I knew when it came, if it came, the authoritarian changes in our government would be quick and vicious. I just didn’t expect that the US slide into complete fascism would be live-tweetable by the hour.
I haven’t blogged in a long time. Partly because I have been busy, and partly because I have been feeling overwhelmed, and partly because now it’s been so long I feel like there isn’t a graceful way back in. Which means that everything I might want to write about feels either not important enough, or too important to lump in with a “hey there long time no see.” But it’s important to speak. So I’m speaking, so to speak. This will be rough, but heartfelt for all of that.
We’re at a dangerous place here in the US. The Trump regime is already ignoring and subverting the law, and we’ve barely started. If you think I am over-reacting, please do some research into other countries who have gone on the Authoritarian Boogaloo ride, and compare and contrast. And also compare and contrast what our laws have been, and should be, and what is happening now. This website has a list of what has been happening since the election – with very good links and breakdowns – and all of the lies and outright lies and subtle and not-at-all subtle changes since we allowed someone who is supported – and being led – by Nazis and the KKK to come into power over us.
The thing is, it feels normal to be lied to by the GOP. It feels like business as usual. They have been lying about climate change, about women’s bodies, about regulations on businesses, about who is profiting from what, about who our enemy is … for what seems like my entire life. We let it get normal. We let them get away with lies because they refuse to stop lying, and then they say their lies are just as good of an opinion as anyone else’s. No. But we let them tell these lies over and over as they said things like “have to look at both sides,” and “what if we’re not lying,” when it has been obvious to anyone who is willing to do the research that they are, and are taking advantage of people’s desire to pretend everything is OK, to pretend to play fair.
And now a more extreme version of those lies has taken over our highest levels of federal government, and has appointed a Nazi to be in charge of national security. Do not think this is hyperbole. Read what Bannon has written, what he’s said. Bannon is a Nazi and is working to make this country a Nazi country. He just doesn’t want to use the term Nazi because Nazis have a branding problem. But everything he says shows he doesn’t care about good government, he only cares about destroying people he dislikes. And he dislikes a lot of people, mostly for just existing as human. He’s not the only horrible person in charge with Trump, but he’s a major one.
All of them, Trump’s staff and those supporting him, are lying to us, daily. About big and small things, like what size the crowd was at the inauguration, like what Trump publicly said ten minutes ago, like what they talk about behind closed doors, and is leaked, but then they deny. They lie because they can, because it’s a strategy to keep everyone off balance, because they want to control all narratives through brute force. They gaslight and they bald-faced lie and too many people nod along, and decide that they can’t be lying, because who would lie about that? Trump. Trump would lie about that. If he will lie about the size of his inauguration for ego, what won’t he lie about? I think everyone knows the answer to that, whether they’ll admit it or not.
I have family members who are black and brown, family members who are immigrants, family members who are at risk from this hateful, fear-mongering government. But even if I did not, I would resist them. I have friends who are afraid of being deported, of being targeted, of being set on by police because of their skin or their beliefs or their personhood. But even if I did not, I would resist this president, and his rolling back of our laws. I would resist his taking our right to affordable healthcare, and our right to worship however we please. Because he is in the wrong. Because he is harming the entire country. Because he will harm people, will get people killed, through incompetence and vicious self-interest. Because all of his appointees are people who will do immense harm to the institution of our government, and the people they’re supposed to help. Because at every moment of every day he has been campaigning, and coming into power, and now in office, he has looked to harm others and aggrandize himself. Because the GOP has been, for the most part, supporting him in these endeavors, so that they can keep power. Because it feels like the building is on fire and large numbers of our congresspersons and senators are still sitting inside the building trying to convince the arsonists to play chess instead. Pro-tip: you can’t play chess with people who are setting the building on fire. They aren’t interested in chess. (I did not come up with this image, but I think it fits.)
So many of the orders Trump is signing are the death-warrants of millions of US citizens. The arsonists do not care.
The elderly and disabled and chronically ill and the poor will die quickly without Medicaid and the ACA. Then will come anyone who tries to change jobs but can’t get insured, and then gets injured or sick. Then if anyone is diagnosed with say, cancer, or anything else that adds up quickly in healthcare costs, they’ll end up getting lifetime caps on their insurance coverage, and they will die because they can’t afford treatment once they reach those caps. And they will reach them, almost immediately. Any premature baby born will reach their lifetime cap before they’re even well enough to go home and start living. And then if they ever get sick again, their family will have to find money for their care and go into massive debt or watch them die.
And that’s just one issue.
The government is defunding national programs in every area of the country, in every area of expertise, which means that thousands are going to be without jobs, and all of us are going to be without protections to make our food and water safe, or research into new cures for illnesses, or regulations to keep random industries from killing us with unsafe machines. I find that the GOP leadership wants us not only to go into the past, say, the 1950s, so they can be openly sexist and racist without repercussions, but that really what they meant is they want to go back to the 1850s. They want to make us owe the factory store, the monopoly barons, and scrabble in the dirt for what little life there is in our lives. They want everyone except the super rich to be unable to protest, unable to fight back, and to work themselves to death to make them more rich.
This isn’t hyperbole or extreme reaction – this is a basic extrapolation of what they are doing right now, this minute. They are making our lives less livable and safe. They are taking away freedoms and protections for every stripe of U.S. citizen, and they are not going to stop with the Black people, the disabled people, the women. Don’t think they aren’t coming for you, too. Unless you are white and rich and cis/het and ablebodied, etc, they are coming for your rights too. Just look at what they’re trying to pass all over the country. Taking away the rights of women, taking away the rights of people to assemble, taking away the rights of people to even see what the government is doing.
There are some who sneer that “You lost, get over it,” but people who say that often fly the Confederate flag, or sometimes the Nazi flag. Which makes that argument ridiculous on many fronts – but here’s the big hint that those people aren’t paying attention: all of us are losing, now. The rights that are taken away from some of us are taken away from all of us, eventually. Every citizen – Trump isn’t going to take care of people who voted for him, not even the bigots. Not unless you’re very rich. Even then, I wouldn’t trust him. He keeps everything for himself.
This government has ignored the rule of law, is ignoring the US Constitution. Not just the right to bear arms, although no one ever did come for your guns, did they? They might now. The right to assemble in the Constitution, too. And it’s not as though this government has any respect for any of the rest of it. They certainly have proved they don’t have any respect for the laws passed by our judiciary.
The current government is coming for everyone’s rights. They’re on their way right now, more quickly than most of us imagined. We imagined months, not days, not weeks. But here we are. And we have to resist. We have to resist because if we don’t, then we were never good people, and we never had a hope of a good country, not once. This country has had some shitty times, and some shitty laws, but we usually could at least say we had hope of being good. That won’t be true for very much longer. We must resist.
I’m not good at resisting. I wasn’t brought up for confrontation, and I don’t have the personality for it. But I will make calls, I will go to protests and sit-ins, I will make cookies and babysit and bring water to people who go to those things, and I will write. It has been very hard to write, as I watch the fascism slime over our country. But I will write. I will do what I can when I can, and I will not let this country be taken over by Nazis without a goddamn fight. I will resist, because I must resist to still be able to live with myself. We are under siege, and we must resist.