Today I came home from a long but productive day of work and waited for my wife to get home, as we had dinner plans. I work about five minutes from my home, whereas it takes Ashley nearly an hour to drive home. Needless to say, even after taking our two pups outside and changing out of my work clothes, I had some time to kill. So I did what so many others do and decided to get caught up on the news. As I said, today was quite busy, so I was a solid twelve hours out of the loop.
Oh how I wish I could take the decision to read the news back. It was just one piece of terrifying Trump news after another.
I’m not going to lie or hide the truth. By the end of the first of three articles I pulled up, I had tears in my eyes. They were tears of anger, tears of sadness, and most of all, tears of fear. Over the last few weeks, I have had several friends and coworkers ask me why I seemed so anxious, so irritable or disorganised.
Trump is the reason. He is the sum of all of my fears, come to life and sitting in the President’s chair.
Some of you choose to call me a “keyboard warrior”, saying that I’ve lived a privileged life–here you’re not wrong–and that I don’t understand the fear–here you’re quite wrong. I may not be the target of Trump’s administration, but my family is. My friends are. My colleague and peers and coworkers are. Hell, the earth upon which I live is a target. I fear for these people and everyone in that angry orange’s path. It’s called empathy. If you can’t understand that, you may want to reexamine your own cause.
Since Trump has taken office, he has done nothing but ramp up his antagonistic warpath. The truly ironic bit is how many of the things that he has done are things he promised he would or wouldn’t do during his campaign. He has lied, time and time again, and a huge portion of the American people have bought into his lies.
Even worse, his presidency is beginning to read like a “How To” book on starting a fascist regime. He started our small, with simple lies about helping the middle class–lies that helped him get into office. Less than twenty-four hours after taking the oath, however, he passed a law that raises property mortgage insurance rate for millions of middle-class Americans and institutes a job freeze in the federal government.
Now in power, Trump has begun to step up his game. We’re not even a week into the term and Trump has been handing out executive order after executive order and not a word has been raised against it from within his party, despite hounding the Obama administration for eight years due to its “executive overreach”. Worse yet is how all of his orders are designed to instill fear in certain groups of people.
We’ve seen Trump sign into law plans to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline, despite tremendous outcry against these actions, and violating what is fairly clear property law. We’ve seen him sign a law funding a wall between Mexico and the United States–almost 2,000 miles of concrete separating two ally countries. At between six to eight million dollars per mile, this wall will cost the American taxpayer between $12B and $16B. And don’t for one minute believe that Mexico is going to pay for the wall, despite all of Trump’s assurances that they will. He has no plan to make them do so.
Trump’s administration is working to overturn healthcare for more than twenty million Americans with no plan to replace it. They have silenced the EPA and are now in the process of defunding public media and the arts. Journalists are being arrested for simply covering riots against the Trump regime. He is putting into effect a law that will prevent immigrants fleeing wars in the Middle East, effectively banning Muslim entry into America. He is reinstituting torture, which is a war crime under international law.
So far I’ve managed to avoid direct name-calling in my writings, but sometimes the shoe fits: Donald Trump is a monster. And I don’t mean that metaphorically. I’m not saying he’s some terrible human, because that’s an affront to humans everywhere. He is a true, real, scaly monster in an orange human suit.
And he terrifies me, moreso after taking office than during his campaign. Hopefully, he scares you as well. His actions, again and again, have been those of a fascist. And historically speaking, fascist leaders do not lead to peace or prosperity for their countries. They lead to war, economic depression, and civil oppression.
There are two things that offer me solace in my fear.
The first is an understanding of the motivation behind Trump’s actions, which is fairly simple: it’s fear. He is afraid of what is different, and he is afraid of the voices that are raised against him. The difference is that his fear motivates him to hate, whereas I focus mine into activism.
The second is that there are people out there resisting. Fighting. Not giving in to their fear. Showing the rest of the world that we as a people are not entirely lost.
To the NPS Rogues and the Badasslands staff, to the 2.9 million Marchers, to Seattle and every other Welcome City, thank you. Fight the good fight. I’m with you.