The date 11-9-16 was the end of the world as we know it. NEVER FORGET 11-9!!! I know this is used for 9-11, but this should be our new slogan for the 2016 presidential election. Never forget the outrage we felt in the wee hours of the morning on 11-9, when we saw state after state fall, Hillary conceded, and the markets started to crash! The dread, the doom we felt in the pit of our stomachs. Some of us cried; some were in shock.
No, it was not as bad as 9-11; we didn’t have 3000 people die in one day in an attack. But it may end up being worse than that in the long run — we just don’t know. It could be the beginning of the end: the end of our democracy, the end of our nation, maybe the end of civilization and life on Earth, considering our president-elect’s view on climate change, nuclear weapons, war, and other destructive positions he holds — we just don’t know.
Do you think I am over-reacting, or being melodramatic? Well I am NOT, and that kind of thinking is DANGEROUS!!! It is DANGEROUS to think any of THIS is NORMAL! It is dangerous to think anything Donald Trump does or says is normal because the day you do that —- that is the day you start to accept his vision for America, and his vision is NOT the vision for the majority of the population of the United States.
We cannot accept that it is normal to have a president who refuses to spend 20 minutes out of his day to listen to threats to our national security, but has time to start Twitter wars with a television show. It is not normal to have a president who is endorsed by terrorist hate groups, such as the KKK, Aryan Brothers, Skinheads and such, who are responsible for over 250,000 hate crimes and the murder of 2 to 3 thousand US citizens per year. It is not normal to have a president who wants to do the bidding of dangerous foreign dictators just to further his personal business interests, which he refuses to put into a public trust, a clear violation of the law and a conflict of interest; while threatening US citizens who oppose him as enemies. It is not normal to have a president who is a pathological liar and rose to power by manipulating the electorate, the media, and the Republican party. It is not normal to have a president who wants to deport 2-3 million illegal immigrants and start trade wars with our allies. It is not normal to have a president who condemns an entire religion as an enemy of the state. It is not normal to have a president who is completely ignorant about politics, US law, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and how our government works; and who rejects science, such as climate change, and listens to conspiracy theories. I can go on and on, but you get the gist.
Any time you feel yourself accepting Trump and thinking to yourself that you want to just give him a chance, remember that horrific feeling of foreboding you had on 11-9, that it just might be the beginning of the end. We must keep that outrage alive, because every time Trump does something that threatens our democracy, because he will, we have to be ready to resist!
I read an article by Masha Gessen, called “Autocracy: Rules for Survival;” she is a Russian-American journalist who lived through Putin’s takeover in Russia, and she has some really good advice how to survive through a Trump presidency. She outlines examples of things he will do, what the response of the establishment will be, and how to resist what she calls “Trumpism.” An Autocracy is a government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimited authority over others; the government or power of an absolute monarch. She wrote what she thought Hillary’s concession speech should have been, and it is chilling.
“Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you. We have lost. We have lost, and this is the last day of my political career, so I will say what must be said. We are standing at the edge of the abyss. Our political system, our society, our country itself are in greater danger than at any time in the last century and a half. The president-elect has made his intentions clear, and it would be immoral to pretend otherwise. We must band together right now to defend the laws, the institutions, and the ideals on which our country is based.”
Instead, Hillary, Obama, and other leaders used “calming rhetoric” about working with Trump; giving him a chance, a smooth transition of power, which resulted in their intended outcome: the financial markets rebounded, because THAT is all our leaders REALLY care about, right? They only care about the markets and protecting their wealth!
Gessen’s article outlines 6 rules of survival, of which the main point is not to normalize or accept any of Trump’s abnormal behaviors, to keep a watchful eye out for signs of Autocracy, and to resist at every chance we get.
Rule #1: Believe the things that Trump says, not just brush them off as exaggeration or false campaign promises. Even if he does not personally commit any acts of racism, like a Muslim registry or deporting immigrants, the wheels of racism are turning. The Southern Poverty Law Center has updated their hate crime count to 1094 incidents since the election, from 11-9 to 12-12. That is a record-breaking month.
Rule #2: Do not be fooled by small signs of normalcy, like the markets going back up. Some things will nevertheless go back to normal no matter what is going on with politics. It does not mean we are safe.
Rule #3: Gessen warns that the signs of the autocracy will be the destruction of our institutions, such as the media, the electoral system and the justice system. But these institutions have already been compromised! Does this mean we don’t have a chance in hell?
Rule #4: Be outraged! Even when people around you accept things as “this is just the way it is,” be the hysterical person in the room!
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises or excuses for Trump. Do not try to cooperate with him, and point people out who do.
The 6th and last rule is to “remember the future,” and to me it means to have hope, that Trump will not last forever. I can only hope that he only lasts 4 years and not 8, to minimize the damage. Hopefully, some good will come of it, and the left will finally wake up, to make way for a truly progressive left party!
DOJ Study: More Than 250,000 Hate Crimes a Year, Most Unreported
Autocracy: Rules for Survival
Southern Poverty Law Center Update: 1,094 Bias-Related Incidents in the Month Following the Election