Slow Your Roll

Sweet Mother of Cheezits, anyone else exhausted yet? Cabinet nominations, travel bans, Russian spies, imaginary terrorist attacks, and campaign rallies… CAMPAIGN RALLIES? We’re one month in and I’ve already blown my annual bourbon budget. People, please, slow your roll.

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Since day one of what may well be the Last American Presidency both sides of the aisle have been on the offensive. The left has been taking offense to everything. The right has been demanding supplication, and the media has been trying to keep it all straight in the face of accusations of being “fake news.”  It’s fucking exhausting to be everyone.

Basic fact is that no matter what side of the chasm you’re on, you’re not gonna make it through the first 4 years of the rest of America’s life, if you don’t slow your roll. This isn’t high school kids, you can’t get off and go again, better than ever, in 15 minutes. This is real life, which means you need a cigarette, a nap, and a hit of locker room to go for another round. Pace yourselves accordingly.

What you need to get through the next four years is a strategy. A plan. No crash diets here.  You need to count every intellectual and spiritual calorie, and take in the right nutrition if you’re gonna make it for the long haul. How do you do that?

You need to get informed and you need to get uncomfortable. You need to get out of your bubble. You need to read and listen to all sides of the argument.  You need to ask questions. You need to confront your assumptions and back up your arguments. This means reading news and tweets from all perspectives. Don’t ignore Breitbart because Milos Yiannopoulos aggravates you.  Don’t skip Daily Kos because you think liberals are snowflakes. Don’t dismiss the New York Times because DJT says it’s “fake” news. Don’t let everyone else tell you what you believe. Figure it out for yourself and research the fuck out of it to be able to back your own arguments up.  In other words, you need to know 1) what the fuck you believe, and 2) the reasons why you believe it, and 3) how to back it up.

You need to engage in dialogue – other than yelling at your TV. You need to talk to people around you, but not just people who agree with you. That’s like talking to yourself. All that accomplishes is justifying why you ate that quart of ice cream or slept with the awkward guy in accounting. It’s rarely progress. Get the fuck out of your bubble. You need to talk to people who think differently. You need to ask them questions. You also need to question everything you’re told is true. Stop letting the government, your friends, social media, or even the press spoon feed you information. Something resonates with you as true or false, then research the fuck out of it.

You need to stop knee-jerk reacting to every tweet or news story that comes down the wire. There’s not enough coke in Colombia to keep you woke if you do that. People are going to say shit for the sake of saying shit. People are going to post stuff on social media that sounds totally plausible, even if it’s bullshit. They want to take your  temperature, test your patience, to see what resonates, to see what sticks. They want to see what bait you will take, what you will leave behind. They want to see what your threshold is. Don’t be an easy mark. Dodge and weave, zig and zag. That’s the only way to keep them and you on your toes.

<cliches>Let’s be realistic, most of us are late to this game. The politicians, the alt-right/extreme left, and even the Russians,  have been doing this a long time. They are playing a long game, and we’re only coming in at the middle. We’ve missed some crucial early scrimmages, but we’re not too late to influence the last half of the game. We can be the “Hail Mary” play, but only if we slow our roll and don’t blow our wad early. </cliches>

Treat this like endurance training. Build slowly. Build your strength. Build your endurance. Every day go longer and stronger. Dial it back and rest when you need to. Go balls out when you find your zone. Whatever you do, Bitch, please find your all day pace, keep your nutrition up, because no matter what side you’re on, we’re all in this for the long haul.

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