Lots of people are feeling hopeful these days. It could be the new year, keeping those resolutions so far, just five days in. But from paying attention to the world around me, I can tell refreshing hope is back for some because of the incoming administration. For others like me, it’s going to be a long four years.

To keep my anxiety in check, I decided back in November to boycott the news. So far, my boycott is working at about 60 percent. I used to be such a news junkie, having worked in the newsroom of the local paper for more than 10 years. Not long ago, I saw a meme that said: “My desire to be informed is at war everyday with my desire to stay sane.” Exactly!

Despite the fact that a more prepared and qualified woman was up for the job and received nearly three million more votes, this country elected a dangerous demagogue whose craving for the attention that power brings appears to be insatiable. And his slavish supporters don’t seem able to understand or even notice the subtle yet terrifying nuances of his damaged personality that bob to the surface every time he opens his mouth.

He's said he doesn’t need the usual briefings and input from the experts because he knows more than anyone and he’s smarter than everyone. Really? Wow! Except here's a news flash: No human is infallible and that includes presidents. There will always be people we can learn something from and the truly wise know when to shut up and listen.  John F. Kennedy said: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

As January 20 approaches, my struggle to remain calm and unafraid becomes more difficult. At this point, my only hope is that over the next four years, our new Commander in Chief doesn’t start a nuclear war with some rogue nation over 140 characters that he’s deemed offensive to his frail and girly ego. He may eliminate our health care, gut our civil rights, destroy our environment… we can start working on repairing our nation in 2021. But it’s hard to repair anything when you’re dead. If he doesn’t get us blown off the map by 2020, I’ll be satisfied.

When I was a kid, they always told me, “Anyone can be President!” Back then I didn’t realize that sadly, and to my great horror, that would turn out to be true.  

Published by Kelly Z Conrad