I wrote the following in my journal back on November 10, 2016 after learning that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States:
So election day has come and gone. Donald trump is now president elect. Hillary won the popular vote but failed to get enough Electoral votes. This is the fourth time in US history that this has happened.
Yesterday my emotions were running strong. Donald Trump has run on a campaign based on lies, hate, and fearmongering. My Facebook status summed up my feelings:
“Becky is feeling hopeless. I am shocked. I am scared. I am hurt. This isn’t what I wanted nor dreamed of, not for myself, my friends, my family, or my country. In many ways I feel abandoned and betrayed. ‘How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back.’
I want things to change. I want to get involved so that we don’t undo all the progress and positive changes we have made. However, it feels too daunting, that no matter what effort I put in, it won’t make a difference. Where do you begin when you feel so hopeless? I’m all ears to any ideas.”
I am scared that millions will loose access to healthcare and their prescriptions when the GOP-lead Congress and Trump repeal the Affordable Cafe Act (aka Obamacare). I am scared that women all over the country will be denied access to birth control, safe abortions, and healthcare. I am scared that my LGBTQ+ friends will no longer have the protection of their government. That their right to marry or use the restroom of their choice will be revoked. Our boarders will close to all immigrants and refugees, denying them to the American dream that asylum seekers and dreamers have come here for over the decades. How will we have freedom of religion when Islam could become banned? How will we have freedom when businesses and hospitals can discriminate based on religion, gender, sexuality, or immigrant status?
This is what I fear Trump’s America will look like. The Democrats are now the minority in both the House and Senate. The changes that the Obama administration has successfully implemented over the past 8 years might be for naught. I am scared this will be a dark time in US history, but I will stay and bare witness to its unfolding. Protests are already occurring throughout the nation. Hopefully some compromises will be reached and his presidency won’t be as bleak, ugly, and detrimental as I fear, but right now it feels like progress is being (or could be) set back a good 50-75 years in one fell swoop.
Trump has since been inaugurated and is now officially the 45th President of the United States. My fears haven’t been wholly unfounded. Many of his cabinet nominees (and now members) are completely incompetent and unfit for their positions. He seeks to dismantle the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency by the end of 2018. A poorly worded and implemented immigration ban was put in place. It has since been declared unconstitutional but many people who shouldn’t have been caught up in the ban were not allow into the country, even with valid visas. Deportations are sweeping across the nation and the Dakota Pipeline has been pushed through. Bills are being written and presented in state congresses that, if passed, would revoke a woman’s autonomy if pregnant, as she is solely the “host” of the fetus and men should be able to dictate what she does with her body. Trump’s alleged ties with Russia are coming to light and calls for impeachment are already being shouted from coast to coast.
I am grateful that our government has a checks and balances system in place, but this system is not infallible. The balls are already rolling and these changes scare me. Facts, knowledge, and research are being replaced with “alternative facts” (or as I like to call it for what it really is: propaganda) and resources are being stripped away from the public eye.
Long since before Donald Trump got the Republican nomination, he made me nervous. His patterns of speech and choice of words echoed pre-Holocaust speeches and propaganda. I saw the warning signs. He sounded (and still does) like a narcissistic abuser with hate in his heart and a longing for power.
And I’m not the only one. Charlotte England’s article title Donald Trump using Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ playbook, says world expert on Nazi leader from the online edition of the Independent (UK) describes Trumps rise to power on the coattails of Adolf Hitler, playing the same game of bluffing and distraction in order to be elected. Full article can be read here.
History is repeating itself and we’re falling for the same trappings over and over again.
I’m not saying this will lead to another genocide, and with our checks and balance system in place hopefully our freedoms will remain intact. What scares me is our country’s ignorance. We must educate ourselves on what Trump’s executive orders and goals are. We must educate ourselves on the issues at hand. Not just things like global warming, but on topics like the environmental and cultural impacts of the Dakota Pipeline. On the business practices and budget breakdown of Planner Parenthood and similar services. On immigration and terror statistic and any/all correlations. On religion, history, genetic engineering, and any and all topics that are up for debate.
Check your sources. I admit it is difficult in this day and age to understand what is fact and what is not. Statistics can be manipulated however the interpreter sees fit in order to draw the conclusions that they with and articles don’t always make their sources clear. We are in a day and age where discussion and debate are put aside for opinions and shouting matches. Remember, the loudest voice isn’t always the right one.
Everyone need to put aside their egos and work together to make this country and government work. This isn’t about hurt feelings or who is right or wrong but rather continuing to function as a society. I understand education to be the starting point for all of this. It is time to set aside our reluctance and expend the energy needed to get back on our feet.
This is daunting. Just thinking about even attempting this makes me feel drained to the point of despair. I can barely breathe without wanting to burst into tears at how hopeless it feels. Who am I to try and stand up? Who am I to try and make a difference? No one will listen to me.
But maybe if I start small, my actions will snowball. Maybe if I start small, others will join in. Maybe together, our voices will be heard and our actions felt across the nation. And together we will be that change.
So even if you feel small and insignificant just like me, remember you are not alone.