2017 has been much like a car crash; I don’t want to look, but an anthropological imperative buried deep in my psyche forces me to sneak a glimpse. I think rubbernecking is some sort of deluded self-preservation thing, e.g., look at that lion chasing that gazelle. I better watch what happens so that I can learn to avoid being that gazelle myself. If not for some deep-seeded evolutionary directive that’s most likely no longer valid, I have no explanation.
I try to find the anthropological reason for all behavior, because there usually is one and I find it fascinating. I still can’t find the evolutionary explanation for the generality of women’s love for footwear (my own included) nor for Donald J. Trump.
So, I wake up every morning to find a lion munching on my leg. We are all the gazelle and we are slowly being eaten alive by an insecure bully masquerading as leader of the free world. As an aside, I’ve always hated the term “leader of the free world.” It’s exaggerative and pompous, much like Trump.
Every day, I try not to pay attention to the news, knowing that it will make me a happier person not to, but the rubbernecking part of me says, “Well, there are other things going on in the world that I might like to know about. The United States is not the only country on earth and Donald J. Trump, as much he would disagree, is not actually the center of the universe.”
So, I turn on the news on while driving to work. And though it is true that there are other things going on in the world, for every story not about Trump, it seems there are four more about him or his cabinet or his press secretary or the millions of people who are impacted by the discriminatory and straight-up racist kingly proclamations he’s trying to put in place supposedly at our behest.
It’s not just American media outlets either. The entire world seems preoccupied with the antics of a bigoted, misogynistic, lying asshat who somehow hoodwinked less that half of the citizens of the United States into allowing this wreck to happen on their watch.
I hear those people, too, on the radio. The ones who voted for him, fervently believing that he would bring jobs back to coal country and breathe life back into the long-stagnant economy of Main Street USA. Part of me feels sorry for the people who think the solution is a self-involved, megalomaniacal jackass who inherited daddy’s money and blew most of it by being a terrible businessman (Really, how do you lose money owning a casino?)–I feel sorry for those people, because their hopes will be dashed once again.
The people who voted for King Trump, thinking that he really cares about the ordinary citizens of the United States will be disappointed, if they’re not already. Trump cares only for Trump. I hear those people talking about how Trump is going to fix everything, just like they did before the election, but now, it’s ever so slightly disingenuous, as if they bought into a Ponzi scheme; they’re still trying to convince themselves that they made a sound investment, but the sleight of hand is starting to show. There’s just a hint of dejection in their voices. I can hear it, even if they can’t.
Every day, I wake up to the circus of discrimination and lies parading through my country and I get a bit angrier about it all. Every day, I hear about someone else’s freedom being taken away–LGBTQ+, immigrants, Dreamers, anyone with skin pigment or not in possession of their very own penis–all of this stripping away of liberty happening in The Land Of The Free. Yet, those people with Make America Great Again™ flopping out of their mouths still haven’t seen the truth.
This affects all of us. All of us. You shouldn’t be allowed nor disallowed certain freedoms based solely on your zip code, skin color, religion, country of origin or gender identity. Discrimination is not a state right.
Medical care should be a basic human right, not one handed out only to those who can afford it. When the poorest people don’t have preventative care and only seek medical services when it’s life or death, quite literally, we all pay for it.
News is a public service and the President of the United States should not be allowed to kick whomever he wants out of the room like a schoolyard bully, because he doesn’t like the facts they report.
This doesn’t just affect Americans either. Trump said, “There is no such thing as a global flag. There is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency, or a global flag. This is the United States of America that I am representing.”
No, Mr. Trump. You are wrong. The decisions you make impact the entire world. When refugees can’t come to the United States, they don’t just disappear into the ether. Some other country has to care for them. When you give giant tax breaks to American corporations, it impacts trade with the rest of the world. If you force tariffs on imported goods, the world pays for that. When you strip away human rights in the United States, other countries feel they can do the same.
There is no such thing as America first and only. This is not the Dark Ages. We’re connected to each other 24/7. Whether you like it or not, we are citizens of the world.
The Constitution of the United States of America is not like the Bible where you can pick and choose which parts to propagate. It is there for all of us, to protect all of us, and we are all altered by the Constitutionally-endowed freedoms you are chipping away.