Donald Trump is Head Lice

At some point, life began to feel like an obstacle course. Not a cute little obstacle course like Candy Land with one or two manageable hurdles. One of the obstacle courses you see in movies about military training that involve lots of mud, oppressive bodies of water, and perhaps giant fire balls falling from the sky. And I’m just hurling myself, sweaty, bloody, coated in mud and fire, on my last leg, to some sort of invisible finish line.

Some obstacles feel huge and burdensome and unmanageable and exhausting. The death of a loved one. I literally wrote a book about this. Terminal illness. Chronic unemployment. Others simply feel like a nuisance, manageable but still exhausting. A nail in your tire. Stepping in gum. The common cold.

Some obstacles are manageable but FEEL huge. Or if you’re a person with crippling anxiety and genetic neuroticism like me, everything FEELS huge even if it is manageable. BASICALLY, EVERYTHING IS EXHAUSTING.

The obstacles I’ve faced over the last few years have piled up at lighting speed, but with each new piece of dog feces flung my way, I actually relax a little bit. It’s an odd response, but basically, the more shitty things that happen, the more I realize I’m powerless and swimming in a senseless galaxy, controlling nothing and no one, least of all my own circumstances.

A couple of examples.

Donald Trump serving as President of the United States is an obstacle that feels huge, isn’t manageable, and may very well kill us all. (See above about living in a senseless galaxy.)

Lice is an obstacle that feels huge, is eventually manageable after exhausting numerous options but feels unmanageable. It likely won’t kill you but will most certainly kill your soul, the part that Donald Trump hasn’t already annihilated.

I know way more than I’d ever want to know about lice because my darling three year old recently acquired a veritable colony of them on her head. Nits, recently hatched lice, adult lice — all three generations. I got the call whilst laying on an examination table, naked from the waist down, getting an anatomy scan of my current in utero child, who we have lovingly given the in utero name, Fluffhead. When Fluffhead is born, he will be named after my brother, who passed away tragically three years ago and loved the band Phish. “Fluffhead” was his favorite Phish song. But I digress.

Whilst learning about Fluffead’s anatomy, I got a call from the nurse at Licehead’s school, who gently informed me that I needed to pick her up immediately and recommended I take her to a place called Lice Ranger, that would pick them out of her head, one by one, for a premium fee of nearly $100/hr.

I complied, and left Lice Ranger four hours later with a certificate that assured me she was 100% lice free.

This was not the case.

The fuckers showed back up five days later whilst on a family vacation to Hawaii to celebrate my father-in-law’s 70th birthday. The vacation was essentially ruined since it became about dealing with both the lice on my daughter’s head and and the family members who were now scared to be around Licehead.

When we finally got to the end of the trip, and were packed up and on the way to airport, we discovered that the partner airline United had booked for us to fly home had literally shut down, and no one had bothered to call and inform us of this important detail. Like I said, life is an obstacle course.

We eventually made it out of Hawaii alive and stone-cold sober (see pregnancy), but while waiting around all day for our late night, last-minute flight, I couldn’t help but think about all the ways head lice is like Donald Trump. The similarities are striking.

  1. You can NOT get rid of these motherfuckers no matter how hard you try or how hard you fight. You can pay the $100/hr to get them picked out of your kid’s head one by one. You can use the insecticide shampoo and the medicated lotion. You can comb her hair with a special comb until her scalp is raw, but still those fuckers remain. Similarly, you can rally and march, share unbelievable, horrifying story after unbelievable, horrifying story on Twitter, but still that fucker remains, unconditionally defended by a spineless Congress full of more lice.
  2. Lice puts everyone on edge. The threat feels imminent, and there’s a palpable, underlying through line of anxiety, a never-ending sense of impending doom that takes up residence in your once happy home. Will they attack again? Did you really get them all the first time? Is North Korea going to launch a nuclear attack on the United States? Safety is an illusion.
  3. Lice are blood-sucking, soul-sucking, spineless creatures. No further explanation needed here.
  4. Lice give no fucks about decorum or appropriate timing. They will fuck over anyone, anytime. They. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck. They don’t care that you’re on your annual family vacation to celebrate your father-in-law’s 70th birthday. They will ruin anything any time because they care about no one but themselves. Donald Trump will tweet about the NRA on the anniversary of Sandy Hook or use a domestic terrorist attack to expound on the innate badness of muslims. He will call nazis fine people after they’ve mowed down an innocent young woman in the street.
  5. Speaking of nazis who hide in the shadows and multiply like cockroaches, lice produce offspring at a breakneck speed and pass down their bad habits and hatred to said offspring. This one is on the list because Donald Trump loves nazis, and nazis used to compare Jews to lice and were responsible for massive typhus outbreaks in Germany as a result of Jewish ghettos. “On April 24, 1943, Heinrich Himmler [Nazi] gave a speech to an assembly of SS officers: ‘Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology…It is a matter of cleanliness. In just the same way, anti-Semitism, for us, has not been a question of ideology, but a matter of cleanliness, which now will soon have been dealt with. We shall soon be deloused. We have only 20,000 lice left, and then the matter is finished within the whole of Germany.” Lovely, no?

6. No one wants lice in their homes, at their dinner tables, or on their Twitter feeds. They are always unwelcome. Like Donald Trump.

7. These pests will tear your family apart and bring out the worst in everyone, much like your racist Uncle Jim who voted for Trump and ruined Thanksgiving last year.

8. Speaking of racism, lice don’t typically care for people of color. They much prefer white people’s heads. Or white people in general. I’m certain they also love Norwegians.

9. There are lice and then there are super lice. Super lice are lice that have genetically mutated to become resistant to any form of treatment. Super Lice do not look any different from regular lice. They can only be identified by their resistance to traditional lice treatments. If the GOP are a bunch of lice, Donald Trump is King Super Lice.

10. Getting rid of lice is an exhausting, uphill battle that often feels hopeless. It’s not easy. It takes time and multiple tactics, patience and determination. But one day, you comb through that hair with a $22 nit comb and realize they’re finally gone. You have emerged victorious. You have conquered the lice.

So if the Battle of Lice has taught me anything, it’s that as ugly as our world has become and as maddening as it feels on a daily basis, I have to believe we’re on our way to some sort of triumph. Trump feels unmanageable, and it’s unlikely that he’s going anywhere prior to the end of his term. But midterms are coming, and the last two special elections have proven that the resistance is not for naught. Justice will eventually prevail and the lice in Congress and the Super Lice in the White House will be wiped out by kindness, compassion, and decency.

As MLK said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”



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Stephanie Wittels Wachs

Stephanie Wittels Wachs

Lemonada Media // Host of Last Day → // Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful is my book title and worldview.