Saturday, November 26, 2016

No to Trump: 'We will not go quietly into the night'

NO! I will not give Donald Trump any slack.

It has been three weeks since that black day in November when Donald Trump surprised almost everyone in the world to upset Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The passage of time has not soften my feelings about the man.

My only solace to come out of this elections is that AAPI voters joined Latino and African/American voters and voted overwhelmingly against Trump. We - people of color - felt we had the most to lose. And now that Trump is President-elect, do we return to what we were doing, out jobs, our schools, our houses of worship and simply endure the next four years?

There has been a huge upsurge of hate crimes against people of color and immigrants. I can only assume Trump supporters feel emboldened by "their" victory that they feel they can act with impunity and take back "their" country.

In his campaign, Trump encouraged violence, won the support of white nationalists and the KKK by racist code words and proposals against Mexicans, against China and Japan, against Muslims, against Syrian refugees and against women.  He will say and do anything to advance his cause.

He lied so much and so often that the media couldn't keep up and focus on any single fabrication. No sooner would the press catch his falsehoods but before they could write about how terrible it is that another lie would pop up. An ordinary candidate would slink away from the public view in shame.

President Obama, Clinton and other Democrats say we need to give Trump a chance and the demands of the job will force him to move to the center, calm him down, force him to moderate his views. I don't believe a charlatan can change his ways so easily.

In his meetings with members of the media last week, he used the time to show a calmer side, backing off on some of his more extreme positions such as his promise to jail Clinton over her missing emails. He told the journalists that he felt he was treated unfairly. 

Respect the office, they urge us. Sorry, I can't do that.

"You worry too much," "He's no Hitler,"  we are told. Well, before Hitler became Hitler, he was a frustrated architectural student. No one foresaw that he would become one of the worst despots of the 20th Century.

Before Trump, I used to ask myself, how can a nation of basically good, educated people  allow themselves to be taken in by a maniac like Hitler. I no longer have the privilege of asking that question from afar. This last campaign has provided me the answer.

How can we rally around a man who has done so much to divide this nation, who used racism to drag out the ugliest form of bigotry from out of America's darkest corners.

If you "rally 'round" the President-elect for the sake of unity, you are saying that you accept Donald Trump as he revealed himself during the campaign, his self-centered, win-at-any-cost, bigotry-espousing, ignorant anti-science, anti-intelligence, stubborn behavior.

What have we gained from President Obama's attempts to mollify his enemies on the right? A flawed health-care system, a weaker-than-wanted climate action agreement, a still-active Guantanamo, a Wall Street still awarding multi-million dollar buyouts of its criminal CEOs. any attempt at immigration reform thwarted and the right to transform the U.S. Supreme Court blocked.

From the very outset of Obama's victory in 2008, Republicans have done everything they could to block his initiatives, even if their selfishness resulted in harm to the country.

Sorry, we've tried compromise and it didn't work. The Paul Ryan-led right wing and the extremist alt-right don't know the meaning of compromise.

I'm tired of being Linus - year after year - trusting that Lucy will hold the ball in place for me to kick; only to have her remove the ball at the last minute as I land on my backside.

Accepting Trump is allowing his truly awful positions to take root and soon we learn to tolerate them. Eventually, we take them for granted. The final step -- like the Good Germans of pre-WWII -- I fear all the Good Americans will learn to embrace Trump's ignorance and the bigotry he has unleashed.

If we take that first step of acceptance, we will allow an entire generation grow up with this environment of us-vs-them and the values of Trump become imprinted into young minds who don't know that we can do better than that. We allow our country to step backwards from all the progress that has occurred over the last 60 years. 

We cannot let this happen!

I can respect the Office of the President, but cannot respect the man who will soon be inhabiting the Oval Office. He has not shown me any reason to respect him.

It's time to stop talking about moving to Canada. It's time to stop being despondent. It's time we rise up, become more vigilant, more unafraid to speak out when we see injustice, bullying or a hate act.

I conclude with this quote from the movie Independence Day when the U.S. President addressed his fighter pilots before they attacked the aliens:

What's next? What can we do to stop falling deeper into the rabbit hole? There are people and organizations starting to meet with each other. Stay tuned.