The first week was a doozy.
The executive order against immigrants entering the USA has caused chaos and confusion in airports across the country. People entering the country legally were left stranded; many having to return to the country of origin. For some of my colleagues trips ‘back home’ are being cancelled; hard working professionals are making contingency plans in case they need to flee the country quickly.
And … we appear to be building the damn wall. Although the purpose is not entirely clear: I believe it is a response to the ebbing away of well-paying manufacturing jobs across America. But that logic is flawed: automation, the global economy and gutting of unions are the root causes for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US (Even Trump’s companies are doing manufacturing overseas). However, we seem to be in a post-fact era; where it is easier to vilify a scapegoat than to address complex root causes.
We’re in an altered state of reality; where executive orders are issued based on alternative facts. Lies are loudly and passionately presented as facts; as if volume and spittle can substitute for truth.
The comparisons to the Nazis become more relevant each day–it is no longer far fetched speculation: the administration is feeding a frenzy of unrest, hate, entitlement and victimization; while placing the blame for a variety of woes on a particular religious group; which ultimately sets the stage for sanctions, hate crimes, and worse.
Press conferences are bizarre rants against the media and of self-promotion. Mainstream media is demonized and threatened when daring to challenge ‘alternative facts’. The media is being bullied into accepting everything said by the administration as the absolute truth–the true hallmark of a facist leader.
Trump does not even bother to provide a facade of separation of his personal interests from his presidential duties. Increasing his personal wealth and the wealth of his cronies is clearly a major priority for this administration, and he does not see a problem with that. My god, how much money does the man NEED before he can even consider being generous to others outside his inner circle?
Unfortunately, the core of the problem is one of temperament and character … it will not get better. It is likely to get much worse before sufficient checks and balances kick in–due to Republican control of congress and (seemingly) significant swaths of the judicial branch. Eventually, the media and the courts will be this administration’s most effective foes; we can only hope that a devastating war does not break out before then.
What can we DO now? Donate to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood; call and write senators and representatives; march, protest, speak out. And… reflect and retrospect. Reflect on how we got here. Reflect on the sense dis-enfranchisment that many American’s feel. How can we find a common ground so that we are less divided? How can we have a civil outcome if we cannot have a civil discourse?
And finally – how can we maintain any sense of inner peace with the crazy that is going on? One of my wise FB friends suggests that each of us meditate for 10-20 minutes every day – with intentions of peace and love and letting go of hate. I’m going to try it. It will certainly be a better use of my time than another 10 minutes scrolling through my FB feed.