During the campaign, voters and journalists alike, kept hoping that although Donald Trump was revealing himself daily with erratic tweets and a preoccupation with an alternative reality, he would soon “act presidential.”
Well, in his first week in power he has shown himself to be exactly who we have always known him to be: a xenophobic, racist, delusional, fact-free king of his new fiefdom—America. With the swipe of a pen he is altering American democracy for decades to come.
Whatever President Trump believes becomes reality and as anyone that has read "1984" by George Orwell knows, is a terrifying and dangerous world to exist in.
First, came the attacks on women just one day after the largest global march led by women, joined by allies on almost every continent. Then came the attacks on our environment with the reinstatement of the Dakota Access and the Keystone pipelines, followed by the censure of environmental agencies, a call for the names of Energy Department employees working on climate change, then a push to build the wall between the US and Mexico and then finally the most jaw-dropping of them all: the enactment of a ban on Muslims from seven countries—none of which had any involvement with terrorist attacks in the US and also, places where the Trump brand hasn’t penetrated—coincidence? Nope.
In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit "Hamilton" he raps “immigrants, we get the job done”. If it were not for African slaves who suffered incredible torture to build this nation, followed by the immigrants from varied nations that worked for pennies on a dollar—America as we know it would not exist.
Our current crop of scientists, doctors, lawyers, military personal, teachers, athletes and on and on would not exist if we closed down our borders and closed our minds to the reality of the global society we currently live in and pre-election were the leaders of.
Let history be our guide in this moment and remind our leaders whose silence is deafening; that we closed our doors once before, during the Holocaust and allowed millions to perish—then we turned America into a prison, holding the Japanese in this country against their will.
The Statue of Liberty reads: “bring me your tired, your hungry, your poor, yearning to be free.” There is no footnote on this monument that then asks for a religious test and your feelings on the sitting president—as the detainees across this country were asked last night. Being an American means that I have the right to question my government and dislike my president if I so choose—as we saw with the unfounded dislike for President Obama—it is our right.
Sunday, Trump said in a statement, “I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”
While Trump may be slowly rolling back the refugee ban thanks to the ACLU, and teams of lawyers dispersed across this country that are fighting for the rights of immigrants—he is setting up for his next attack—our votes. These delusional claims of voter fraud in the presidential election are his dog whistles to summon, if successful, one of the largest voter purges of all time—and just in time for midterms in 2018.
The streets and the tweets are watching and if the spontaneous protests over the weekend are an indication of anything—it is clear we will not as a country go silently into the night while we allow this president to make a mockery of American values and our democracy. The Constitution of these United States begins with “We the People,” not “I, the King or President.”
We overturned tyranny once before and it will indeed happen again. 65 million Americans chose a different candidate on election night and the ones that chose Trump are already regretting their actions while they hold fast to their Obamacare which will be taken away from them as quickly as they pulled the lever in the voting booth.
The election may be over; but the resistance is just beginning. An American Dream deferred? Not on our watch. Power to the people and to all the people, power.