Facebook Is Making Me Suicidal

I’ve been trying to escape the torrent of stories about the constitutional crisis Trump has precipitated by claiming “Executive Privilege” over the entire Mueller Report and refusing to allow White House functionaries to testify to Congress.

The administration’s escalating assault on constitutional and democratic norms has plunged me into a depression–not just because there is an insane moron in the Oval Office, but–more critically– because not a single Republican Senator is willing to place fidelity to the country over fear of electoral retribution by the party’s rabid base.

Not a single one. They are all fellow-travelers to treason.

As my introductory diatribe probably indicates, I spend a lot of time muttering and despairing…so, recently, I went to my Facebook feed for distraction. (That wasn’t the brightest thing to do, because most of my Facebook friends are as politically irate as I am.)

Here’s what I saw on just a quick scroll:

  • A picture of the student who died in the most recent school shooting, in Colorado. He was three days from high school graduation, and rushed the shooter, saving others. I’m sure the f**ing NRA sends thoughts and prayers.
  • An economic analysis of Trump’s steel tariffs, showing that the cost of each American job created was $900,000. (That is not a typo.) I couldn’t tell whether that number included the extra couple hundred dollars Americans are paying for their washing machines thanks to those tariffs…
  • A NYTimes report that Trump lost 1.17 billion dollars over a decade–the paper obtained tax information detailing the massive losses by our self-proclaimed “deal maker” and also showing that he didn’t pay a dollar of tax during that period. (Now if we could see the more recent taxes he’s so frantic to hide…)
  • Several posts about new anti-choice legislation in Ohio and Georgia. The Georgia version would impose criminal penalties on women who couldn’t prove they didn’t cause their own miscarriages, and would charge women who left the state in order to get legal abortions elsewhere with conspiracy to commit murder.
  • Several posts highlighting despicable statements and blatant lies from Mitch McConnell, aka the most evil man in America. (No, Mitch, it wasn’t Obama’s fault that Russia interfered with our election.)
  • News reports about a group of Neo-Nazis who shoved their way into a Holocaust Memorial ceremony in Arkansas, shouting “Five Million More!” (I’m sure our American Fuhrer would say the group contained some “very fine” people.)
  • A news report that Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education rejected 99% of the applications for loan forgiveness filed by students who were bilked by bogus for-profit “educational” institutions.
  • And this story about a Texas Republican representative who labeled vaccinations “sorcery.” After reading this one, I couldn’t go on.

After deriding public health science as a “scam,” the Representative, one Jonathan Strickland, doubled down on the crazy, telling a pediatrician who works with impoverished children that he was a practitioner of “self-enriching science.” He then engaged in a couple of other illuminating twitter exchanges:

Replying to @RepStickland and 2 others
You are wrong in all particulars, Congressman. As a civil servant, I would expect that you would listen to experts (Peter surely is a leader here) and be…civil. BTW “self enriching science” is myth for almost all of us, but has likely saved your ungrateful life more than once.

Jonathan Stickland@RepStickland
Typical leftist trying to take credit for something only The Lord God Almighty is in control of. Repent!

David Gorski, MD, PhD
Notice how, to these “parental rights” antivaxers, it’s all about THEM: THEIR rights. THEIR religion. THEIR freedom. The child’s right not to be medically neglected, not to be left unnecessarily vulnerable to disease, never even enters the equation. It doesn’t occur to them.

Jonathan Stickland@RepStickland
Replying to @gorskon and 3 others
… You can’t seem to understand the notion of freedom and liberty…you have no right to come between me and my doctor of choice, or between me and my religious beliefs. Leave us alone.

Personal responsibility and parental rights confuse you, I get it. You’re a brainwashed commie, not all your fault.

 What makes all of this so frustrating is the absolute inability to have a rational conversation, grounded in reality and evidence, with the dangerous and demented cult that is today’s GOP.

They aren’t interested in policy, they disdain science, and they’re contemptuous of the rule of law. They have invented a “Christian” theology that is consistent with their fears and hostilities. They are motivated entirely by their visceral hatred of the women and minorities that they fear are “replacing” them.

Bottom line: Facebook didn’t distract me. It just reminded me that I’m powerless to “change the channel.”


  1. Time for margaritas, my dear, and some healthy conversation. Do not despair.

  2. Sheila,

    “Bottom line: Facebook didn’t distract me. It just reminded me that I’m powerless to “change the channel.”

