It’s Friday. I would normally be posting this week’s Cards Against Humanity Flash Fiction, but today is January 20th, 2017– Inauguration Day– and I couldn’t bring myself to write something light-hearted on a day when so many people are so very afraid.
Rather than espousing all the reasons I believe our fears for Donald Trump’s presidency are founded, I will simply say let us hope for the best while preparing for the worst. I hardly want to catastrophize, but it would be foolish to ignore the red flags. On November 8th, 2016 we voted into office a man who has by his words and actions made clear that he does not respect or care about women; ethnic minorities; immigrants; the LGBQT community; the disabled; the poor, working, and middle classes; the environment– have I missed anyone or anything?– and the reality is that no matter what happens during his presidency, by our very electing him, we’ve changed things irrevocably. The world’s view of us, our view of ourselves, has been tarnished.
Now, if a hit to our reputation and our egos is the worst that comes from Trump’s presidency, I will be grateful, but I can’t rest my hat on that. Trump’s censorship of the media has already begun. Take it seriously, keeping people uninformed and fearful is a powerful manipulation tactic. It also leaves plenty of room to insert propaganda supporting his own personal agenda and we’d better believe that he absolutely will: scapegoating was a base ingredient in his campaign strategy, be very wary of the hype. It’s in our nature to think in terms of us versus them; however, when we dehumanize entire groups of people, we are able to justify all manner of atrocities. Without a doubt, a time will come when we will be faced with the choice of turning a blind eye or standing together for the equality and dignity of a few. All Trump need do is make good on any one of his campaign promises. Remember, any and all threats to the civil liberties of one group are of concern to the entire population. We cannot hide behind the false belief that “it doesn’t affect me.” Click & Tweet! Maybe today it doesn’t, but that does not mean to say that the same will be true tomorrow.
I wish I could finish this post on a more hopeful or optimistic note– at the very least, I wish I could offer some insight or closure– but the truth is, I’m just as anxious as many of you. There’s nothing I can say that doesn’t feel horribly cliched or falsely positive at this moment, so I suppose I will simply end by saying that this isn’t over. Words have always been my weapon of choice and it seems to me I will have ample opportunity to use them in the coming years.