We Stand United

The day after election day I called my parents. I was distraught to say the least. It felt like the world was falling apart all around me and I needed the stability they could provide. My father told me that in one of the first elections he participated in, he voted against Richard Nixon. It was a way of letting me know that he’s been in a similar situation as myself and we all got through it okay. At the time it made me feel better, but these days I’m not so sure the comparison is accurate.

We are, as of this writing, 12 days into Trump’s America. Each day has brought with it a new piece of news that shocks me to my core, followed by a reaction to said news that restores my faith in humanity. A man speaks about uniting America at his inauguration, and the next day women, not just American but from all around the world, unite to protest against him and what he represents.

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The Women’s March will go down in history books at the largest global protest in history. A declaration that, though he may be in control, the President is in for a fight every step of the way. We haven’t stopped either, within two weeks there has been a second (and completely impromptu) protest at airports in regards to his executive order barring those from largely muslim countries from entering the country.

In the past, I’ve wondered what a Nazi rise to power would look like with modern technology. I don’t wonder anymore, I know it is impossible. Because of how information can travel and how the world has become globalized, he can’t silence everyone who stands against him. Hell the National Parks Service went rogue! There’s an old poem I’ve seen thrown around online a lot recently.

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.

– Martin Niemoeller

People have been using this poem about the rise of the Nazi party in relation to our own President’s autocratic interests, but it doesn’t quite track in modern day. In 1930s Germany people simply could not communicate in the way they do now. They didn’t speak out for the communists, trade unionists, and Jews because they didn’t know each other, their society didn’t bring them together. Today, the whole world is connected together, which means I don’t have to know a single Muslim personally to know that this is bad:

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And this is good:

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Before I saw these demonstrations I felt so powerless moving into this new era for our country. Yes, of course, call your senators and congressmen, but I live in California which is arguably the most blue state. I already know my representatives are going to fight for the rights of those that don’t have the safety of being a straight white man. Now I know that standing up for something, that saying something, can make a difference.

Still, I worry that my view is tinged from living in the bubble. I didn’t know the population of people willing to look past all of Trump’s flaws to elect him existed. I didn’t think any of this was possible. Now I have to actively look outside my echo chamber to see the world. There’s an excellent website called Blue Feed, Red Feed that shows side by side comparisons of democratic and republican Facebook feeds for a variety of stories that I recommend everyone looks at. I want us to stand united, all of us, which means we have to understand and educate both them and ourselves. Also the them vs us position isn’t exactly healthy. The most important thing is not to stand quietly and let this happen, because the more attention drawn to his deplorable actions, the more likely it is for someone across the aisle to look at those issues a bit more closely.

The irony of this is that I still put a lot of credit to the Bernie Sanders camp for all this. I might have said it before but a lot of people I knew who had written off our politics suddenly became involved when they saw him as a candidate who would stand for him. A lot of millennials who might not be paying attention today had they never heard of Bernie. Instead they are all drawing war paint across their faces and hunkering down for the next couple years.

“No. You move.” – Captain America

-JP

PS, apparently the President won’t be sending any of his people to speak with CNN anymore. I feel like I’ve entered Bizarro world. Look at this report from Jake Tapper:

The way they use clips in this is straight out of the Daily Show’s playbook!

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