Jesse's Journal: The First Trump Year

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I have not written much about Donald Trump, his administration, or their ongoing attempt to destroy everything I hold dear, for two reasons.

First, as one who dominates the news for better or for worse (mostly the latter), Trump has been written about by so many writers and journalists that for one more of us to do so would only be repetitious. Trump is the center of his universe and any piece about him would only enhance his monstrous ego, even if he dismisses it as “fake news.”

Second, I am not getting any younger, and Trump’s antics only threaten my physical and mental well-being. This is especially true of Trump’s daily Twitter messages, a never-ending series of petty and hateful rants, the products of a sick mind. I wish I could live without enduring any more Trump twits. Instead, the print, broadcast and online media continue to inform me about them, raising my blood pressure and making me nostalgic for the days of Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, Carter or anyone but Trump.

As a candidate for president, Trump promised to “make America great again;” by which he meant an America of native-born, white, Christian, cisgender heterosexuals. By exploiting this (admittedly brilliant) slogan, and the public’s fear of Muslims, immigrants, criminals, Blacks, queers and others, Trump got enough votes to win the Electoral College.

Since then, the Donald has continued to delight his base - including white supremacists and other bigots - by attacking Muslims, immigrants, foreigners, minority groups, kneeling football players, the “fake news” media and Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Trump and his administration have done their best to destroy all the progress made by President Obama and his predecessors. Trump’s executive orders, his administrative and judicial appointments, his repudiation of major treaties - most notably the Paris Agreement on Climate Change - have greatly damaged this country, other nations, and the planet as a whole.

When it comes to LGBT issues, Trump has come a long way from the day when he unfurled an upside-down Rainbow Flag at a campaign rally, all in the wrong direction. Though Trump might not be the most homophobic President ever, he has gone a long way to undo President Obama’s positive policies. With hardly an exception, Trump’s appointments (mostly white men) have extensive anti-LGBT records, Vice President Mike Pence being the most notorious one.

Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, is already moving that Court’s direction against us. So are the federal judges that Trump keeps appointing while the public’s attention is focused on Trump’s insane twits. Trump has exploited transphobia by ordering a ban on trans troops and withdrawing President Obama’s protections for trans students in public schools. Under Trump’s loathsome Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice has stopped protecting LGBT people, supporting instead those who claim that their “religious freedoms” are being violated by our own human rights.

What can we do?

The judiciary has so far stopped several Trump orders, most notably his order against trans troops, but favorable rulings will be fewer and fewer as Trump appoints more right-wing judges. And Congress will continue to allow Trump to do whatever he wants as long as the Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives. We can wait for Robert Mueller to finish his investigations and, hopefully, indict Trump and his minions, but this could take forever and might never happen.

What we can and must do to stop Trump from destroying us all is to vote and to resist. The recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey, Alabama and elsewhere shows what the anti-Trump Resistance can do when we go out to the polls. Together, we outnumber Trump’s white supremacists and other deplorables.

We are Black Lives Matter, the Dreamers, environmentalists, civil libertarians, LGBT activists, and women and men with the courage to say “me too” and name those who are guilty of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, even if he is the president of the United States. We must not stop, even if it raises my blood pressure to continue.

This is a fight that we cannot lose.


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