Out of the Blue: Don’t panic! Just kidding … panic! (opinion) | SierraSun.com

Out of the Blue: Don’t panic! Just kidding … panic! (opinion)

Liberals are freaking out. After a shocking election, a mourning period of fluctuating discomfort is to be expected, but there’s a wide spectrum of response to our impending Trump era that is, if nothing else, tremendously interesting.

If this writer is approaching the subject too naively, and northern Nevadans from the future are reading this issue of the Bonanza while knee-deep in a dystopian zombie apocalypse that the 2016 presidential election explicitly brought about, let me offer up a meek “My bad!” in regards to my present-tense cautious insistence on calm within the storm. All this considered, however, people are panicking.

As an American I am nervous about our next president, but I promote significantly more optimism about it than many others. As often as I can, I ask folks who voted as I did in the election how pessimistic they are about a Trump White House, and the fiction writer in me loves the disparate heated answers I get.

I staged a conversation yesterday with California democrats who labelled Trump a ‘cry-baby’ yet held confidence that the guy would be impeached within a year. That being said, as ardent viewers of national news on television, they’ve instigated a prime-time no-Donald clause: when that orange face appears on TV, the fast-forward button gets pressed.

“As an American I am nervous about our next president, but I promote significantly more optimism about it than many others.”

I’m also on various e-mailing lists from members of our North Tahoe Democrats group, which keeps me updated on editorials I’ve missed, having opted to steer clear of news updates myself for the time being.

An article that particularly stood out was one damning Trump’s take on environmentalism and how his appointment of a climate-change denier as science advisor to his transition team was a clarion call that we’re going to be nothing but scorched earth within four years.

This one has me legitimately concerned. Mine is a family of outdoor enthusiasts, and we’re all worried that if Trump and his cronies are too busy looking out for top dollar or cheap fossil fuel that they will be ignoring their implicit duty to protect the natural habitat of this planet

Even a short-term revoking of climate change provisions could have devastating results. We’re not going to be able to boot these turkeys out of office in four years and expect to magically undo their ecological wrongdoings with the wave of a wand from Hogwarts.

There are some articles, though, that are so nervous about President Trump that the environment doesn’t even creep into a top-ten of concerns. One implored readers to take a moment to write down all the great things about their lives today, because within the first year of this guy’s time in office, everything would go to hell. It referred to Trump being a president-elect whose explicit goal was to — and I quote — “destroy the nation.”

I have to remind myself not to pooh-pooh this extremism, to remember that Trump is a figure one can’t predict, that any of his comments will likely be reversed and undone: his sentiments change from minute to minute.

After running a campaign during which the guy REFUSED to apologize for the litany of horrors that he frequently unleashed upon us, when our VP-elect got a special scathing shout-out after a production of “Hamilton” last week, our prez took to the Internet to implore those folks: APOLOGIZE!

Mr. President, give me a break.

So here I am, poking fun at existential liberal angst while also not being able to shake a sense of doom about things. Again, I consider myself a pessimist.

If Donald Trump does ten percent of the horrible things he says he’ll do, then we as a nation will absolutely be compromised. I’ve heard concerns about deportation, rights being stripped from various groups, health care only being available to the wealthy — and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

I guess I’ll just keep my jokester hat on, imploring my fellow Democrats to not be so wigged-out. Just because Donald Trump takes office in two months doesn’t mean that the entire concept of checks and balances will be thrown in the trash.

Blue is a minority color in national government these days, but even if we’re not in firm control, we have steadfast guardians in Washington who will protect us. We’re going to see changes, and many of them will be bad, but the bottom is not going to fall out beneath us. There’s no need to freak out.

And after I finish saying this, I’ll take off my jokester hat, go home, and quietly panic a little.

Mike Restaino is a writer and filmmaker based out of Incline Village. He is also a Vice Chair of the North Tahoe Democrats. He can be reached at info@northtahoedems.org.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Peter Andrew Albert: Inspired by students


I was inspired by the local students who track the science of climate change and yet do not give up hope. I loved their optimism that if we can alter our behavior, we can halt…

See more