New Yorker Writer Tries, Fails to Escape Trump in Alaskan Wilderness

DONALD TRUMP!!! ...Sloooowly I turned...step by step.....

Poor Bill McKibben. The former New Yorker staff writer couldn't get Donald Trump out of his mind so, in order to keep from going out of his mind, McKibben took a trip to the Alaskan wilderness. Gates of the Arctic National Park. However, even on the 8.4 million acres of the park with no roads, ranger stations, nor even trails, he still couldn't purge his mind of you-know-who. McKibben recounts his gallant but failed effort in I Went All the Way to the Alaskan Wilderness to Escape Donald Trump which begins with him waxing poetically about the beauty of nature in remote Alaska.

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I’d expected the grandeur—the sheer cliffs, the river braided by floods, the grizzly-bear tracks across the beaches where we pitched camp. But I’d been unprepared for the quietly dramatic beauty of autumn in Alaska’s Brooks Range. Though it was still officially late summer, the snowline was already dropping on the peaks, and the chill air was turning the green tundra into a carpet of reds and yellows by the hour. I’m a good child of New England, forever enchanted by the neons that a maple-birch-beech hillside can produce. This was subtler—not muted, exactly, but drawn from a different palette. The dwarf dogwood and the aspen shrubs produced vast blocks of tawny and canvas and beet and dried blood against the misty sky; in places, it looked like a van Gogh wheat field times a thousand, with spindly spruce filling in for Mediterranean cypress.

Unfortunately for McKibben he just couldn't keep himself focused of the beautiful vista before him. His mind inevitably wandered back to the one who has been completely dominating this thoughts since Election Night last year.

This trip marked the first time since Donald Trump took office that I’ve been totally out of touch, and it made me understand in a gut way precisely how deep he’s managed to get in my mind. It’s not that I didn’t think about him in the Arctic—I did, and usefully, in the moments not devoted to navigation or breaking camp or watching grayling rise in the Koyukuk’s clear tributaries. But I didn’t react to him; he wasn’t there to break into my thoughts, or my Twitter timeline, at every turn. Trump’s doubletalk is, by design or by accident, perfectly suited to keep one from thinking. The steady production of nonsense is his defining feature, and now a scarily large portion of my brain seems to have reshaped itself to anticipate, absorb, react to the craziness. My internal clock seems to register those early-morning and late-evening hours when he’s likeliest to start ranting.

Wow! Even in a remote wilderness, McKibben remained completely obsessed with Donald Trump to the extent that his internal clock is dominated by Trump.

It’s not that Trump is a disturbing, disruptive President; it’s that he’s a disturbing, disruptive person who’s managed to become President, and now we’re living in his chaotic reality.

It's Trump's world. You're just renting...and ranting.

And now, in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, McKibben continues ranting on and on and on about Trump.

It may be that Trump’s continuous stream of insults and oddities—say, going off on South Korea when North Korea detonates a bomb—is not clinical but tactical, a high-level version of the distracting patter perfected by the three-card monte guys who used to work their swindles on the street corners around midtown Manhattan. In any event, its effect, at least on me, has been to make it harder to focus on the biggest and scariest threats that his Presidency represents, the rips he’s trying to tear in the physical fabric of our planet and the social fabric of our nation. In general, we’ve reacted well at the most obvious moments—the surge of people to airports when the Muslim ban was announced, the wicked anger when Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord and gutted daca, most of all the collective disgust at his announcement that “fine people” were out protecting Charlottesville’s Confederate icons. But the President’s chatter makes even those defining moments start to fade into the general noise. As hard as it is to remember, there were problems in our country before Trump came to power, (problems severe enough that they helped set the stage for his improbable election). It has been difficult to muster the intellectual or organizational energy for anything but playing defense. Which is a problem, because it’s crucial to figure out how to make Trump react, instead of the other way around.

Finally, McKibben attempts to convince us that Donald Trump is really not in complete control of his mind way out in that wilderness. 

...since Trump was not actually there in person, and since Twitter didn’t exist, he couldn’t blitzkrieg your brain.

Claimed the writer who acts as if his mind was completely blitzed by Trump.

Appropriately, at the bottom of the article one of the subject tags is "Mental Health."


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