Dissent is patriotic, especially when your fellow citizens are being herded off a cliff. Remember this the next time the pundits go soft over the mad grifter in the Oval Office.
To say Trump’s cracks are showing is like leaning over a boat rail and saying, “I see water.” The cracks are so many, they look like part of the ship design. The frequent Republican standing ovations during his big speech last week, and raves over how presidential he was for not drooling, are as reassuring as a blind lookout. You won’t be singing “Nearer My God to Thee” when you’re searching for a door to float on. Before they’re done, the Trumpists and their enablers will try to take the rest of us with them. They are a motorized iceberg chasing down ships.
Immediately after his mendacious address to Congress, Trump was lionized as if reading from a TelePrompTer for an hour without foaming at the mouth made him Abe Lincoln. Then his attorney general crapped all over his sunny headlines, and he ended the week by grounding top aides as he flew off to Mar-a-Lago in a rage.
We do our country no favors by politely forgetting that our so-called president and his allies traffic routinely in boldfaced lies: The assumption that Muslims are terrorists. The claim that Mexicans are streaming across our southern border. The howler that refugees get no vetting. The delusion that robbing women of reproductive choice will lead to fewer abortions. The fabrication about millions of illegal voters. The hyperventilating over inflated crime stats and imaginary transgender villainy in bathrooms while privileged predators float above the law.
When those targeted by these lies are attacked and killed, the slanderers either mouth boilerplate or give us blank looks. How dare we hold them responsible for what they are constantly fomenting?
Trump’s fellow partisans are despoiling our environment, endangering public health and safety, trashing basic liberties, and tearing families apart. They are taking sledgehammers to the pillars of our republic. How can we expect to win over those cheering this by calmly explaining that they are going against their own interests?
When Jewish cemeteries are vandalized and South Asians are shot just for existing, we are horrified and ask how people could do this. But intolerance has always been with us. What unleashed it lately was Trump’s hate-filled campaign, which gave license to people’s worst impulses. We cannot reason with the beast. We must force it back into its lair and drive from power those who feed it and treat it like a pet.
The drip drip drip of Russiagate, with the quickly abandoned denials and Trump’s “So are you” schoolyard ripostes, has become darkly comical. His staff appear to be communicating with him via press leaks.
On March 4, citing no evidence, Trump accused his predecessor of wiretapping Trump Tower in New York last fall. His blunder was not that he showed his typical reckless disregard for the truth, but that by trying to deflect suspicion onto Mr. Obama, he only fueled demands for a probe of his own evident collusion with the Russians.
Citizen protests and pressure are having their effect. Hiding from constituents is no more a sign of strength than releasing a healthcare replacement bill without a score from the Congressional Budget Office. The promise of better healthcare at lower cost is fanciful. The provision to strip all federal funding from Planned Parenthood will by itself endanger the healthcare of millions. We will see if the prospect of career suicide concentrates legislative minds.
Here’s a safe bet: Trump will start a war with the threefold purpose of lifting his poll numbers, silencing his critics, and increasing military spending. It is unclear how he thinks crippling the State Department will help any war effort; but Trump regards study as weakness. His hawkish overcompensation for his five draft deferments will be ruinous; yet the debacle will be deemed such a success that even if he sets off a nuclear exchange and survives, he will hold a victory rally amid the rubble.
If that is not your vision of paradise, then #StayWoke and #Resist in any way you can. Dissent is both patriotic and humane.
Richard J. Rosendall is a writer and activist. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright © 2017 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.