A good friend of mine is generally unable to talk about a certain resident of the White House without becoming completely enraged.

This friend of mine is usually a very pleasant fellow. He is extremely intelligent and very well read, and the two us can happily spend hours speaking about many cultural topics of mutual interest.

But when the conversation turns to you-know-who, my friend loses all composure, and becomes utterly irate. Engaging with him on the subject is like waving a red cape in front of an angry bull.

The irony here is that I pretty much agree with my friend, in political terms. The difference is that I don’t allow myself to become emotionally overcome, no matter how distasteful I find this particular topic.

I think my refusal to rage and fume is itself a political act. In my view we currently have a troll in the White House, one who thrives by finding ways to reduce his critics to sputtering outrage. Declining to play along is part of my strategy of opposition.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to work for everyone. I think that my friend, like a lot of other people these days, is showing symptoms of *-aholism. Feel free to replace the “*” in the previous sentence by whatever creepy political figure springs to mind.

For now the two of us have agreed simply not to discuss politics. To me that’s just common sense. After all, if you suspect your friend may be an alcoholic, it’s probably a good idea not to invite him out for a beer.

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