“Democrats, liberals and leftists have coped with this first year of the Trump presidency in lots of ways,” a lengthy article in Saturday’s New York Times observes.
“Some subsist on the thin gruel of political cartoon shows and online impeachment petitions. Others dwell online in the thrilling place where conspiracy is indistinguishable from truth. Others have been inspired to action, making their first run for public office, taking local action or marching in their first protest rally.”
And some, including the Times’s own former executive Jill Abramson, carry around a little plastic Obama doll, but I digress.
The focus of the article is one Erik Hagerman, a pig farmer from Gloucester, Ohio, who found a new-old way to cope with “Donald Trump’s victory,” which “shook him. Badly.”
Following in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, Hagerman retreated into his own internal wilderness, swearing off newspapers, televised news, social media, and anything else that would bring him word of political developments in America since Nov. 8, 2016.
James Comey. Russia. Robert Mueller. Las Vegas. The travel ban. “Alternative facts.” Pussy hats. Scaramucci. Parkland. Big nuclear buttons. Roy Moore.
He knows none of it. To Mr. Hagerman, life is a spoiler.
There is almost a reverential tone to the article. “It takes meticulous planning to find boredom. Mr. Hagerman commits as hard as a method actor, and his self-imposed regimen — white-noise tapes at the coffee shop, awkward scolding of friends, a ban on social media — has reshaped much of his life.”
The author, Sam Dolnick, quotes Hagerman, who lives alone, as saying, “I’m emotionally healthier than I’ve ever felt.”
He may want to get a second opinion on that.
Now that he has transformed himself into the ultimate low-information voter, my one question for Erik Hagerman is whether he intends to vote in upcoming elections. He wouldn’t be the first liberal to do so.