Opinion: A week without politics: My spring break journal


Nicholas Hunter

Nicholas Hunter

Editor’s note: The following column contains satire. The events mentioned in the piece are fictitious.

The following is a journal I kept over the past five days, documenting my personal thoughts as I embarked on one of the most difficult tasks of my life: taking a break from politics.

Day 1: Spring break is finally upon us. As the state of American politics is becoming more distressing by the day, I have decided to take a week-long break from politics. It’s been three hours since I checked Twitter; I haven’t watched a single press conference from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and my stress acne is already beginning to clear up. This is a much-needed break.

Day 2: I haven’t looked at Twitter or turned on CNN since spring break began, and the effects are magical. I watched the new Netflix series “Iron Fist” (I give it a “B-“). I went for a run; I saw a chirping bird in a tree and felt pure bliss for the first time in two years.

I don’t know what Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been up to the past couple days, and, frankly, I could not care less.

Day 3: I checked Facebook today and saw a video of President Donald Trump at a press conference; I blacked out and awoke 20 minutes later with 14 YouTube tabs opened, each with a clip of Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, on “Fox and Friends” discussing the different ways your “wires can be tapped.”

What an odd prank for my brother to pull on me.

I noticed a backlog of the “FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast” starting to build up. I need to delete those. I went for a run again — no birds this time.

Day 4: I checked Twitter to see how much my last column was shared (only once) and saw a tweet from the president. I don’t remember what it said, but I know that my phone died as I scrolled through his tweets.

Other than that, I only listened to 12 podcasts, watched five hours of CNN, and read the last four days of The New York Times. This hiatus has been a little strange, not knowing what’s going on in the world and such. But it’s been refreshing.

I started getting hives, though — maybe it’s all that running outside.

Day 5: I booked a ticket to Atlanta late last night so I can break into CNN headquarters and watch its last week of TV. I have a plan, too: play two days of TV at the same time, both at double speed. I did the math and, if I stay awake for the next 37 hours, I’ll be caught up before spring break is over.

Final thoughts: I think that we all need a break from the stresses in life. There are times when we put the weight of the world on our shoulders, and we need time to shake it off and rest.

But not politics. The 24-hour news cycle, four-times-a-week political podcasts and endless front-page spreads featuring a member of the Trump cabinet never stop.

So I cannot ever stop. I learned a hard lesson this week, but an important one: I need politics just as much as politics need me.

Nicholas Hunter is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].