In just a couple of weeks, Cheeto Hitler takes over the Oval Office. He and his fellow Republicans are already busy undermining our democracy, trying to gut ethics committees, pissing off China, and starting nuclear fights on Twitter. We don’t need to wait to see how much damage they will do. The signs are already there.
This is a regime bolstered by white supremacists, fascists, and other assorted scum. This is a regime that will do serious and lasting harm to America and the world. There’s no question.
We don’t acquiesce. We don’t accept. We don’t reach across aisles and attempt to heal divides. The only thing to do in a situation like this is rebel.
Step one: get fired up and ready to fight. To that end, I’ll be sharing some of the best posts on the necessity of rebellion that I’ve found. Here’s our first installment.
Taking the high road right now means taking the path of most resistance. We do not capitulate to fascists. We are the goddamn immune system.
“Our rebellion is all that remains to push back the Empire.”
America has gifted a man that’s never wanted for anything its most powerful position. He raided the very party he claims to be a member of, bending and breaking their once respected leaders to fit his will, humiliating and slandering them with glee. And now they’re his party — and now they have it all, the House, the Senate, the White House.
“The power that we are dealing with here is immeasurable.”
The party has devolved in the past year because of this man’s influence, as he smothered any inclinations they may have once had towards empathy or compassion and instead fostered hate — in its purest, basest form — in its wake. Rallies turned to violence as everyone from disabled children to non-white supporters were attacked and expelled with force. And that’s what this party now says they always wanted. That’s what they now say is the best for America. They celebrate his victory, even though it’s come at the cost of their very morals.
“So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.” It’s from “Revenge of the Sith,” but the phrase resonates in the wake of this cataclysmic event. Emperor Palpatine’s insidious takeover of the Galactic Senate and it’s manipulation into the Empire would be an apt metaphor — were the winner in question anywhere near as smart as the fictional Dark Lord of the Sith.
It’s disgusting that a man, a man that’s gloated about sexual assault and earned fame and fortune partially as a purveyor of objectification, has been rewarded. It’s disgusting that a man endorsed by the most vile hate groups in the country now speaks for our country. It’s disgusting that the man that’s a heartbeat away from the presidency believes you can electrocute the gay out of people. It’s disgusting that a man that called Mexicans rapists and sees terrorism in the face of every Muslim man, woman and child now wields the power of our nuclear arsenal.
“If the Empire has this kind of power, then what chance do we have?”
We have hope. If they have hate, then we have hope.
And it occurred to me that one of the things that Trump supporters have said they want most fervently, most desperately, is something they are absolutely not going to get so long as we refuse to give it to them. He promised them something that he will never be able to deliver on without our consent — and that is the ability to say and do racist, homophobic, bigoted, sexist, deplorable things without fear of being judged.
Donald Trump being elected doesn’t mean Tomi Lahren isn’t an asshole. It doesn’t mean we have to accept anything he or his supporters dole out, simply because they “won.” It doesn’t mean we stop standing up for marginalized people. It doesn’t mean you can go spray paint a swastika on someone’s house, that you can attack Muslim women in hijabs, that you can freely scream homophobic or racial slurs out of your car and expect to have people call you America’s Sweetheart. We will come for you.
The uptick in these sorts of activities in the past few days is heartbreaking and frightening, but unfortunately not surprising. Of course they’re going to give it a go. That doesn’t mean we let them. Yes, Donald Trump has “empowered” these people — but I think they’re in for a rude awakening when they discover that who the president is doesn’t really count for much in their daily lives where they have to interact with people who are not Donald Trump.
Emma Goldman once said “If voting changed anything, it would be illegal.” And that phrase — though I’m not sure how much I agree with it — is giving me some comfort right now. Because now we need to look to things we can do outside of filling out a ballot — for the next two years, at least — to keep changing the world in a good way, and to not allow them to change it in a bad way. To ensure safety for women and POC and LGBTQ citizens in our own communities, to take our fight for fair wages out of the halls of government and back to union halls, to get bad police officers off of our streets, to boycott and strike, to volunteer and donate and keep speaking up.
I keep looking at this list of people who died during the labor movement. I keep thinking of women who fought for and won the vote when men had all the power in government, black people who fought for civil rights and won when white people had all the power in government, LBBTQ people who won when straight people had all the power in government, and I think we will continue to fight and win with these assholes having all the power in government. We need to stop noting that we or other people “lived” through these times, because a lot of people didn’t — but we should remember that people fought through them and were still able to make progress without having anyone in power backing them. We can still fight — and, sometimes, we can still win.
Evil settles into everyday life when people are unable or unwilling to recognize it. It makes its home among us when we are keen to minimize it or describe it as something else. This is not a process that began a week or month or year ago. It did not begin with drone assassinations, or with the war on Iraq. Evil has always been here. But now it has taken on a totalitarian tone.
So no, I will not be giving him any of my hope, trust, or any chances I have in my back pocket. I will reserve those chances for the political opponents to the veteran congresspeople whose seats are vulnerable to flipping in two years. I will give them a chance to stop making terrible business deals with President Trump and to exemplify their titles as representatives of the people—not just “congressmen and women” or faceless/nameless “government officials and lawmakers,” but our representatives as citizens—and fight against his destructive ideals and his utterly inept business sense.
I will be reserving any and all chances I have to give politically for those who are on the midterm ballots, challenging useless incumbents because those chances are the best chances at ensuring a viable future for this democracy.
He’s had 40-plus years to make good on undeserved chances to prove he’s worth a single shit in any aspect of his tacky gold-plated existence, and he has failed to make good even once. I will not give him another. I’m giving those chances to those who will fight him.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Noor Inayat Khan.
Out of the hundreds of hellions, rebels, and survivors I’ve written about, she’s the most identifiable. She was an artist. An airhead. A klutz. A pacifist. A musician. An outsider.
When she saw what she considered the greatest threat the world had ever seen – the rise of the Nazis – she gave everything of herself and became one of the allies’ greatest spies. She became a pacifist that fought dirty. An artist that braved torture. A captive that told nothing.
And I asked, as so many students of history have: could I have done that? Could I have stepped up, as she did?
The answer is yes. We all can.