He’s our president, for now.
“Democracy as a system has evolved into something that Thomas Jefferson didn’t anticipate.” -Hunter S. Thompson
How do we respond to this new reality? We resist.
On the morning of 11/9/2016 the harsh real-fact (not alt-fact) of a President Trump was thrust upon America and the entire world. Although 72 days stood between us and the sobering start of his term there were no secret escape hatches. No recount would change the outcome. No Electoral College uprising waiting in the wings. No smoking gun of fraud to discredit and dilute the whole damn thing.
President Trump was our new reality.
But with the inauguration itself there was one final glimmer of hope, at least maybe that’s what I was clinging too. That perhaps the touch of his tiny hand on the very bible used by Lincoln might somehow infuse within him a sense of reason and responsibility. A full understanding of the weight of his new found responsibility would finally crash down on his twitter-ranting mind.
But it didn’t. And so now we must resist.
Because in the span of mere days his policies have already dismantled much of what we should value most right now. Our health. Our women. Our earth. Our culture. Our safety. And the truth.
In just 2 DAYS (‘officially’ 5 days but who counts weekends, anyway?) President Trump has:
-Started to repeal the ACA
-Restored the “Global Gag Rule”
-Restarted the Keystone XL & Dakota Access Pipelines
-Made plans to end public funding for the arts
-Entered “alternative facts” into the public lexicon
-Brought his own claqueurs to a frightening CIA speech
-Perpetuated the falsehood of massive election voter fraud
-And then there’s still the matter of Russia
The Trump Doctrine has set the table for a disheartening new world that keeps many of us breathless and sleepless. There are people in this country, and others, understandably afraid for their safety and their future.
But crazy enough, maybe this was exactly what we needed right now.
“In a democracy, people usually get the kind of government they deserve.”
Because in the end over 80% of us did not vote for Trump.
Fewer than 1 in 5 of those living in the United States caused this happen. Less than 20% made the decision to actively choose Donald J. Trump for president.
Think of America as 100 emojis:
And so those 19 emoji’s, well placed on the Electoral Map, decided this election. Because remember, kids, the United States is a constitutional republic, not a pure democracy. The popular vote does not win you elections.
A clear minority of Americans gave absolute power to an individual who is embodying our worser spirits. 63 million out of 320 million put an irrational, impulsive, narcissistic demagogue in the White House. Now I know for a fact that not all of them did it because they agree completely with Trump’s outrageousness. That they don’t absolutely trust him. And I’d be willing to bet that a fare share of them are presently struggling with buyer’s remorse.
But this is our reality. Now we must resist together.
Let’s face it the current climate in our country is one of apathy towards politics, perhaps even our democracy. Somewhere along the way we lost faith in Washington, and it happened long before we went to the polls in November of 2016. But now we have a media mogul, reality television star, fear mongering, ‘grab them by the pussy’ president. Suddenly the racism, xenophobia, bigotry, misogyny, and downright awfulness in our country seems magnified. And the fear is that those energies are now the guiding force behind our national moral compass.
But remember, 80% of us did not sign up for this.
And now we must resist! But it won’t be easy.
Just ask Jon Stewart.
“America is not natural… we’re fighting against thousands of years of human behavior and history to create something exceptional. That’s what’s exceptional about America. This ain’t easy.” — Jon Stewart
Trump supporters are not a monolith. They do not all uniformly agree with his policies or his outrageous statements. They do condone his behavior, nor feel that he is without liabilities when it comes to his ability to do this job. But they were desperate for something different. For better or worse.
But in just 2 days Trump has shown why he’s not the kind of “something different” we really want to be aiming for. But it is our collective jobs to speak up, reach out and work to find that real change.
We are actually not living in a time beyond the wildest dreams of our forebears. They did see this coming. Which is why they so clearly stated that the power remains within the hands of the people. Why they built the foundation of our democracy on the cornerstone of the 1st Amendment.
Perhaps at no other moment in history has that right been more critical.
We live in a time in which community engagement and a shared sense civic responsibility has the potential to solve nearly every problem facing our society and nations around the world. There is nothing wrong with the human race that cannot be fixed by what is right with it.
Yet in spite of the unimaginable technological possibility we remain locked in global, national, and regional stalemates. The most petty of differences are allowed to create walls between us and stunt our more reasonable discourse. And now we have a President who painfully embodies that pettiness on an near daily basis.
Young citizens are dying in our streets. There are children of this nation without homes, proper nourishment, or clean water. We are watching the wealth of our nation become grossly imbalanced as we allow a select few to hoard the benefits on the backs of our labor force. We are letting our earth become further scared by the impact of man.
But more importantly, what are WE doing to change the tides?
If the nation was built on WE the people, then WE must engage. Not just every 4 years, but every year and at every level. WE have to stop believing that one single individual can cure all that ails us. WE need a Congress willing to come from all perspectives and share in their common responsibility. To give voice not only through their own presence on the Hill, but through their engagement with the citizens back home who sent them there.
But that will only happen if WE the people make it happen.
It will only happen if WE help elect individuals who will be true change agents, and if those candidates can’t be found then to run ourselves. To become more engaged in the details of politics and governing, embracing the responsibility of citizenship.
So before you ask tomorrow what Donald Trump has done to America now, ask what you are doing for America next.
We’ve taken our democracy and our freedom for granted. Maybe President Trump is the wake up call we need.
This is still our country and we can take it back. We must resist.
I’m just a guy hurtling through space like everybody else, finding time to write, photograph, post, and tweet along the way. I enjoy rambling about politics, media, culture, and life. But my favorite job is chasing after my 4-year-old daughter. Sappy, I know, but very, very true. If you like what you read do a guy a solid and click that little green heart below so others can discover. Cheers!