Adaptation, Accommodation, and the Desecration of America's Democracy

Humans, like many life forms on Earth, have an incredible capacity to adapt. We not only live, but thrive in biomes all over the planet including the Arctic tundra, the mountains of the Himalayas, and lush forests of the Amazon. Soon enough, we'll be figuring out how to live on the surface of Mars (#MarsGeneration) and alongside Siri and Alexa! But actually. 

It's not just our physical environment that we adapt to, but also our sociopolitical reality - especially when changes to that reality are gradual in nature. 

Every side has two coins, and the flip side of the adaptation coin is accommodation. 

Accommodation to the point of complacency. This happens when we alter our reactions to the environment because it is easier to change ourselves and adapt to a new reality, than it is to change the external. Why push a boulder out of your way, when you can walk around it? Why ask someone in a library to quiet down when you can passive aggressively put headphones in your ears? Why dance when you can make money move? (Thanks Cardi B!)

Y'all. Just this past week alone, there were enough headlines from the Trump administration to sink 5 presidencies. There was Hope Hicks, the 5th White House Communications Director resigning after admitting to lying on behalf of the president. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a Hopeless place AND also the site of a criminal investigation into collusion, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. There's Jared Kushner, the perpetual dweeb who used his nebulous White House role and shoddy security clearance to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in loans for his family business. There's Trump unrelenting attacks on the Attorney General, a confirmed racist and liar, as he tries to pressure the Justice Department to end its investigation into every corner of his life and presidential campaign. 

What else?

Oh, dramatic flip-flops on gun control, threats of imposing tariffs, instigation of Trade Wars with our allies. While all of this is unfolding, Trump golfs at Mar-A-Lago and tweets with the stability of microtubules about to undergo catastrophe (google it 😝). 

Maybe the president is a very stable genius....Nah, the man is erratic af. He's gone rogue and he's taken good governance with him. Trump continues to push the boundary of acceptable behavior (#StormyDaniels), attack pillars of our democracy, and honestly endanger the lives of the American people.  Despite all this, Trump persists, and nothing gets done. Why? Well privilege, which I wrote about here.

And also, we've adapted. Our politicians (the spineless GOP) and our society have become complacent. This past week, month, year, etc have been so absurd, that we just get on with our days. Because we have to. Because while Trump may not do any work in his current job, the rest of us still have to. 

At some point last year, I shared a Facebook rant with my younger brother Kelechi who then asked me: 

"Chidi, how long are you going to stay mad?"

I replied "For as long as that man is in the White House." 

This was back in March 2017, and the fact that I haven't suffered a heart attack yet means that at some point between then and now, I reduced my level of anger at the current administration. Not because I care less, but out of self-care. 

I imagine many people got to this point over the past year. We coped by dialing down our outrage for the sake of going about our daily lives with peace of mind. We did this so we didn't  become husks of ourselves, spent from constantly being angry, fighting, and protesting. We did what humans do best. 

Adapt. Accommodate.  

Two sides of the same coin. 

I worry that because enough of us have dialed back our outrage, the man who the country gave 1/1000th of an inch in 2014, has taken it and run 1000 miles.

And still to this day, not a single voter has seen his tax returns. 

Stay Mad.

Stay Petty.

Stay Ready to Vote in the 2018 Midterms.