On June 16, 2015, when the now 45th president of these United Sates announced from the gilded confines of Trump Tower his candidacy for the highest office in our land I too, like many of you, thought it was a joke. And then, like many of you, I felt a visceral sense of outrage when he began his now infamous mean-spirited, denigrating and completely bigoted and slanderous rant against Mexican immigrants:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
-Donald J. Trump (from his June 16, 2015 presidential candidacy announcement speech.)
When I heard these remarks, my outrage was infused with an increasing sense of amusement at his nascent candidacy because in my mind, there was no way this country would vote for an obviously bigoted megalomaniac like Donald J. Trump to lead our republic.
But on November 7, 2016, I, like many of you, had to concede that both my assessment of Trump’s political savvy and the will of my fellow Americans were very, very off base. To be sure, the writing on the political wall was plain to see quite a bit before election night. Trump’s relentlessly competing poll numbers, the fact that Hillary Clinton wasn’t just “blowing him out of the water” had been trouble for quite some time leading up to the election.
Nevertheless, and in spite of how ever much we may chagrin, protest or rage regarding the the Trump Presidency or Mr. Trump himself, the fact is, he’s doing exactly what he said he would do. Period. His ascent to power was rooted, grounded and wholly based in a fascist-laced populist message bent on isolating America from, at the very least, the muslim segment of the global citizenry. Trump didn’t hide who he is or his intent from the people, he never once attempted to cloak his bigoted perspective, misogynistic tendencies or hyper imperialistic world view.
He didn’t even attempt to hide his willingness to flirt with outright treason when, during a July 27, 2016 press conference he invited Russia, our biggest rival, to continue hacking former Secretary Clinton’s emails:
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.
Donald J. Trump, July 27, 2016 press conference
So its no wonder that he is now, as I write this, everything he can to undermine the safety, security and values that this nation was founded on and has upheld for over two centuries. Think about it: his first week in office, he alienated Mexico, our biggest ally and trade partner to the south and proposed a 20% tax on all Mexican exports to the United States, which Americans will feel at the register when we purchase those goods. He hastily withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, giving China complete economic leverage and strategic advantage in the region, also not good for the U.S. And in most recent days, he’s implemented a ban on travel to the United States against seven muslim countries each of which, according to outstanding reporting by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, have been responsible for a total of zero (0) American fatalities domestically or around the world. However, there is no ban on countries, say like, Saudi Arabia who have factually been proven to have ties to 9/11, the most significant terror plot and extermination of American life on our soil ever recorded. Interestingly enough, no nation where Trump has business ties is affected by the ban.
But why should this blatant and reprehensible abuse of power shock us? Not when he has time and again characterized his nefarious and questionable business dealings as acceptable and with a condescending or scathing tweet brushed aside everyone during the 2016 campaign who did their best to bring to the attention of the American people that Trump is a crook.
Why should we be shocked at such underhandedness as the muslim ban when this man couldn’t even be transparent enough to reveal to the American people his tax returns. Something he promised he would do when his so-called audit was over, even in spite of the fact that the IRS stated there was no reason for him to not reveal his returns even if he was being audited.
Why should we revel in disbelief at his insensitivity to refugees in dire need of our help when he relegated his admitted practice of sexual assault to nothing more “locker room talk”.
So to everyone who is aghast, I get it but understand that we played a part in this reality. For all of us who stayed home and chose not to vote. For those of us who pledged not to vote for Trump’s opposition out of emotionally driven loyalty to Bernie Sanders. For all of us who stood by at the beginning of the threat that his Trump and just stood by while the train went off the rails, I call for each of us to take a close look at ourselves and consider our role in this advent. The New Dark Age is upon us and really, it was never hidden from us. Trump has been setting this table for the last two years. We just didn’t think anyone would actually sit down and eat from it. But did they and now we are losing our minds trying to clear the table and cleanup the mess. Let’s focus on what we can do to turn things around instead of calling Trump names for the sake of political catharsis. Because when you think about it, Trump is only doing what he said he would do, now it is up to us to dispense with the aimless ranting, name-calling and rationalness venting and do what must be done by all political, legislative and communicative means to stop him cold in his all too dangerous tracks.
Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins
ALH Around the Web: