For eight years, I watched as the Right savaged Barack Obama, and used the Legislative Branch to deny him anything regarding his own agenda. I watched as Senator Mitch McConnell defiantly declared their ultimate goal of making him a one-term president by any means necessary, from incessant stonewalling in Congress and attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to playing politics with raising our debt ceiling, shutting the federal government down twice, and bringing this Nation to the brink of defaulting on our debts.
I watched as the Right’s base–angry, aggrieved whites from the South and “America’s Heartland”–believed any and all conspiracies they were fed about Obama. They called him everything from a Muslim socialist to a “racist nigger.”They demanded his birth certificate, claiming he was an “illegitimate” out of the falsehood that he was born in Kenya. I watched as actual deplorables stormed the White House in so-called protest, waving the Rebel flag of the long-dead Confederacy in front of Obama’s place of residence, then daring to say they really only differed with the man in terms of policy.
Barack Obama served this country with distinction and honor, never once forgetting that he was a servant of the people. Under his watch, unemployment fell to lows not seen in years. He was loved in his own country, and revered around the world for his diplomacy.
And instead of securing Obama’s legacy of success, by 77,000 votes this nation was handed to a man whose first priority was not how to heal the country after his divisive, racist, and sexist campaign, but on the size of the crowds–or lack thereof–at his inauguration. In a moment of Napoleonic hubris, this man declared his inauguration a national holiday, by way of executive order. Under guidance by his right hand, the avowed Leninist Steven Bannon, a constitutional crisis was nearly created by unilaterally locking out of this country thousands of Muslims–many of whom were American citizens with green cards and proper documentation–purely because of their religion, then daring to say it was a similar “ban” Obama had carried out in 2011.
Spoiler alert: it was not.
This man, by way of his administration, has demanded fealty by the press. Bannon declared the nation’s press outlets should be silent. Kellyanne Conway said the media should be a place where, instead of facing tough questions from a constitutionally protected free press, they can “promote their agenda.” In other words, become outlets for our propaganda or, like CNN, be marked as a purveyor of “fake news.”
This country has seen more than it can handle from this administration, and it hasn’t even been two weeks. The now-45th President of the United States has already shamed this nation tenfold. Millions have turned out in protest of an administration hell-bent on making this country “great again” by embodying the final, most desperate (and most dangerous) form of conservatism: a type of malignant populism that seeks to turn this nation into a place where only white, “Christian” males hold sway.
And what’s worse, they could care less about what dissenting Americans may think, as Ed Kilgore writes:
It’s all so familiar that Trump’s critics should resist the temptation to underestimate these people yet again. They do not give a damn about respectable opinion; they live to defy it. They will not be shaken by judicial thunder; they view judges as pawns in larger battles involving more powerful political and economic forces. They don’t fear GOP elected officials; they’ve watched Republicans turn tail, roll over, and beg for tax-cut treats and other policy concessions; just the day before Trump started this latest conflagration the entire congressional party assembled in Philadelphia to beg its new master for direction.
And most of all, Trump and his closest associates do not fear blue-state protests of the sort that swept the nation this weekend. More likely than not, they exult in them, and have planned all along to exploit them to show Trump loyalists they are fighting disorderly and essentially unpatriotic people who value civil liberties more than national security, diversity more than national identity, and America’s enemies more than America.
“Give him a chance,” his supporters say. “He’s your President now; get over it”, they say. But how? How can freedom-loving, remotely decent people be in support of–or even be willing to “give a chance” to–an administration with no fear or regard of the people it serves? How can we be asked to give total loyalty and trust to an administration that seeks to crush all dissent, be it external or internal? How can support be given to a federal government that, under the guise of “Keeping America Safe”, made excuses for the incarceration of a FIVE-YEAR-OLD?
No, family, I will not be giving “a chance” to this administration; one that has stripped itself of decency for the illusion of safety. I will not be giving a chance to people who are prepared to use “shock events” to further divide and radicalize the politics of this nation. As Matthew 12:25 says so poignantly, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”
This is the aim of the Trump administration.
And, for my part, I shall resist.