I have an ambitious plan, to be a voice for independent thought in the wake of a frenzy of fake news, propaganda and carefully-sanctioned media messages. Independent voices, devoid of partisanship (though in full disclosure, although I am no longer a member of either major political party, I am still a liberal-leaning person, with progressive values, and a journalism degree), are desperately needed in this toxic environment we are all currently finding ourselves, just six days into a new President’s administration.
This is an opinion-based blog, backed up by both research and facts. If you wish to contribute, or voice an opinion on any of the topics I’ve covered, contact me to do so.
So again, six short days into the Trump administration and I’ve noticed a few things already:
Hypocrisy is rife in our government; it stinks with the foulest stench of fake moralism, to cover a power ploy over the most vulnerable. When statements are made by the Speaker of the House of representatives, the third most powerful seat in the United States Government that “we are a pro-life Congress” (making a sweeping statement on behalf of ALL Congress, which are assuredly not ALL pro-life), taking liberties away from an entire gender of Americans in the process, by enacting bills which erode Roe vs. Wade, and creates bills designed to strip away reproductive rights from women…you know we are in serious trouble. Brace yourselves, women!
Racism is rife in our government. Our President is going to implement by executive order a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants to the United States, essentially turning the public into vigilantes, naming, shaming and hunting down immigrants, presumably for lynching. The list will also include details of so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to hand over immigrant residents for deportation. Meaning that our own government is now using its powers of issuing economic sanctions against its own cities and citizens, who refuse to follow the dictator in chief’s orders. Not to mention the threat Trump has already made to militarize cities he has a personal vendetta against, (see the threats he posted on twitter, against the city of Chicago, for example, a city whose mayor has repeatedly spoken out against his policies.)
Trump also wants to build a wall, to not only keep immigrants from illegally entering the country, but also to keep our citizens from leaving the country. And we will be the ones to pay for this wall, twice, through taxes and tarrifs on items imported from Mexico. Guaranteed, all of the above is not speculation, it is a proven chain of events, based on the study of the tenets of a dictatorship (note- Trump openly stated that he’s studied Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf,’ and the movements of other dictators, including Mussolini.)
Further to the issue of Mexican immigrants, he said (1): “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people”.
An accused rapist, calling my ancestors ‘rapists,’ wow, that’s rich…
Targeting immigrants with hostility, exclusive policies and threatening them with deportation or other forms of punishment smacks of Holocaust-era Germany, a parallel that has been drawn multiple times, from the so-called ‘free press.’
I wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for immigration. My birth father’s family immigrated to America from Germany, the Netherlands and France. My great-grandmother was a stowaway orphan, who fled her abusive foster family in Mexico for a better life in America. She married an American citizen, and was allowed to stay in the U.S. She worked unbelievably hard, followed the rules in every other circumstance, and raised a large family, including my grandmother, my mother’s mother. How many of us would exist without immigration?
Reforming our immigration system, enforcing border security and ensuring a path to citizenship for immigrants who are already here is just common sense. Targeting, castigating and throwing out immigrants however will not solve our systemic issues of income inequality, racism, or stop jobs from being cut and shipped overseas. Only solid, inclusive policies, which benefit all Americans, and not just large corporations, who ship said jobs overseas, will solve these problems our politicians are using immigration as a cover up for. Scapegoating yet another vulnerable population won’t be tolerated by the majority of rational-thinking, compassionate Americans.
Greed is rife in our government. (4) (5) (6) It’s common knowledge that many politicians are paid by lobbyists in order to push certain bills through government, both locally and nationally. From big pharmaceutical companies to the fossil fuel industry, lobby groups buy and sell influence in government like cheap pawn pieces in a chess set (7) (8). This influence runs all the way from the Presidency down to the local city councils. Until we take a hard look at how our government operates, and move away from a self-serving, profit-based motive, to a 100% public service motive, we will continue to degrade and downgrade our democracy. Social service programs will continue to be cut; budgets for public transit, public health and environmental safety will be slashed. Only six days into the Trump administration and that is exactly what we are seeing already. Is it any wonder, considering that Trump works for the Koch Brothers (9), and has vested interests in big oil, and the real estate industry, through his business dealings (10)?
Lies and Propaganda are rife in our government. They are not ‘alternative facts,’ they are lies, pure and simple. Just because Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conaway, claims that facts are ‘negotiable,’ doesn’t make it true, and just because his chief counselor, Steve Bannon, tells the media to ‘shut up’ doesn’t mean that they should. If anything, the First Amendment (11) of our Constitution urges the free press to be just that…free. Not fettered by politics, money or partisan propaganda (12).
Nothing less than the future of our civil, medical, reproductive and economic rights are at stake, being threatened to be taken away by the very people we have employed to act in our shared best interests- our government.
It seems that the United States government needs a refresher course in its role and responsibilities, as well as stark reminder- we are a democracy, not an oligarchy, or a dictatorship.
When a government ceases to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, it is time to not only re-evaluate it, but to completely reform it, from the ground up.
Now is the most critical time in our nation’s history. Now is the time for us to stand up, as a united force for truth and justice, reiterating our shared values, and reminding our government of our Declaration of Independence (2)- we hold these truths to be self-evident, and ALL men (and women) are created equal. It is an implicit reminder that transcends race, gender, partisanship, class or nationality. It doesn’t say, “All American, white males.”
It doesn’t say, “All American white males, above a certain pay grade.” And it certainly doesn’t say, “All American, white males, with Conservative Christian ‘values,’ above a certain pay grade.”
Not a single day should ever go by where we forget these most basic principles of our Constitutional rights, which form the basis of our government, and the very fabric of our democracy, itself. We all have an inalienable, unshakeable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
There is a time when it is appropriate to take the high road, or ‘go high,’ as Michelle Obama (3) has said, and there is a time when it is imperative to speak out against injustices. This is the time.
When that button is about to be pushed, to fire the nuclear missiles, signaling the start of WWIII, and you count down the last few seconds of your life, will you have any regrets, knowing you could have prevented this, had you just spoken out, joined a protest, signed a petition, called a congressman, taken a stand? This is your moment, your call to action. Will you heed it?
- . http://www.mediaite.com/online/michelle-obama-clarifies-when-they-go-low-we-go-high-voting-is-our-high/