After President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, liberals did some pretty crazy things. They cried, gave students a break from school, chanted “Not My President,” gave students play-dough and coloring books, and even started talking about secession. But the senior editor of ThinkProgress did something even more ridiculous: he scared himself into psychosis — by thinking about his plumber.
In a note from November 12, 2016, Resnikoff recounted having a plumber over to fix a clogged drain in his apartment. Terrifyingly, “he was a perfectly nice guy and a consummate professional.”
But Resnikoff found a reason to get scared, anyway, because the plumber “was also a middle-aged white man with a southern accent who seemed unperturbed by this week’s news.”
“While I had him in the apartment, I couldn’t stop thinking about whether he had voted for Trump, whether he knew my last name is Jewish, and how that knowledge might change the interaction we were having inside my home,” Resnikoff explained. “I have no real reason to believe he was a Trump supporter or an anti-Semite, but in my uncertainty I couldn’t shake the sense of potential danger.”
The ThinkProgress editor admitted he was “rattled for some time after he left.”
Looking beyond the obvious ageism, racism, and anti-southern bias of pigeonholing a man into the category “potential threat” due to the fact that he apparently was not perturbed that Trump won (maybe he was just being cautious around someone he doesn’t know), this situation might actually be funny. But Resnikoff does not think he is alone in scaring himself silly over a non-confrontation.
“I’m very privileged insofar as this sense of danger is unfamiliar to me. And I know I feel it much less acutely than a lot of other people right now,” the liberal writer added. In Resnikoff’s mindset, he just got a taste of what many people face every day. Some LGBT people might feel targeted in everyday situations, but one would hope they don’t automatically rationalize themselves into fearing just anyone — especially not those whom they regard as “perfectly nice” or “a consummate professional.”
Naturally, Resnikoff did not consider his terrorizing himself crazy — heck, he did not even take responsibility for doing it himself.
Instead, he argued that “today was a reminder that ambiguous social interactions now feel unsafe and unpredictable in a way they never did before. And even if Trump is gone in four years, I don’t expect to ever reclaim that feeling of security. That’s just one more thing you voted for, if you voted for him.”
Yes, according to this ThinkProgress senior editor, something has gone fundamentally wrong in the universe — not in himself — and his irrational fear of a nice, professional plumber is Trump’s fault.