Guest post: Except the feeling of panic doesn’t go away

Originally a comment by latsot on Great respect.

You know when you’re trying to fix something and you strip a screw or something? There’s this momentary panic. You think “fuck, how am I going to fix this now?” Then you remember that even if you don’t know how to deal with the stripped screw or whatever, you know how to find out how.

That fleeting feeling of panic, that “holy fuck, this is my fault, what do I do now?” is really similar to the feeling I get every time Trump tweets or speaks and every time it becomes even more obvious that Trump’s awfulness has infected horribleness in pretty much every other nation leader. Some of them seem to have been waiting for an excuse to act in an abysmal way and feel that the existence of Trump is that. Some of them seem to recognise a formula we seem to be helpless to protect ourselves against (just lie about everything in the most brazen way possible without caring how it sounds or – especially – how it is).

Except the feeling of panic doesn’t go away. I know I can find out how to deal with a stripped screw or a software roll-out I monumentally fucked up. I know how I can try to deal with broken laws and proposals for new broken laws. All the tools are available and if I don’t know about them, they’re a duckduckgo search away.

But not this. Not a president who – as a fundamental – doesn’t care about anyone or anything but himself and every other politician in the world waking up to the fact that you can actually pull that shit and get away with it.

There just isn’t a way to fix it or a way to find out how to fix it. Trump will be gone sooner or later but his tactics of brazenly lying are quite visible in the words of politicians here in the UK, for instance. They’re not as horrible as Trump, of course, not even such awful people as Johnson, Rees-Mogg and Rudd, but they are quite clearly adopting the same tactics.

Next time you promise to fix something precious to a loved one and break it instead; next time you plug something into the mains that you made yourself and the lights in the whole street go out; next time you unwittingly reveal something that was supposed to be a secret… well, you’ll rationalise it one way or another and you’ll know the sort of thing you need to do to fix it. You don’t and won’t know what to do about this increasing shitstorm and the feeling of ohshitohshitohshitohshit will not go away.

Needless to say, these examples were plucked entirely out of the air and don’t relate in any way to anything I might have done. And I’ll orchestrate an amateurish smear campaign against anyone who says otherwise. Unless they buy me a drink, in which case I will definitely spill the beans.

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