind of behavior we see out of the heel in professional wrestling. They hit their opponents with chairs, kick them from behind, and otherwise cheat to get the audience riled up. Then, they lose to the good guy or good girl. The fact that there are now female heels on the wrestling circuit kind of tells you where we’re at.
It’s not enough to defeat him this time around. Think of it in wrestling terms. The good guy not only wins. He destroys the heel in humiliating fashion. They do this because everyone feels a release of that anger and negative energy when the good guy finally gives the heel what they have coming. We unfortunately, have seen a large group of heels rise up. They have taken their cue from the heel in chief and have been emboldened by him and his success. It’s time to knock them all down. We aren’t built for battle on a daily basis. We have to act now or we will be fighting this battle for a whole generation.