    We better create a COMPETITIVE CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATIONS, “pronto” or it’s all over. It’s about CONTEXTUAL INTELLIGENCE, realizing that there has been a FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE, as the status quo in America is no longer DEMOCRATIC but FASCIST and only a thorough understanding of Nazi Germany can save us.

    America awake!

  3. Social media is an alternative to the idiot box or radio belching consumerism slogans of buy, buy, buy. Do you honestly think you’ll hear intelligent conversations from the departments selling us US products made abroad?

    For those who want to expand their enlightenment, set up a Twitter handle and go to The Intercept and Glen Greenwald. Then expand from there to BBC and other handles like @AOC.

    Hear from the congressman/women with brains who are our future and who don’t pander to our idiots barely walking upright today.

    You can hear directly from Greta Thunberg, Ro Khanna, Rania Khalek, etc.

    You can also hear directly from independent journalists on the ground who don’t have editors telling them not to show such a large demonstration of protestors.

    The revolution Marv is begging for has been taking place but “It won’t be televised.” Don’t forget, and I mean don’t lose sight, our “news agencies” are businesses owned by the Entertainment Complex.

    If you think they’ll be sharing the truth with you about US or UK meddling in foreign affairs, you’re a waste of oxygen. 😉

  4. Facebook began as an actual “social media site”; to reconnect with old friends or find relatives you have lost touch with. Facebook; as every other media outlet and every human rights issue, has become political in nature and content. The verbiage that comes through, unsolicited, can sometimes not be removed from your page; thus, we must scroll past them hoping to find a familiar name, face or pleasantry. Former friends and a few family members; “former” since November 2016, no longer contact me to relate good or bad news or just to maintain contact. A positive result is that there are fewer Republican supporters posting on my Facebook page.

    The Democratic or human rights issues that appear always have detractors spouting Trumpisms and always those against the right to choose regarding women’s health issues and supporting the Republican anti-common sense gun laws. Many are ugly in nature.

    “They aren’t interested in policy, they disdain science, and they’re contemptuous of the rule of law. They have invented a “Christian” theology that is consistent with their fears and hostilities. They are motivated entirely by their visceral hatred of the women and minorities that they fear are “replacing” them.”

    Trump and McConnell have bastardized the Constitutional basis of the Legislative responsibility (sworn to uphold in their oath of office) to protect us from a president of Trump’s total inability to rule more than his own bathroom schedule by using loopholes that don’t exist to maintain tyrannical rule without law. The founding fathers could not foresee the need to protect us from appointing an idiot to the Oval Office and the Legislative controlling body from upholding his idiocy. You will find it all on your Facebook page and Twitter coming from the mouth and mind of the tyrant in charge and his loyal court jesters.

  5. The problem is a REVOLUTION will also be a disaster, nothing short of DOMESTIC WARFARE. We have to create a middle ground, but that might be impossible.

    I’m a much older man, Todd’s vision is probably more acute.

  6. Well, this post certainly started my day by sending me into a depression. Why didn’t I just stop reading it? Sigh

    That was a LOT of different mental assaults thrown at us in just one post.

  7. Sheila:

    “News reports about a group of Neo-Nazis who shoved their way into a Holocaust Memorial ceremony in Arkansas, shouting “Five Million More!” (I’m sure our American Fuhrer would say the group contained some “very fine” people.)”

    If the Jewish leadership doesn’t call Trump a FASCIST, then who else can do it, since the American Jews are Trump’s PRIMARY TARGET.

  8. Sheila,
    This essay resonates. That’s why I’m grateful for my international FB friends; for their humor, gardens, travel photos, inspirational posts, etc. I often pull up their individual pages to see their road trips in their home countries, places like Scotland – I sigh over the natural beauty, or places like the Netherlands – where gardening must be the national pastime and the west of Britain where I can walk Devon and Cornwall, etc.

    These Friend’s pages keep me sane and remind me that a whole world exists beyond the insanity in the U.S. They also remind me that the insanity here affects them also. There is a lot of concern about the loss of U.S. international leadership among my international friends. They also inform me that the rise of far-right politics bordering on fascism is occurring in their countries also – from Europe to Australia.

    So, I keep writing and calling our sheeple Senators hoping that SOMETHING might get through. I can’t give up, and I can’t shut up. One foot in front of the other is my motto these days.
    As one of my favorite inspirational memes says:
    “Just fluff out your tutu, and dance away…..”

