41 Comments
Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Michelangelo, I truly appreciate this post and how our mass politically-induced PTSD since 2016 has affected you personally and how you are managing to cope with it. Other traumas came before 2016, like both W elections in 2000 and 2004. I also felt that way in 1980 and 1984 after the Reagan wins. You are so right, we cannot drop out completely. We cannot lose hope. Obama's elections in 2008 and 2012 are perfect examples of that, even Biden's election in 2020 and the slow-but-steady forward march to justice for us against the MAGA crime syndicate. The unaccountability of the Supreme Court (at least so far) and with many of the state legislatures scares me, but if Senator Sheldon Whitehouse isn't giving up regarding SCOTUS then neither will I. If Tennessee State Representatives Justin Jones, Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson aren't giving up then neither will I. As a woman, African-American, and a practicing psychologist, your article has resonated with me deeply. Let's keep up the fight!

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founding
Sep 4, 2023·edited Sep 4, 2023

Now that I've become the data geek for the local Democratic Committee, I have a few "rules" to keep everyone less stressed.

1. Polling is hot garbage. Polling more than 2 weeks before any election is the hottest of garbage. Instead, focus on who is registered, who votes regularly, and focus on driving "low propensity Democratic voters" to the polls.

2. Turn OFF your TV by October 15th (no political news). It's all the breathless, horse-race reporting, which just stresses me out. Instead, I focus on the ballots rolling in from registered Dems, Repugs, and Independents, since that is public data.

3. Do NOT be gas lit by Repugs. They like to lie, especially about their electoral strength. Instead, pull up their campaign finance reports for the 3rd quarter (July-Sept)--see WHERE they are spending money and how. This all public info and accessible at the ELEC (NJ) website. Lo and behold, our county GOP (where Trump has his summer home) is nearly broke. They are too small to deal with "dark money." And this is increasingly the trend across the USA.

I find the horse-racing reporting to be particularly obnoxious. To be honest, the major media outlets are too lazy to dig through the publicly available data, which is all on-line (for Petes Sakes). Last year, when there was all this loose talk about a "Red Wave," I kept pointing out to my local colleagues that it wasn't in the data (neither in votes submitted or dollars spent). Turns out our 2 candidates won by 21%, or a TRIPLE landslide.

It DOES take discipline, but the GOP treats elections like war complete with Psych ops. Focus on what is real, tangible, and COUNTABLE. The rest is just bloviating.

Thank you Michael for all that you do to keep us sane in an increasingly Fascist world.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

I know I wouldn’t have survived those four years of absolute hell without listening to Michelangelo every day. This time around I don’t think I would be able to survive Shitler’s shenanigans.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Thank you. You’ve addressed many aspects and elements of what a lot of people including readers if your column are experiencing. I liked how you’ve shared it’s important to find things that help us to relax, step back and calm ourselves while acknowledging how much has been accomplished with getting this country to the point where justice and accountability are tangible.

Finally and as important. Hope.

Thank you

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Well done Michelangelo!

We the People thank you and all of the Progressive Justice Warriors doing the heavy lift by informing the world of the ongoing fascistic assault on our democracy!

Put it in D at the voting booth to drive away from this abyss of pernicious politicos intent on destroying our nation and the world collectively!

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Mike I have said this for years, you are our collective therapist. Honestly when you (and I think Mark and Dean) were all on together in 2016 right after it helped me so much. So many of us were a mess. And I remember many of us asking how are we going to get through the next four years? It seemed like then it was 40 years. But we made it. I remember every day listening to Dean’s countdown clock to 2020. So, once again, thanks.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Michelangelo, thank you so much for this. It's really timely and relevant and as you can see from the previous comments, you have once again lifted us up. When I drive through Trumpland out here in the beautiful Arizona desert, I listen to you. When I get home I read your newsletter and see familiar names. It makes me feel like I have family and hope.

What has been hitting me harder and creating more angst is the climate crisis , loss of biodiversity, and extinction among our fellow non-human beings. I have been enraptured by this beautiful jewel of a planet and all it's inhabitants since I was a little kid. It enrages me that whenever there is a natural disaster there are statements like "at least there were no lives lost". HUMAN lives. The animals, plants, birds, insects, water dwellers, all are suffering and dying and it fills me with overwhelming grief. What's going on in the political landscape becomes white noise in the background.

I do know it's all connected. I also know that when I help a snake out of the road or feed a hummingbird or make sure my dog is comfortable , that I am making a difference on a small scale. And that matters and sustains me on better days. On harder days I feel like it's just all gone too far. Would love to hear how others manage their fears. And yes, as a former therapist, I know we all need to share our grief and fear and hold each other up.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

I am so grateful for this article and perspective. I AM a trauma therapist and have been in the trenches of political trauma since 2016. The one thing I deeply caution people against is 'dropping out ' of politics or dissociating right now. I encourage the very same thing you wrote about: SELF CARE is important all the time, but even more so on this issues. Internalized capitalism looks like working toward burnout with few breaks, but this is not healthy or sustainable. The idea that we have no power is part of the plan to keep the highest of the highest in power. We must fight that by doing our part, little tho it may seem, by staying informed and active on the local level. Thank you for writing this and for all you do to keep us in the fight!

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Thank you for these words of comfort and support. I needed to read this. These times have been upsetting and frightening. My heart tells me to not pay too much attention to the political news because it'snot good, yet my brain overrules my heart and forces me to remain engaged with what's happening. So, I compromise: I follow the news in the mornings and afternoons, then clock out from sunset to bedtime. It helps to take daily news breaks. Like you, I learned that doing something constructive also helps. So, be it phone banking, texting, mailing postcards, or making small dollar donations to candidates and groups, take positive constructive steps to help those fighting back against authoritarianism and fascism does wonders for mental health (at least this has been my experience).

