During the peak of the presidential election, especially in the last weeks leading up to 8 November, it was hard not to check the headlines every few hours.
Early in October, I thought the election result was a sure deal after video was shown of Donald Trump and Billy Bush having what a few of their defenders called a “locker room chat” about women. Then, surprise, 11 days before the election, the FBI director notified Congress of a new email probe potentially related to Hillary Clinton’s personal server. By November 6, guess what? There was no criminality in the FBI’s review.
The pre-election headlines, though, were followed by a sense of what I knew was temporary blissful calm while President Barack Obama still led our nation. Even then, though, I let out a gasp or two a day when I learned about Donald Trump’s latest tweets.
Now, 10 days since the new occupants of the White House moved in, I’m gasping a lot more. The headlines in the past 24 hours, whether about Donald Trump firing the acting attorney general who would not defend his executive order blocking or suspending the entry of immigrants and refugees into the United States, the new Supreme Court nominee, even the Treasury secretary nominee’s foreign money links, precipitates a condition I’ve dealt with most of my life: vertigo.
Since January, I’ve made it a practice not to watch news or read headlines after 8 in the evening. My last hour of consciousness is devoted to Bunte, the German equivalent of People magazine. My cousins in Bavaria are horrified by this habit that I’ve had for decades. I once told them that I also love to read the classics, but that after a day’s heavy menu of headlines, the lighter fare offered by Bunte helps me drift into the gentle journey of night.