You’re Better Than the President. Act Like It.

Dear Progressive Social-Media Friends,

I say this out of love: The overwhelming majority of you have not had a single original thought about Trump or his particular brand of evil.

Which is fine. How often does anybody have an original thought about anything? The problem here is that hasn’t stopped you from taking insights you must know have been expressed a gazillion times already, and running with them as if what you’re saying will blow minds.

The president gloating over how progressives are reacting to his awfulness

You seem to regard this as your sacred duty. If you do not personally “call out” Trump for whatever vile thing he tweeted at 4 a.m. over his crumpled Hustler and empty Old-Fashioned Vanilla quart container, you will have let him carry the day and push us a little closer to Nazism or Ayn Rand’s raunchiest sex dream or whatever.

If I’m wrong and you have thought something new about the guy, maybe you smudged up its finer points in your online outrage. Same difference.

Friends, you are not freedom fighters. Your cleverly-worded tweets aren’t pretty much the same thing as well-aimed bricks. Don’t think of your Facebook posts as IEDs.

Also, expressing something that nearly everyone you’re addressing already agrees with, but expressing it emphatically, with a hard defensive edge — that’s just bad writing.

Finally, not contributing to the angry noise on the left isn’t the same as giving in to despair. And it’s not the same as looking away when they come for your co-worker, then your grocer, then your neighbor.

You’re allowing Trump to drive you crazy the way so many of our conservative friends lost it over President Obama. Just seven months into this nightmare, you and your politics are already turning shrill and reflexive.

At every level of government, progressive politicans are at their most creative and passionate when they’re hammering out statements of outrage and condemnation. How much longer before, like the GOP, they give up on the idea of governing, by which I mean enacting policies that benefit large numbers of people? How much longer before fights over symbols, gestures, and process are more important than substance?

Their tweets and yours are getting to be as bad as his.

Pull yourselves together, and clean yourselves up.

You’re better than the president of the United States. Act like it.