Today’s the day folks. This day has been a long time coming, of course. A slow (yet frantic) build (or avalanche) over the days and weeks since Donald Trump has taken office. We’ve seen unconstitutional travel bans, tone-deaf health care proposals, themeless and rambling diatribes, all atop a mountain of conflicts of interest and ethics violations. Still, it’s taken us 112 days to get to the point where Donald Trump is actively threatening people. Yes, I said threatening.
If you are looking at this 5:30 AM tweet and thinking to yourself, ‘Gee, did the President of the United States just implicitly threaten the former head of the FBI, who was leading the investigation on his ties to Russia?’, then you would be 100% correct. Somehow, our man-baby of a president has managed to get himself into legal hot water even thornier than that of his erstwhile Muslim ban, even more ludicrous than his family’s business ties to China and Azerbaijan. President Trump, in this one tweet, has managed to document himself participating in witness intimidation. Of the former FBI director. Whom he fired less than a week ago. No, I am not making any of this up.
Of course, this wasn’t all that our Supreme Leader said during his early morning Twitter-jaunt. No, over the course of 3 hours, the world’s least-tasty Cheeto managed to threaten the cessation of White House press briefings, wrap himself up in the soothing balm of partisan, election based politics, and deflect towards beef-related Chinese trade agreements.
Here’s the thing: while increased American imports are all well and good, I could care less about trade agreements at the moment. Yes, I said it. There it is, the great divide between me, a liberal elitist, and them, bastions of rural American conservatism. I am sitting here saying right now that I don’t give a shit about economic progression in the face of blatant corruption, greed, and fear-mongering. I don’t care if the world’s best trade agreement is dancing in front of me in a tutu, none of it matters if Donald Trump and his cronies are determined to drive America into an Orwellian pit from which it may never claw its way out again. Economics are all well and good — alienating our relationships with other countries, colluding with Russia, and stirring up a cesspool of hate and rage render them, for the moment, somewhat moot.
I admit, of course, that this attitude is a function of privilege. I can only sit hear and rage against the ethical quagmire that is the Trump administration because I don’t have to spend my energy worrying about the roof over my head, the food in my belly, the shoes on my feet. That’s a privilege. I also don’t have to worry about my physical and emotional safety due to the color of my skin. That’s a privilege, too.
It’s because of these privileges that I continue to rage. Guess what, fellow white people of America? It’s our turn to step up. It’s our turn to look at this lunacy, these injustices, this thinly veiled stewpot of racist-sexist-xenophobic rage and demand better. People of color have done it, mostly alone, for way, way too long.
I am a liberal, a progressive, because I believe that I have a responsibility to others just as they have a responsibility to me. No, I’m not rich, but I’m sure as hell not poor, and do you know what that means? I am happy to sacrifice some measure of luxury — of vacations or fancy clothes or fancy gym memberships — to make a better America for other people. I don’t mind if my taxes are high. I don’t mind if sales taxes go up. It’s idealistic, but it’s true. If that makes me an elitist, out-of-touch? So be it. I’d rather be labelled an elitist than a bystander. That’s the truth.
You may have noticed that this post is a little rantier than usual, even for me. That’s how I feel. Right now, I feel rant-y. I feel enraged, confused, resolved, saddened, hopeful, hopeless, — countless emotions all at once. I am watching this country of mine — one that I have always loved, but perhaps not always liked — self-destruct in ways so absurd, so formerly unthinkable, the processing each day’s descent into further lunacy seems almost impossible.
I’ll keep trying though. I hope you will too. I, for one, don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.
Before I go, I want to leave you with this clip of Jimmy Kimmel chatting with Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy. Cassidy, a doctor, is considered by many to be one of the Senate Republicans who can reason some sense into the newest Healthcare bill. Watching his look of condescension as Kimmel says that he, as a millionaire, is willing to keep his taxes high to support health care for his fellow Americans? I’m not holding my breath.
Day 122: May 12, 2017