It’s not going away
I wake up full of dread most days, wondering what unhinged thing he’ll do today that will cause suffering in the world, create instability and chaos in the U.S., or tear families apart everywhere. Like many Americans, I worry about the survival of our democracy as the president spirals out of control, surrounded by power-hungry sycophants intent on their own agendas.
Every day brings another horror such as the global gag order preventing even a discussion of abortion by any group receiving U.S. aid, a decision that will result in more women dying as they seek to end pregnancies on their own. Our safety is threatened when Trump kicks generals out of security briefings and appoints a white nationalist adviser instead. And the squandering of billions of dollars on an unwanted border wall when our country has so many other pressing needs overwhelms me with sadness.
He’s been president less than a month. Even those of us who were vehemently anti-Trump during the campaign are astonished at how rapidly and expansively he has implemented his radical agenda during his first few weeks in office. Every day seems to bring another affront to the U.S. Constitution and weakens our country’s reputation as a beacon in the darkness of totalitarian governments.
Trump is clearly functioning in a narcissistic haze of power, acting out his role as the star of unbelievable reality TV. He cannot see beyond his insatiable need for attention, and like the bully that he is, thrives on it even when it’s negative. His pathological lying has taken an even darker turn since the inauguration, as Trump’s people now repeat his lies with no pretense of needing to speak the truth.
Amid the daily protests over Trump’s actions throughout the world, the courage of the people is contagious. Everyday heroes in the resistance are all around us. People who have never protested before rushed to airports to support refugees. Attorneys volunteered their time, backed up by the ACLU, eager to go to court to defend the rights of people who have waited years to immigrate legally.
Last week, Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General, was fired by Trump when she refused to enforce his executive order to deny vetted refugees and green card holders entry into the country based on their religion and country of origin. Newt Gingrich called her insubordinate, but she should be celebrated as a genuine American hero.
Ordinary Americans must continue to fight back every day by exercising their rights of free speech and assembly. Trump expects us to give up and demands we and the media shut up. So attend every protest that you can. Noon demonstrations are scheduled now for every Sunday on the Virginia St. bridge and every Tuesday at the federal courthouse.
Keep up the pressure on our congressional representatives, including U.S. Senator Dean Heller, conveniently up for re-election next year. Hold him accountable for every vote in favor of an unqualified Cabinet member like Betsy DeVos. Point to his silence when confronted with Trump’s treachery as he governs by executive order. If Heller won’t join the resistance, he must be replaced next year by someone who believes in democracy and justice.
Progressives can also fight back with their pocketbooks. Big business abhors instability, and it doesn’t like boycotts much, either. Consumers have choices and CEOs who celebrate Trump’s actions should feel the consequences.
One month in, it’s already so much more than the usual battle between Republicans and Democrats. This is a movement to take back our democracy from a mad man and his supporters who are willing to destroy the soul of our nation to get their own way. We won’t let them get away with it.