Ah silence.

Ah silence.
Photograph: Win McNamee (Getty Photographs)

My weekend was like most different weekends within the pandemic period. I went for a stroll within the park with my spouse, briefly noticed some pals outside and socially distanced, made some mac and cheese, and primarily chilled. However for all the trimmings of normalcy (or what goes for normalcy today), there was one thing distinctly completely different.

I felt a level of readability I haven’t felt in years. Whereas the underlying, extraordinarily busted-ass state of the U.S. remained, the clearest symptom of it was quickly muzzled. President Donald Trump’s Twitter account had gone largely silent, and with it, a torrent of hate, lies, autocratic needs, and shitposting. There was nonetheless loads of Trump-related information, however the smog of Trump himself dissipated for a couple of wonderful days.

Although I observe the president, I don’t are inclined to scroll via his tweets on the common. However on most days, not less than one Trump tweet is on the high of my hellfeed after I instinctively open Twitter within the morning. When the president announced he had covid-19, his tweet was proper there on the high of my feed together with in a single day push notifications and roughly 128 texts from pals on the West Coast or evening owls on the East Coast. However after he went to Walter Reed for various treatments, his feed went largely silent.

With it, his pugnacious little avatar stopped displaying up on Twitter. His phrases and actions stopped setting the agenda of the media. They usually stopped rattling my mind.

In fascinated about the impacts of Trump tweets and the absence of, my thoughts instantly jumped to air pollution. Air air pollution has been proven to lodge itself in our brains and might even make it hard to think. And actually, are Trump’s tweets, press conferences, and different appearances within the media that completely different? The Oxford English Dictionary defines air pollution as “the presence in or introduction into the setting of a substance or factor that has dangerous or toxic results.”

Whether or not it’s his pronouncement that extremist group the Proud Boys ought to “stand back and stand by,” spreading baseless antifa conspiracy theories on Fox Information that may make a median individual’s mind soften, or vomiting up coronavirus misinformation on social media, the intent is obvious. Trump has flooded the zone with mind poison that makes it onerous to focus on the rest or see via his putrid smog of misinformation. That’s been his key working precept in addition to that of Republicans, who’ve relied on the endless distractions and lies to rob common Individuals and enrich the already rich via tax cuts and deregulation.

For a 48-hour interval, with the president on some cocktail of supplemental oxygen, steroids, experimental covid-19 medication, and who is aware of what else, the smoke machine switched off. There was a readability in my head I hadn’t felt in ages, and a capability to step again and clearly see the wreckage we’re going to must combat to restore within the coming years.

It’s now been two days since Trump returned to the White House. He has but to make any public appearances since his first night again (and judging by how his gasping-for-breath return to the White Home went on Monday, that’s most likely for one of the best), however his Twitter is again in full swing. Amongst Wednesday’s gems are a bunch of retweets pushing “Obamagate,” a conspiracy idea that solely is smart in case you get your information from Fb and Sean Hannity, an oddly capitalized tweet asking Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi to log off on one other spherical of $1,200 stimulus checks after Trump pulled the plug on negotiating a full stimulus invoice, and a quote retweet of a random account saying it “would wade via a sea of COVID infested water to vote for President Trump on November third.”

The rubbish continues to pile up, and it’ll doubtless solely develop extra fetid and unseemly as we crawl towards Election Day. However the reprieve of life away from the tire fireplace has allowed me to refocus my rage. My solely hope is that others discovered an analogous profit—we’re going to wish it to truly get right down to work and clear up this mess.



Brian Kahn