Sanity and Hope in the Age of Trump

The daily assault on equality, honor and respect. It wears on a soul.

The coddling of the lazies:

If you are an unskilled white laborer, you have been putting blinders on for years.  There have been re-training programs required by companies that laid you off.  You didn’t take those courses. 

Now comes Akmal from Syria.  He is a medical doctor in intensive care.  He will treat you.  He didn’t take your job away.  He helps your medical problems. Medicaid or Medicare pays for it all.  (G-d bless America.)

You go home in one piece.  Medicaid is a government program.  SNAP grants are government programs and so is welfare.

It doesn’t change that you allowed denial to take you livelihood away.  I don’t know how you square that with the our basic precept:  In America, we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.  We don’t go on food stamps or relief.

SO IT IS OK IF YOU ARE WHITE AND TAKE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES, BUT NOT OK IF OTHERS DO? [Did you know that the TRUE BLUE DEMOCRAT NorthEast pays those benefits for the rest of the country?)

Immigrants would never do such a thing.  I know, from experience.  As bad as life got in the Depression, the one thing that made my grandparent’s generation hold their heads up high was that they never applied for help from the government.

And yet, the demonization continues for hard working people who came here — as my grandparents did — for a better life for their children and their descendants. (Surely, the crime of illegal immigration should have a statute of limitation shorter than, let’s say, a robbery?)

The daily Executive Orders forget that:

immigrants built this nation, and

that rugged individualism was touted in the Reagan years (and which we know only survived only in settler communities that hunkered down in hard times),

Reagan’s was the first whistle call about welfare mothers driving in Cadillacs [which is a lie]; and

that affordable quality healthcare is a right.  (We know It is only a privilege until you need it and then it is a right.)

The daily assault on women’s rights and their bodies. 

A woman’s right to make decisions in consultation with their doctor and but Mike Pence has to be presence and make arrangements to bury the aborted fetus.(P.S.: Pence hates women so much, a person could wonder . .. . )

Trump locker room talk and Harvey Weinstein revelations. In 2017 for Goodness sakes.  They should share a cell together.

The daily demonization of citizens who are not white men. 

  • The absurd response to the Black Live Matter movement as if it were some sinister plot to mis-characterize the grotesque inequalities that lie like a fault line between whites and people of color. Black lives matter.  People of color’s lives matter.  Muslim lives matter. Disabled lives matter.  I can go on.  We all matter.  And we all need seats at the table of a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
  • The absurd Muslim ban.
  • The absurd wall with Mexico.

The daily assault on the values of America of my youth — work hard, give charity, extend a hand to someone who needs extra help, take your share and leave a little on the table, pay taxes to the nation that gave your parents a great public school education so it will fund future amazing public schools, so that education and opportunity are at every child’s finger-tips. Not what DeVos is doing.

The daily assault of half-formed ideas, incoherent policy, and raising up people like Bannon who wish to do harm to our form of self-government.

The daily threat of annihilation by crazy boys with bad toys.

So, besides having too much wine and running until my body is in ruins and working harder than a 50+ person should, what do I do?

Small acts of protest. Be kind and open to whomever passes your way.  Monthly contributions to Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center.  March whenever there is something on the weekend, even schlep there. Show up to the Muslim American Day Parade with a sign that says Jewish New Yorkers welcome our Muslim neighbors. (and when they ask us to mark, we roll with it!!) Sign petitions.  Be out, loud and proud of your stance of on all of these issues.  Canvass. 

Trump has taught me that I am not free until we ALL are free.