More on the Everything Sucks Era

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

There were a few responses to yesterday’s Backchannel about the “everything sucks” era that I wanted to share with you.

The first is from TPM Reader JY

I think a related problem is that, for a lot of people, COVID created an intensely demoralizing sense of powerlessness. Even if you didn’t know someone who passed away, hunkering down in your house while you hoped things got better was about the best you could do if you weren’t inventing the vaccine. And for a lot of people, that’s probably persisted—this idea of fragility, of the possibility of everything falling apart. So you walk around the world now kind of tenderly, like you’re waiting for something to go wrong. This type of feeling is also disorienting in the context of Trump and the J6 crowd just still running around screaming about how they’re going to raise hell. And it’s exhausting to combat that, but you feel like you have to—and that’s just another weight on your back….

I got another note from TPM Reader KM, which I didn’t agree with precisely but, as I told them, I got that a lot of people do.

The choice of Biden/Trump seems like a continuation of the pandemic trauma, as well as a continuation of the past 40 years of Rule by Boomer. 

The opinion in my liberal bubble in Seattle is that if Nicki Haley were the Republican nominee she would likely beat Biden. Not because Biden is doing a bad job, or that she is offering anything new. People are just ready to turn the page on the pandemic. 

Trump could probably easily win if he were the “sunshine” candidate instead of the “doom and gloom” candidate. People are in the mood for Morning in America, but that means new candidates.

As I wrote, I don’t see it that way. But I understand it.

I don’t see it that way. But I think you’re probably right that most people do. And I do get that even for me Biden is basically about grinding out one more victory. Like we didn’t fully slay Trump in 2020. So Biden’s got to beat him again to keep us holding on as a democracy. So even my way of looking at it has an element of just holding on, living to fight another day, as it were. 

Finally, TPM Reader CS looks to the future, with trepidation …

Not a New Yorker, but wanted to write in to say I think your point about the pandemic’s long half-life is spot-on. If you are a parent or are in education (or like me both), you see the effects on kids and wonder if it’s permanent and how damaging. From anxiety to reading comprehension to absenteeism, our kids are experiencing the brunt of the pandemic’s “long half life.” It’s disruptive to so many aspects of daily life. And as an educator, it’s hard not to panic about what this all means for these kids as they become educators, doctors, parents, etc.

The other piece I see is the disruptive effect of our slow-boil civil war. From where I am (deep red state), it’s very demoralizing, and I imagine it must have some effect on the mindsets of New Yorkers, as well.

Latest Editors' Blog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: