Beyond my feed and media hits—BBC, CNN, etc—here's how I tried to help.

Proof Books—
Proof Pod—
I've been thinking about this lately because my time as a political journalist is almost done. I've been planning to move on for a long time.

(Note: I'd add my recent chat with Russell Brand to the list above, but it's not out yet. So I'll add the below.)…
I know some will feel put out that I won't be spending November obsessing over each new Trump atrocity. But I just can't. I've given 5+ years of my life to covering this madman, and it's taken a toll. My work on Trump's life from 1987 to mid-fall 2020 will have to stand as it is.
I've made a lot of noise about this for a long time, I know, but the time is here. I've one more interview scheduled, and two more podcast recording sessions. But then I'll be focusing on journalism about journalism and the many things I love that I haven't focused on much here.
Besides media theory—and journalism on media theory—I'm into metamodernism, sixties music, alt-art, graphic novels, nerd culture, street art, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Wisconsin Badgers, the Dartmouth Big Green, stand-up comedy, emerging tech, experimental writing and much more.
Donald Trump is a poisoner. He poisons souls and poisons institutions. Those who pretend that there's any glory, happiness, or profit in covering Donald Trump prove in saying so that they've never done it themselves. No one who thinks about the man daily sees their life enriched.
When I wrote my first article on Donald Trump the day in 2015 he announced his candidacy—and followed that up, in the summer of 2015, with a series of academic articles on Trump as a metamodern phenomenon—I did so because I knew something important was happening before our eyes.
When it became clear that Donald Trump wasn't just a poisoner of every business venture he's ever participated in and every life he's ever become entangled with but was a would-be poisoner of the nation he aimed to lead—which had been so good to him—my focus changed considerably.
I began to ask not what an academic might say about Trump but what historians would say about any nation that permitted him to lead it. I began to think about how I'd look back on these years, about what I would say my contribution had been in standing up to this obvious villain.
I didn't anticipate that I'd face years of attacks from the left—vile accusations about my motivations and character, despite having spent a lifetime wearing my values on my sleeve, being involved in causes and professions that underline where my interests and my principles lie.
It was what it was. I know who I am and why I did what I did. Those who attacked me relentlessly are folks who I don't know, whose motivations I can't understand and whose character I can't get caught up in trying to guess. Mainly, I just hope I've been helpful in some small way.
As I said, I've a few things left to do political journalism–wise over the next couple weeks. But my political postings will become fewer and farther between. I'll still be here—and active—but increasingly focused on what makes life worth living, not the face of evil in our time.
5 times daily I encounter a stranger wondering publicly how I'll "adapt my grift" if Trump loses. It's pretty sad to abide in that sort of cynicism about a man you don't know. But one reason I'm writing this now is because the election results have nothing to do with my decision.
I didn't plan the spend the last five and a half years doing what I've been doing. I wish Trump had never run, and that none of us had gone through any of this. It was always my plan to get *back* to life—not make this insanity my life. Those who thought otherwise don't know me.
I do hope you'll stick around, as I've a lot to say on many topics, and things I hope to create and to discuss with everyone here, whatever happens November 3. But this feed can't be, going forward, what it has been since May 2015. I'm afraid I don't have that gene in me anymore.
If Trump wins, there'll be a whole new generation of people rising up to meet a new challenge, and as I (and so many others) tried to do, they will inductively build their research, writing, ethical, and advocacy practices based on all the knowledge bases and skillsets they have.
What this feed will become is an expression of all the same knowledge bases and skillsets that brought me to write the Proof books, participate in the Proof podcast, become an infamous "threader," make appearances—both happy and otherwise—on live media and in citations by media.
The Proof books would exist if I hadn't written the Metamodern Trilogy—three poetry books—between 2013 and 2017; my Twitter practice wouldn't have evolved as it did if I hadn't written a book on writing pedagogy called the Insider's Guide to Graduate Degrees in Creative Writing.
I wouldn't think as I do without my years of trial work and criminal investigation, which I'll now apply to the thorny topic of how we evolve journalism to adapt to the post-truth era. I'm working right now on a graphic novel called Citizen Journalist that addresses exactly that.
And the best part of my day—on social media, at least—is when I post an art recommendation (novel, music, video game, film, or otherwise) and even just one person says "Damn—that was great." Those are the sorts of connections between strangers that I'd like to help foster online.
Anyone who'd be an artist as well as a contributor to public discourse—and I'm in that group—knows you have to do what you have to do whatsoever the response may be. I've written books read by 60 people and books read by 60,000. You always just write the book you *have* to write.
I hope at least some folks remember this thread when November 3 comes around, if/as they notice a change in this feed and wonder—especially because there'll be plenty of meatheads who say so—whether the change is a result of the election results. It isn't. It's me being who I am.
I do wish I'd had more than five and a half years of this fight in me. I even sometimes wish I were the sort of person who thrives on being hated—rather than someone who spent these years as he did despite feeling profoundly hurt over being misunderstood, and feeling hurt daily.
No matter what comes, I'll take with me the immeasurable kindness of so many of you in posts, DMs, emails, letters, and other communications. I focus on the hurt because of how I'm wired; but there's been boundless kindness given to this feed, too. I know it and will remember it.