    Keep calling, writing, speaking out and “dancing away…”

  9. After we are exposed to the nonsense Strickland and the rest of the Evangi-repubs put out, we get screaming posts about the dangers of Sharia law. I would laugh, if I weren’t so busy crying.

  10. It’s the aid to Israel that is our BIGGEST PROBLEM, AS IT COMES WITH STRINGS ATTACHED: It, CONSEQUENTLY, gives Trump his power to promote virulent anti-Semitism in America and when MUTATED, then affects all minorities, especially, LGBTs and African-Americans. The consequences of which will destroy any semblance of democracy in America.

    Its been that way for 40 years: A MODUS VIVENDI wherein massive aid is provided The State of Israel in exchange for the Zionist leadership in America, through the ADL, helping to cover-up the NEW STRAIN of the so-called HITLER VIRUS. The Zionists put themselves into a DOUBLE BIND, in which they cannot sever without the loss of aid to Israel.

    Any failure to do so DID stop all aid, as it was, temporarily, cut-off by President George Bush in the early ’90s.

  11. Trolls find the only bright spot in their desperate life through Facebook from underneath the moldy existence of fear and self hatred. Sheila, it is not EITHER/OR …. the trolls of despair or enlightened students of the BELOVED STATE under your inspired teaching. Your students trump trolls on any given day. These are BOTH/AND times to the power of ten. I remain inspired by your students.

  12. Yes, it’s truly pathetic to see the Republican/Evangelical memes push human evolution back a few hundred thousand years. I saw a FB entry yesterday by some guy who said he had a “vision” that Jesus told him things that actually came true. Of course, he didn’t include his regimen of drugs or medicines.

    Religion keeps coming to the rescue of sanity, because it is based on fairy tales and myths. There isn’t a single shred of evidence to support any of it. Having faith, it seems, has been perverted by churches to mean “believe what I tell you and attack the rest”.

    The Republican bunglers in Ohio and Georgia still think of women as property they can control. As Marv suggests, this is pure, unadulterated fascism. The cracker governor in Georgia who rigged the election is one of those ideologues who are prisoners of their own stupidity, hypocrisy and backwardness. Facebook merely exposes these social miscreants for more people to see. That said, it becomes increasingly clear that humans everywhere have failed miserably to govern themselves.

    As my friend Rebecca Costa states in her fine book, “The Watchman’s Rattle”, humans have evolved MUCH faster socially than they have biologically. That means that we’re still more interested in what our reptilian brain tells us than what our logic and good sense tell us. That pretty much defines the backwardness of that Texas legislator and the dangerous and patently unfair abortion laws in Georgia and (sadly) my home state of Ohio. Until some great awakening occurs, it will only get worse.

  13. imagine where fox and its propaganda is ,when and if the demos return tracks in this total embarrasment of our country in 2020. just living through this is enough. have we learned a lesson? if we have enough support in a few years,many of these so called executive privleges could be overturned,as they are being challenged now. the demos are obviously taking few prisoners,and some,none at all. we as a whole need to really get out a touch some lives now. those who have never made a decision,and those who have,to again,get involved. we as people outside social media,(myself)and get a grip on face to face discussions,and meet with those who, wont. when the pundits and alike start ranting,start pushing the subect with facts. ignorance can be a wishful denial your democracy is not.. best wishes.on the road again,and talking face to face..

  14. If you are looking for “good news” you will not find it. The Progressive Web Sites are filled with the latest assaults by Republicans and President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence.

    The Republican Party is now a wholly subsidiary of President Agent Orange. Republicans in safe districts must kneel before President Agent Orange or find themselves in a primary fight with someone even more extreme.

    The four pillars of the Reactionary-Right Wing-Evangelical Republicans are guns (more is always better), selected sections of the bible, steroid capitalism and blind obedience to authoritarian strong men. This blind obedience can be to “religious” leaders (men), the Pentagon Warrior Cult, or the 1%.

  15. Sheila you captured my mood well. Way back in 2012 Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it in a Washington Post editorial:

    “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

    The Republicans have gotten so much more worse than Mann and Ornstein could ever have imagined.

  16. Boy howdy, you sure did get in my head as well! I am trying to strike that fine balance between ingesting as much information about what is going on and sticking my head in the sand and not knowing what is going on. If you find that balance, let me know. I am now using FB to post kitten memes and the like; I found that anytime I posted something of substance I was just screaming into the void. Hang in there!

    P.S. I agree with one of the comments regarding following different folks on Twitter. It is now my go-to.