Again, thank you for your needed words and wisdom and experience. You, sir, and a key and trusted news source for me. I really value what you do on SiriusXM and here on Substack.

Be good and enjoy your long weekend.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Thank you Mike. You are right. And may I quote you “ it is not over.”The political scene is exhausting and I agree in not disappearing but taking a break. As of late, I seem to be one of the very few posting my political thoughts. It makes me think that others are done with engaging for reasons of stress or fear. And I was so close to doing the same but I read this article by you.l and I am inspired to keep fighting for others by presenting facts hoping they get it. Yes, some will never be reached but the few that do will become the best supporter's. Life is not easy. I am reminded that word compassion is defined as “ we struggle together.”

You are compassionate Michael, fight in those regards and keep me marching on. Thank you.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

This is such an important message Michelangelo-thank you. Drumpf has threatened to take the life out of us, but we have justice on our side. And it’s so

Important to take one moment a week to contact our local legislators, whatever party they belong to, and let them know we want this devil and his minions charged to the fullest extent of the law. Sending an email or text gives you a feeling, and some satisfaction, that you’ve done your part. And many small efforts add it up to a tidal wave, to get the wheels of justice turning faster.

After the 2016 election, when I was full time teaching, several of us who supported Hillary and were stunned by the Drumpf win, met in a colleagues’ classroom before school started, pretty much scared about the future, some in tears. Our gut instincts told us this man would set us back hundreds of years, and with the support of his republicon cronies, he did. He told Americans he could kill someone and get away with it, and he was right, as his negligence about the pandemic hastened the deaths of over one million Americans. He bragged about his “dominance” and “power” over women, and his SC overturned Roe V. Wade. He belittled climate activists like Greta Thunberg, (also mocking her physical challenges) and then enacted legislation to increase US production of fossil fuel. If he had won in 2020, Ukraine would most likely have become part of Russia. But thanks to a lot of hard work from people who support Democracy, we fought back. Joe Biden proved to be the leader we needed to reverse the course.

Lies never win at the end of the day. Hope over despair. Good over evil. WE are the honest, hopeful, loving and smart people. This space, and places where we could support one another, share our feelings and strategies for coping, are a haven for recharging and moving forward.

Thanks as always for providing this safe haven. (And let’s continue to share it with like minded friends!)

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Michelangelo Signorile

Excellent writing Michelangelo! Words to ponder.

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Mike, like you oft say “There are more of us, than them”. “Us” just gotta dang well make sure every possible D vote gets out there despite every possible hurdle “them” put up in front of “us”. No hissy fits, no purity tests, no 3rd party protest vote, no dropping out !! Every single vote for democracy is a vote against autocracy and is so very crucially important this next year and +. Like Mike wrote on marriage equality back in 2015/16, “it’s not over, stay engaged”. 2024, it will not be over, little trumpanzees are all lined up ready and oh so eager to vacuum up that 25%/30% crazed base. Thank goodness there are more of us than them. Take a cue from “them”, be more tribal, stick together like glue, like stick tights in a dog’s fur. Thanks for your many years of group therapy Michelangelo. Much appreciated. And really giving it to “them” who call in is cathartic release therapy for “us”.

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Evening Michael I trust your Labor Day was a good one. I was supposed to be in New Orleans but my pals were waylaid by physical issues and our last hurrah at Decadence will have to wait. A lot of friends and family are politically fatigued to the point of "Let's talk about anything but...I accede to their wishes because my coping mechanism since my older brother handed me a comic book at age 4 was to suss out the motivations behind the hero and the villain. Now that I am much older, my youthful hobby saves me from the despair felt by most. My other superpower is bolstered by 20 years of living inside the beltway. The Sturm and Drang felt by most because of the "Never been here before" aspect isn't to be taken lightly but it is a symptom of the wearing down of the psyche the gop hopes will keep a significant part of the populous away from the voting booth. The mutants of Krakoa (X-Men) can teach us quite a bit about rolling with the punches and bouncing back without giving up on the dream...

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I was in a fog and felt such despair November 9, 2016. I stopped watching cable news and turned off the radio for months. It was just too scary and painful. I knew Trump would do major damage. Even still, he and his ilk managed to surprise and disgust me further. Slowly, I started to listen again to your show. Now, each day, I make every effort to listen to you. You give me hope, inspiration and keep me informed. I never went back to cable news. Thank you Michelangelo. If you are not giving up, how can I?

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Trauma for me was the day after the 2016 election. I literally cried all day. I went to work and could not concentrate. I knew then that the horror had just begun. I just couldn’t understand that there were that many people in this country that would vote for such a horrible man, and the worst was those that had voted for Obama twice. The hate, the anger, the violence, that came through these people, I’d never seen since the 60’s.

I have found peace from escaping the rat race and spending time with those that are most important to me. I literally removed people I had know for decades from my life. Those that made excuses for Trumps behavior and voted for him, were no longer welcome in my little peaceful place in this world. Both my parents passed away during this time and I just don’t have time for the drama, the caddy, back stabbing crap that goes on in politics. I will always be proud to be a Liberal and do my best to support those that run for office in the Democratic Party. I have to be very careful to do my own research and use common sense to decipher fact from half truths and lies. I’m saving myself for 2024. We must fight hard to show republicans and the world that we will not tolerate Fascism in this country. We are the Patriots!

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