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More from @SethAbramson

18 Oct
(THREAD) Tim O'Brien is a great Trump biographer. But as a fellow Trump biographer, I'd disagree that there's no strategy component here. Trump's M.O. is a metamodern melange of strategy and instinct. What's he doing? Building his brand among his audience.…
1/ When I first began writing academic articles about Trump in June 2015, I posited that he'd be appealing to many folks because—instinctively, not in a reflexive way—his paradoxical juxtapositions of opposing tendencies represent the darkest end of our current metamodern moment.
2/ At a time when postmodern political theorists—who in the waning years of that paradigm have come to love bipolar dialectics, which see polar-opposite forces contend with one another until one is destroyed—were calling Trump's followers "angry," I called them "angry optimists."
Read 26 tweets
17 Oct
I wrote 2 days ago that Trump *knew* a *long time ago* that Giuliani was involved in a Russian disinformation campaign. It's almost like I wrote a book called Proof of Corruption about this. Glad it's now breaking news on CBS. Proof of Corruption became a bestseller in September.
PS/ To be clear, Trump knew *well* before December 2019—as detailed, using many major-media sources, in Proof of Corruption. Today's breaking news is that it was December 2019; tomorrow's news will say "summer 2019"; eventually everyone will catch up with the book: "spring 2018."
PS2/ And yes, I'm talking about spring 2018. Media is so many months—even years—behind the curatorial research in the Proof series that it's releasing as "breaking news" Trump knowing about a plot he knew about a year and a half earlier than CBS News now says. This is incredible.
Read 12 tweets
17 Oct
I really admire @SachaBaronCohen, and he is excellent in THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (as is Eddie Redmayne) by @RealAaronSorkin
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
A couple weeks back I wrote here that our three year-old rescue hound Quinn doesn't know how to sit properly. Some of you gently took me to task, as you thought that the picture I offered wasn't a very good representation of the problem. How about this one, dog lovers of America?
PS/ (Quinn is a she.)
PS2/ (This is, as you can probably tell, the oldest and dirtiest chair in the house. But we can't get rid of it because both Quinn and Scout are obsessed with it, treat it as their "home base," and couldn't bear to be parted with it. And we would basically do anything for them.)
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
Twitter has deleted, so far today, 150 followers from my feed out of (presumably) some sort of security necessity. Virtually every day, 100 to 300 followers are dutifully deleted. About 2,000 weekly. But Kremlin disinformation? Now *that* can freely appear *anywhere* on Twitter.
Can you imagine if Twitter policed Kremlin disinformation as fanatically as it polices the follower counts of Trump critics? If it removed one Kremlin-pushed "news" story from its platform for every one follower it removes from this (and many other) feeds?

That would be amazing.
Twitter has never explained to its users how it identifies followers that need to be removed from certain accounts—and I don't mean one at a time, I mean *mass purges* of 20 to 100 followers *all at once* that occur over and over throughout the day. Every *single* day. See below:
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
What's been lost on my Twitter feed in five years of covering a madman who's destroying America is any sense of what I love. What makes me happy. One of those things? Alt-art. You almost never see it here, because Trump pushes it all out. Can anyone guess what you're seeing here?
(PS) I'd also love to hear from all of you what *you* think you've lost from your Twitter feed because of Trump—i.e., things you used to or normally would write about on social media but have felt unable to do so because Trump is a stormcloud over America every second of the day.
(PS2) So this additional piece of alt-art should help—a lot—if you're about my age and need a refresher on a glorious piece of lost 1980s multimedia.
Read 5 tweets

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