  17. Many years ago Walter Cronkite explained that we were facing: “White Supremacy masked in Christianity.” In all these years, we still haven’t found a way to EFFECTIVELY communicate this obvious fact.

    All I have been trying to say is that the VICTIMS HAVE TO SPEAK OUT FIRST, in order for any possible change. There will be no EFFECTIVE FRONT to engage Donald Trump until the Jewish leadership speaks-out, which might be never. That’s the way it works.

    Until the MODUS VIVENDI was created, the Jews were known as “the canary in the mineshaft” when it came to the re-occurrence of FASCISM.

  18. We’re being bullied by a coward. But, as long as he is not met FACE TO FACE, he will continue to destroy, hiding behind his bodyguards, the captured media, and the internet.

  19. WADR – Folks – been reading your comments for a few months now and have yet to see anything that suggests you have any message(s) that might resonate with those American voters who will make the difference in 2020 and beyond – the ones NOT on the right OR the left – about 50% or so…They are fed up with government and politicians and highly fearful for their children and grandchildren – fear of China, fear of globalization, fear of robotization, fear of violence, fear of climate change, fear of declining civility standards and morals, fear of declining religious identification/attendance, etc..

    The Parties are here to stay – read the history. It is the people IN the parties that are the problem. Get rid of “pols” and ideologues of all stripes – elect servant leaders who want to solve problems, not BE problems.

  20. Lester,

    “WADR – Folks – been reading your comments for a few months now and have yet to see anything that suggests you have any message(s) that might resonate with those American voters who will make the difference in 2020 and beyond”

    Be honest, you’re not exactly an unbiased observer.

  21. My despair is also fueled by the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to protect our country. Who has bought them all off? A crazy president may be a one-off, but this wholesale sell-out is a travesty to our country.

  22. A few years ago, there was a new show on CBS called “Braindead”. It was about Washington, D.C. being invaded by extraterrestrial insects which were eating the brains and taking control of people, including members of Congress and their staffers. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled, but I thought it was intriguing, clever and funny.
    I feel like that is what has happened to the Republican party. They have all been taken over by some alien power and have all been brainwashed.

  23. Like capitalism, a reasonably sound economic system in theory, democracy has built-in weaknesses. One is that if the abysmally ignorant are in the majority and can be persuaded to vote, we will get abysmally ignorant leaders, policies, practices, attitudes and outcomes from our government. Since the Reagan administration , Republicans have obsessed about how to diminish education’s role in our society and in the esteem of its citizens. They’ve pursued aggressive policies to achieve that end, and can point to notable successes. Trump is the apotheosis of their psychotic efforts, and Trump himself is has been canonized for discovering that many share his dark views of government, society, and the world.

    Since there’s nothing to suggest that optimism is in order, we must adopt courage as our governing attitude and do what we can to shore up the endangered institutions that oppose this criminal administration. The Bard nailed it:
    Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them?

    It’s still a little early to discuss taking up arms, although, as the president likes to say, all options are on the table. There’s a limit to how much abysmal ignorance will be tolerated.

  24. I spend a considerable amount of time in that same Facebook echo chamber in which enlightened “friends” from across the country provide the emotional and rational support to deal with the peculiar anachronism known as Indiana and the self-righteous ignorance known as “Hoosier common-sense” politics.

  25. Wow, you hit my frustration right on the head and right between the eyes. My down-in-the-dirt use of language these days is getting me in hot water at work, because I work with (mostly) Trump minions with no critical thinking skills. Most days, it seems we’re doomed. Then a small event happens that gives me hope. More small events, please.
    Thank you for what you do, Ms Kennedy.

  26. Marv – thanks for asking – short answer from an imaginary candidate: “You are scared and angry and want nothing to do with politics. You feel your vote doesn’t matter because things are out of control and run by the powerful. I completely understand that.

    While I wear a Party button, I am not beholden to the Party. I have no ideology; the Constitution and civility, decency, justice and caring guide me. I am a problem solver and understand that virtually all our challenges are very complex and their solutions will create winners and losers; the former need to be constrained and the latter need to be supported. There are no silver bullets for our 21st Century problems; my sleeves are rolled up and I am ready to work with all to chip away at the hurt with ways that move toward the common good.”

  27. Lester,

    “Marv – thanks for asking – short answer from an imaginary candidate: “You are scared and angry and want nothing to do with politics. You feel your vote doesn’t matter because things are out of control and run by the powerful. I completely understand that.”

