On Friday morning, Salon magazine published a hard hitting story titled, “Lonely And Unhappy People Elected Donald Trump: That Could Be A Sign Of Hope.” Essentially, the piece runs through about a dozen maladies that seem to plague Americans and stretches it to sound like it’s our president’s fault.
Salon’s Chauncey Devega writes, in part:
This mix of alienation, loneliness, despair and angst provided the perfect breeding ground for the authoritarian populism that Trump rode to victory. Social pathology does not encourage healthy democratic politics: Trumpism is the proof, as is the rise of right-wing authoritarianism across Europe and around the world.
In other words, if you voted for Trump, the odds that you’re mentally ill are pretty high.
He references a Gallup poll that studied several maladies including “a sharp uptick in reporting ‘little interest or pleasure in doing things,'” “elevated reports of daily physical pain,” “a drop in reports of liking ‘what you do each day,'” and “a decline in having ‘someone who encourages you to be healthy.'”
If you’re having these problems, I really don’t think it’s your president’s fault. It just sounds like you’re a downright loser. I’m no psychiatrist but I did take Psychology 101, which is basically the same thing. And I distinctly remember studying things like social isolation and mental health in class. Lots of factors can bring about unhappiness and imbalance. Things like lack of exercise, an improper diet, unstable home life, drug addiction, and abusive relationships. But I don’t recall ever studying that Donald Trump causes chronic pain. It just wasn’t in the text.
If you’re blaming Donald Trump because you don’t have “someone who encourages you to be healthy,” it’s time to reevaluate your life. There are plenty of steps to take to combat this issue before presidential impeachment. For example, hire a personal trainer. Call your mom. Get on a dating site. Or take accountability for your own damn wellness. Don’t whine about being lonely and unhealthy because of who’s living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Not to mention, this article is written on entirely false pretenses. Gallup never asked the people they polled to disclose their political affiliation. I went into this poll and looked at where the states’ respondents hailed from. The ones who gave the highest marks regarding the five factors measured (purpose, social, financial, community, and physical well being) were mostly from states that went red in the 2016 Presidential Election — like South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, and Utah.
Assuming that Americans are unhappy in 2018 because of our president is not only fallacious but highly irresponsible. It’s also a dangerous precedent to set. It teaches people that not taking responsibility for one’s action — or inaction — is an acceptable way to direct anger. It’s lazy, it’s a losing attitude, and it’s just downright sad.
Follow Jena on Twitter.