By Marlos C. Santos
In the wake of the inauguration of the most reviled man to ever step into the office of President of the United States, everything seems grim. Somehow we were all conned by Donald J Trump: a second rate celebrity and third-rate con-artist who slimed his way into the White House by preying on the insecurities, ignorance and hatred of our nation’s impoverished working class. Granted he had a lot of help, from a disinformation campaign paid for by Vladimir Putin, to violent voter suppression, to an economic crisis created by at least half of his proposed cabinet. Still the amount of sheer denial that I had felt this morning, weighed me down all the way up to his speech.
Never before have we had such an unambiguous enemy in power. We are facing an enormous engine of corruption, powered by ignorance and entitlement, that’s set to pave over ever scrap of progress that we have ever fought for…and it won’t be Trump at the helm. It is the Republican Party.
The Republicans in Washington have rigged the game in their favor and are reaping their unjust rewards. Their seats in the House and the Senate were won through flagrant gerrymandering and voter suppression, and they used that same manipulation to tip the scale for Donald. Now with completely unchecked majorities in the legislature, the ultimate distraction in the Oval Office, and at least one Supreme Court seat of their choosing, they are seizing their chance to push the most backward political agenda in modern American history.
The repeal of the Affordable Care Act with no replacement in place; the attempt to legalize discrimination in the workplace based on religious beliefs; the attack on the independent ethics commission. These are just a few examples of their blitzkrieg-style assault on our democracy. More importantly their intent is clear: The Republicans have no regard for the will, safety or prosperity of the American people, and they don’t care that we know.
They think that with a little bit of manipulation and prayer they will be able to appease us. But how will they justify taking away the healthcare of 30 million Americans with no alternative in place? What will they say to the poor, white, Trump supporters who can no longer afford their treatments? Or to the homeowners who will see foreclosure after foreclosure because the SEC has been declawed and HUD is being run by a talking vegetable? Or what about when the jobs don’t actually come because manufacturing is dead, and the jobs that are available will no longer provide healthcare or payout overtime?
They have been overplaying their hand. Their hubris is our opportunity. We need to capitalize on the outrage that most of the country is feeling.
The combination of having the moral high ground and being able to feel justifiable anger is a powerful cocktail. Outrage feels good. It wakes you up. Gives you a jolt of purpose. Even flushes a bit of red into your cheeks. But it also fades quickly.
That is why we need to look past our fury. Take that fire and use it to light a beacon to everyone feeling that same anger. A call to all of our brothers and sister to let them know that they are not alone. That there are others willing to fight.
It will be hard, and painful, and it will cost us more than we have ever had to pay. But we aren’t the first people to struggle against tyranny. All of our freedoms have come from the blood and tears of the brave men and women before us. People who stood up in the face subjugation and violence and death. People who made history.
Now it is our turn to carry that torch. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve already taken the first step. You’re looking at alternative means of information. Looking at different perspectives and thinking outside of a prescribed narrative. You are what they are scrambling so hard to control.
Now is your time to share.
Now is your time to organize.
Now is your time build the resistance.