    I’m no candidate, imaginary or not. Do you want to try and match my credentials? I’ve been a contributor to this blog for four years. Take a look at http://www.StrategicPower.org and come back and challenge me. How long have you been contributing? One, two, or three months?

  28. The so-called “independents,” the Bernie supporters who refuse to vote for anyone else, anyone who refuses to vote, and the cynics who consider themselves above the fray are as guilty as Trump and his army of flying monkeys of damaging this democracy. This is no time for giving consideration to false equivalencies or finding “middle ground” with a set of people for whom there is no middle ground.
    Since I can’t shut down shut down their propaganda machines – Fox News, Breitbart, bark radio – I’ve been challenging Trump supporters to take a month off from them, saying that if the thought of turning their media off stresses them out, it shows that they have a problem. Funny, none of them will even respond.
    The only thing that will solve the problem of support of this presidency is pain. If that means that friends and relatives are going to expect me to challenge them openly, then so be it.

  29. Sherry

    “This is no time for giving consideration to false equivalencies or finding “middle ground” with a set of people for whom there is no middle ground.”

    They will go to the middle, only if they can see that there no future with supporting Donald Trump. It’s about PREVISION.

    “I skate to where the puck is gonna be, not where it has been”
    ~Wayne Gretzky, National Hockey League great

    The PUCK is gonna be right before the NET of national suicide, maybe better called: FUTURCIDE. This will be the place, if there is one, where we might best WIN an argument to save our constitutional democracy.

  30. We are all born ignorant of almost everything. Some claw their way out, some are born into situations where that’s not encouraged. Those people have always been around but entertainment media driven solely by make more money now regardless of the impact on all others ever has led them to be proud of their ignorance. Entertainment media organized them just like unions organized workers. While not yet a majority they still have political clout in our democracy. That’s why Putin loves them and gave them the boost that they needed in 2016 over the wall to pick our government. We knew that those facts would lead to disaster and it has slowly and will continue to until 2020 because our Constitution did not plan for this eventuality. We dispaired in 2016 and predictably we dispair more now.

    We saved the bacon in 2018 with a Democrat controlled House but at best they can only stem the bleeding of freedom.

    21 people have come forward willing to start the clean up. Our job is to listen to them, vote for the most capable in the Democrat Primary, but, here’s the essential part, support whoever the essential winner is with all of our time, talent and treasure.

    We’ve got this.

  31. Part of the problem also lies in the fact that the argument of “we v. them,” the divide isn’t just “we________them” – it’s “we ____________________________________________________

  32. Sheila, there’s an article on Salon that I just read that I think you might find relevant to how you’re feeling. “Racism on the brain: a neuroscientist explains how the world moved right” – “The effects of fear and anger [on the brain]” may make us even more polarized, says neuroscientist Bobby Azarian


    Pretty interesting about how the white house is deliberately playing on fear and exhaustion to control how we think. It’s a strategy that’s succeeding. But there’s hope about how we can combat it, and even remember how to unplug ourselves from the funnel of emotional overload being directed at us.

  33. It feels good to blow off stern doesn’t it…
    I am learning how to control what to react to on Facebook, I am learning every day that civility works better than rage, and I can send anyone who refuses to respond in kind into cyber oblivion with three clicks.
    What I read and who I interact with on Facebook is completely under my control, it is a delusional world of my creation where rational people discuss varieties of topics civilly… or they magically disappear.

  34. Interesting… This is ALL opinion.
    An opinion is a statement made with NO factual baking , or most important: TRUTH!
    That is why stating an opinion is the most LOW brow form of communication.
    Time for all of Trump’s NEO-CON critics to take the RED pill and – WAKE UP !

  35. Reads like a rant from someone within the Norms Fairy Brigade. The Norms Fairy Brigade are the same people that tell everybody else to adjust to “disruption.” Disruption is what they dish out to others, but can’t take it for themselves.

  36. Perhaps unfortunately politics is all and only opinion. Governance however is a mixture of opinion and fact. Republican performance in governance since Trump’s hostile takeover of the party (and even before) can be analyzed objectively (the purpose of real news and antithetical to fake news) and the news for the country and the Constitution and freedom is mostly beyond bad.

  37. May I suggest a dose of SMALL VICTORIES – a newsletter highlighting the wins for justice and our still thriving American way. https://mailchi.mp/peaceisloud/we-deserve-better?e=78bd4ac326
    Often I have wondered how you are able to stay engaged in this truth telling. You are one of my Sheroes and we are “in it” with you. Ice cream and chocolate help! Keep the faith!

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