Maybe this is where I should have been all along. Here, writing, and on my knees, praying for this country, the United States of America. Donald Trump has created more fear and anger in his first week than probably any President in American history, with the possible exception of Lincoln. (There the comparison ends.)
Here is what has happened in the first eight days of Trump’s presidency:
· On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
· On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after factual, side by side photos were posted of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
· On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
· On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.
· On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
· On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
· On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” (lies) on national television news.
· On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
· On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
· On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
· On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
· On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
· On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
· On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
· On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
· On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
· On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
· On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
· On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources."
Today he began the banning and deportation of people from seven different (Muslim) countries. This act was overturned as unconstitutional, but that probably will not stop Trump from doing more damage. His office also did not mention the Jewish people on Holocaust Remembrance Day (today).
I don’t know what to think anymore. I know there are people who argue better than me, maybe even people who know more than me. Maybe they are even right. But all of the events of the last week seem wrong. This whole week, when reflecting on these events, I’ve felt nothing but fear and rage. Perhaps then I’m not reflecting, only reacting, but I’m scared. Every day, yes, every day, there is something new that scares me. And I don’t know what to do with my fear and rage.
Some say it’s just the media and we should all unite against that entity. Except the media is not one entity. It’s liberal and conservative and moderate and radical left and alt right. It’s television and radio and talk shows and newspapers and, for better and worse, social media, each arm with its own agenda. Perhaps some are doing their best to be impartial, but if even half of what is being reported is true, then things are scary.
Some say we need to fight for or against the current administration. I hate fighting. I hate conflict. But I really wonder if we aren’t sliding into fascism and if I might need to fight. Often, when someone doesn’t like a President, that President is compared to Hitler. Obama certainly was. Now I think we have a President who might really be like Hitler. A family member said I shouldn’t criticize Trump because as a naturalized citizen I could be deported. Will I have to fight for the freedom of speech that was already mine?
Some say things will be fine. I have a friend from the South who said people in his are weren’t worried at all. This was before the inauguration. I wonder how he’s feeling now. A cheerful and optimistic co-worker said things would work out. Maybe they will, but if that belief is based on past American history, I’m not sure. Trump’s election, his complete lack of experience in government, the law or the military, the protests and his low approval rating before he even took office, are all unprecedented. He really does want to build a wall and he’s working on it now. (One thing I will say for Trump is he is doing everything he said would.)
Here’s all I know to do at this point:
· Study, read, and write.
· Follow my passions.
· Love people, even those I disagree with, but don’t take abuse.
· Love people who need a lot of love during these days.
· Call or write my representatives.
· Fight for what I think is right until or unless I see that I am wrong.
· Breathe. A lot.
· Get Started.
· Keep Going.