Week One: Where We Are Now
So the Lie has won and presumed the presidency and the only questions left now are, ‘How bad will it get?’ and, ‘What form will the resistance take?’ The answer to the first is, ‘bad.’ The answer to the second was visible on the faces of the millions who marched through the cities of this nation and abroad this past Saturday. You say you’re returning the government to the people, Mr. Trump? Well, meet the people.
That said, it’ll take some doing to fix this. Having attained the Presidency (with a little help from his ‘friends’), Trump has grown, burgeoned. Like Ursula the Sea Witch in “The Little Mermaid,” who he eerily resembles at certain moments, he went from manageable to monstrous in the time it took for him to put his pudgy hand on a pair of Bibles and say the words, ‘I do.’ He’s Commander in Chief now. He’s got the power and the pen. We’re in big fucking trouble.
Barring some miraculous, Disney-like rescue (with Julian Assange, say, in the unlikely role of Prince Eric, skewering the blond monster on the pointed prow of his tax returns, or, alternatively — the NC-17 rated version — that 400 pound guy getting his own back by premiering the much-anticipated video of Trump ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ in Moscow), there won’t be any quick fixes. Don’t get me wrong. One or both of these may well happen. I’d like nothing better. More likely, we’ll have to fight for every inch of turf.
Which brings me back to the people Trump seems to be inadvertently returning America to, who marched by the millions, who are organizing as we speak. As with any mass event, you could argue with this or that sentiment (signs saying, “If you don’t have a uterus, you don’t have an opinion,” strike me as about as silly as saying, back in the days before women could serve, “If you don’t have testicles, you can’t be against war”), but no one outside the borders of Trumplandia could deny that the overall picture was thrilling, joyous, heartening. This wasn’t just some protest of convenience: this one seemed to draw from some deep well of anger, an anger quickly solidifying — you could see it on the faces — into a formidable determination to not be still, to not let habit dull the outrageous into something acceptable.
It’ll get ugly — Comrade Trump and the phalanx of liars that surrounds him are not hindered by the usual reservations that gave pause to even our most corrupt earlier administrations — but my bets are with the women (and men) who filled the streets of our cities last Saturday, who are organizing even now to pack their representatives’ offices and flood their inboxes, who recognize that because many of these officials will gladly eat their own to survive, they need to be shown the wisdom of doing just that.
There are individuals all around us — in the press, on the street — who “will not equivocate, [who] will not excuse, [who] will not retreat a single inch,” to recall Frederick Douglass. Take a moment to be proud of that. Then consider the power they represent.
I’d hate to be in their way.