Okay so mostly there has been a lot of rage over the last seven days. A lot of fear and frustration and freak outs. And I know I said I wouldn’t talk about it, couldn’t talk about it. But I was watching Samantha Bee today and I was listening to this song from the Women’s March and I lost it.
Like, I’m not even being dramatic. I literally cried. It’s just that sort of day.
I feel like I’m going crazy. There is so much denial, so many shoulder shrugs about Trump and his first week in power. People don’t want to talk about it. Or they do (hello) but no one wants to hear them. And I don’t get it, this pervasive need to ignore problems. We think apathy is a strength, not a weakness. That our bubble of privilege can never burst. That America has its check and its balances and a president can never change that, so why worry? But I would deign to say that the world is a scarier place than it was seven days ago. This country’s future has shifted drastically, instantly. And people are upset, yes. But even worse are the people who think it’s all just fine.
Actions have consequences. We teach five year olds that. But it seems like we’ve forgotten that and people are just overjoyed–not by what Trump is doing, but that Trump is taking action. Seven days in and he’s making all his campaign promises! The wall is up! The muslims are banned! The media is silenced! Global warming is a hoax! Babies aren’t being murdered!
But it’s not that simple. And Trump–hot take–is not that selfless.
He is not doing this for his party, he is not doing this for the American people. He’s doing it for him. Trump is taking a knife to America’s landscape to make it a place he and his fragile male ego can feel more comfortable. The day after he spoke about giving the power back to the people was the day he decided to freeze hiring, to build a wall, to ban immigrants based on religious beliefs. The day millions of women marched was the day he ended funding to NGO programs that support women. The day he talked about getting to the issues that mattered was followed by a day decrying the media for lying about his inauguration size an insisting the NPS prove him right. (It was huge, the biggest it’s ever been, believe him.)
Call me crazy, but none of that seems to say he gives a shit about me.
Trump as president is insulting for a lot of reasons. He has no respect for this country’s core beliefs (a land of the free, a safe haven for the rejected, an emblem of freedom, an example to the world). He is ego-maniacal, ultra-sensitive, trigger-happy, and hateful. He’s harassed, abused, and assaulted women. He is a liar–A PROVEN LIAR, PEOPLE–and he flipflops constantly to get what he wants whenever he feels like it again and again and again.
(PSA: after all that stuff about Hillary’s emails, guess who still has a personal phone with an unsecured email?)
But, yes. Trump is president. And his first order of business seems to be breeding an atmosphere of hate, distrust, exclusion. And it’s horrifying to see. Like discovering your beloved childhood home was actually filled with termites. Or, in this case, cheeto dust.
I feel crazy, the way this is all playing out and no one seems to mind. There’s always been party differences, Shelby. And of course, you know Obama started this EO thing, right? (He didn’t). All as if this is as simple as a pro-life law here, an anti-obamacare order there. But this feels different. This is a prequelto The Hunger Games. This is why 1984 is the bestselling novel again. This scope is wider, the reach more damaging, the impact suddenly more lasting, and the motivations beyond self-centered.
He wants to build a wall but–plot twist–we’re paying for it.
He wants to cut us out of the UN because #reasons.
He removed any mention of climate change from the White House website because out of sight, out of mind.
He stopped funding NGOs that service women across the world with health care they desperately need (even, gasp, abortions).
He banned refugees, recklessly misrepresenting an entire religion and ignoring the facts behind immigration approval.
He is using scare tactics to influence sanctuary cities to close their doors to immigrants.
He approved multiple oil pipelines, including the Dakota Pipeline, ignoring the protests of an entire people whose interests he’s now supposed to represent.
He gagged government agencies (especially the ones that pissed him off) from reporting facts that he and his team can’t first verify.
More than anything, Trump has worked alarmingly fast to block media from his presidency, to become a source of biased information, to only work with those who do it his way, and to limit the exposure the public has to public resources. Trump is rather successfully gaslighting the American public. Using scare tactics and visceral language, he continues to insist that his alternative facts are real. Ask any psychologist; he is a bully and an abuser. The way he utilizes his power to insist that he is right, that everyone else is lying, that what we see with our own eyes isn’t real–it’s an attempt to con the public into listening only to him, into trusting only him, into accepting only what he says. And it works.
When someone at the front of the ship screams loudly and long enough that the ship is sinking, people will jump even if the water never rises.
Every president has used executive orders. I get that. Obama made a lot of people unhappy. I remember that. But what I don’t understand is how Trump’s America is all that great? This uber nationalism is frighteningly outdated. It is a huge step backward, and a shocking hark back to troubling dictatorships like…oh yeah, Nazi-effing-Germany. And anyone trying to tell me it’s not that big a deal? Tell that to the Muslims, to the Mexicans, to the refugees, to the immigrants, to the women, to the media, to the countries that rely on our support. And look to the people celebrating his win: the alt-right, the racists, the fossil fuel industry, the countries that look to exploit our weakness (hello, Russia).
But, you know, I don’t want to start a fight between conservatives and liberals, republicans and democrats. Because frankly I don’t think Trump cares about party loyalty; I think Trump cares about himself, his investments he won’t give up, and his idea of a free world for the White Christian Male.
So why blog about it? Do I think this will make any impact? No. But I know I’m starting to feel insane. Like Girl on the Train levels of insane. So I’m going to keep talking and I’m going to keep ranting. Because pretending this is normal, pretending his alternative facts are reality, pretending the constitution is enough to protect us from a certifiable delusionist–I cannot even. I won’t be convinced that this–any of this–is okay. I can barely believe it’s happening. My grasp on reality is paper thin, so, no, I can’t keep quiet.
Shrugging our shoulders and letting whatever happens happen is no longer an option. More than getting up in arms about party, about the sensitive liberals or the evil conservatives, we should all be more aware, more involved, more vocal. Trump’s cabinet is dangerously unqualified and have proven time and again to be uninterested in the real issues they’re meant to represent. Trump’s party is frighteningly loyal and basically foaming at the mouth to pass through what they will. And Trump himself…well, he can’t even speak in complete sentences.
So let’s stop pretending everything and everyone will be okay. There’s a good chance some people won’t be. And maybe that’s not you and maybe it’s not me. But we’re all people living on this one planet together and we have a responsibility to stand up for it and for each other. Because otherwise, what’s the point? We can’t keep quiet.