All week I’ve been reading the news with growing horror. Every day it’s worse and worse.
Two months ago, the United States voting public freely elected a proto-fascist, isolationist plutocrat with no relevant experience to the presidency. (That was bad enough.) Now, in the eight days since taking office, President Trump has already set into motion so many appalling policies, signaled approval of so many appalling positions, and made so many appalling appointments that it’s hard to even know what to be most upset about.
This was my favorite sign from last week’s Women’s March on Portland. What’s saddest about it now is that as important and relevant as things like environmental protection and wildlife conservation are, for most people these issues pale, and keep paling, in comparison to the latest executive act of destruction. As of this writing, it’s the Muslim ban, which is pretty awful indeed.
So far Mr. Trump has seemed intent shutting out everyone and everything that doesn’t please him, either unaware or uncaring of the resources, relationships, and, indeed, lives he’s destroying in the process. However, no matter how much he tries to isolate and alienate the country in the coming days, the United States is part of the world. No matter how many walls Mr. Trump tries to build, we live in a world where actions–in myriad areas–have consequences that extend far beyond national borders. Ours is a global society, and the United States’ sphere of influence extends across the whole earth. Likewise, the United States is not an island. What goes on in the rest of the world should–and does–matter to us, too.
I am, by birth, a citizen of the United States. But before that, first and foremost, I am a citizen of the world. And I will never turn my back on the world, as President Trump seems intent on forcing this nation to do. Never.
Of course, I am only one person. I cannot control Donald Trump; unfortunately, at this point, it’s possible no one can. And I do not have high hopes that he will suddenly lose interest in politics and stop making grievous decisions. President Trump is a reality that we all have to deal with, whether we voted for him or not.
What matters now, though, is not so much how Trump got where he is or what he’s done thus far, nor even where he goes from here. What really matters is what we, the people, do going forward. What matters is that we do not back down or give in to apathy or exhaustion. That we refuse to believe that we are powerless. That we stand up and behave like decent human beings and do the very best we can. What matters is that we do what’s right.
Just that. Do what’s right.
There is no reason not to.