Disengagement Letter

When a lawyer stops representing a client, s/he sends a disengagement letter notifying the client that the lawyer’s responsibility for the case is concluded.

Well, Trump has been elected President. I do not need to identify here any of the countless ways this is a catastrophe for America and the world. And there is no point in complaining about it. There is nothing I can do to affect any of that (we just had a national election yesterday).

I would drive myself insane with rage and fear if I thought about what just happened and what is about to happen. But (having voted against Trump) I have no responsibility for it as I have no influence. So instead I am disengaging from politics completely. I have deleted eleven political websites from my desktop, where I used to read them every day and sometimes, compulsively, more than once a day. I have unsubscribed from eight or nine notification lists, including the Washington Post’s aptly named Monkey Cage. I am keeping the links to the major national newspapers, for now, but have stopped reading the political news and opinion. I just saw, for example, as I opened Politico or Salon or something to get the link to list what I had deleted, an article predicting who would be the members of “Trump’s Cabinet from Hell.” I no longer need to read that kind of thing. Che sera, sera – nothing to do with me any more, as I am not being consulted.

I read something a few days ago attributing the rise of Trump to a “collapse of trust in American institutions.” My trust has collapsed so absolutely that I don’t feel the need to keep in touch with them. There is no need to inform my opinions on political matters, as my opinions are not wanted. And attachment brings suffering – thus I have heard.

It is only the morning after, my first day not reading the political news, but already it is a great relief. I feel much lighter. I should have done this years ago. I will now spend my (substantially reduced) surfing time on history and science and art and music (and of course heraldry) rather than on politics. This disengagement not only frees time, it also frees mental energy for other things. I have books to write, and things to do that have no perceptible connection to politics or Trump, and time is growing short. Better to get on with that than try to figure out who will be in Trump’s Cabinet from Hell.

It will be a wrench – I have been following politics with avid interest since Truman was President. But I can’t do it any more, and I have to be vigilant about staying on the wagon. Otherwise descent into a wilderness of anxiety and anger is all but certain. Can’t risk it! Over and out.

November 9, 2016