Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Another Dreadful Day In The Age of Trump

The soundtrack to my life today

I remember the feeling of fear and hopelessness I felt the morning after Trump's election quite vividly. There was a sense that everything was spinning out of control, that the future was both unknown and frightening. In the aftermath of the election I threw myself into political action as a way to guard against that day.

However, there are always days when those efforts melt away, when I feel completely powerless to do anything, and hopeless that there is any way that things will get better. The day I heard about family separations was one of those days, as was the day Trump cancelled DACA. These are the days that when I must face the reality that a completely bigoted, corrupt, capricious, would be tyrant has a tremendous amount of power to subject others to his cruel will. 

I've been trying to come up with a name for these days, so that all of us in opposition can have a language to share our feelings with. I could call it a "malignant reality day" in honor of my friend Chauncey DeVega, but I don't want to steal his phrase. I think I will call these days "dread" days, since dread is an emotion I feel most acutely in the age of Trump.

Today is a dread day because it has brought the news that the Supreme Court has allowed Trump's ban on transgender soldiers to stay in place. The Supreme Court seat that was robbed yet again reveals its awful potential to hurt people and take away their rights. We can probably expect more of the same in coming years. 

Today is also the day when the news media displayed its utter and complete failure. It is treating the smug boys who taunted Nathan Phillips as the wronged party. So desperate not to be accused of bias, the media is responding to the awful day to day manifestation of the hate that is endorsed from on high by shielding whiteness. The white supremacy that Trump represents in its most craven and vulgar form is getting an excuse from editors and producers who are upholding the racial order in subtler ways. To top it off, Trump will be inviting those boys to the White House, celebrating the kinds of kids who have been taunting and harassing the same victims as him, and much more intimately. 

As far as the shutdown goes, it seems like the last election is meaningless. It drags on, the Republicans safe behind their gerrymandered walls, the president unwilling to compromise. I get the feeling that Democrats are going to give in to the hostage taking. What came before is a horror, what lies ahead is worse. And yet where are the protests? Where is the action? I only see stasis, paralysis, and cowardice. I so desperately want to mount the barricades, but there aren't any, and no one is leading the way. I fear the dreadful days are about to happen with greater frequency.

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