An Inconvenient Truth
You know what? I am in no way about to defend Trump, his Kangaroo Kongress, or his Kabinet Klan. But try and read this WHOLE article from PBS, and take note:
700 miles of barrier fencing on the border between the US and Mexico were built under George W. Bush and completed in 2009 under Obama (100% paid for by you, the taxpayers!). Obama deported more people than any other president. The order Trump signed pulling funding from organizations that provide abortion counseling and services is the same one signed under Reagan and enforced by both Bushes (and even once under Clinton!). Putting a freeze on immigration and especially people coming from Muslim countries was already done by George W. & Homeland Security after 9/11. A registry for Muslims and other people originating from countries on the terrorist watch list was in place and active until 22 December 2016. That means that during both of Obama’s terms as president and up until his final weeks in office, this registry existed and was actually used.
Trump and his goons aren’t actually doing much of anything different that every administration has done, they’re just louder and tackier about it. Trump isn’t rolling anything back, except the curtain that’s been hiding what’s been there all along.
The media has been pretty loud and sensational too, and done a great job feeding into your (yes YOU, you liberals) fears and anxieties, getting YOU riled up and panicked. Everyone is continuing the cycle of reactionary behavior to sensational headlines, which is exactly what Trump and the Congress want. You’re already starting to turn violent — I’ve seen that “Should I Punch this Nazi” meme posted by people who I never would have dreamed would promote violence of any kind, who have always preached nonviolence and love and the higher ground, and who have actually argued with me about the right to physically defend one’s self. It’s depressing as fuck. What is happening to you all? Soon enough you’ll turn on each other too.
You are contributing to and repeating the same behavior that brought about the stock market rise and crash in the 80s, the software bubble and then the housing bubble in the 90s and 00’s, respectively; the economic crash of 2008, and all the social ills that have gone along with them that were never fixed — not racism after Rodney King, not sexism after equal rights, not the gap between rich and poor under Clinton, and most certainly not the growing influence of religion and the religious right in America … while sensationalist news has steadily been on the rise, as well as the reliance on the subjective, user-based encyclopedia Wikipedia — those “alternative facts” have been floating around and open-sourced since 2001! — and of course Facebook and it’s algorithms that feed your own tastes and likes and beliefs back to yourself. Somebody just amped the reverb in the echo chamber, that’s all. But these are merely your own echoes, shouting back at you.
There is legitimate cause for grave concern with Trump’s administration, there’s no doubt about that. But they are the same causes for concern that have always been there. Trump is the bigger, louder, buffoon-ier cartoon version of every president I’ve voted for or against, of every representative I’ve ever sent to DC, of every boss I’ve ever worked for (except you, Dad), of every guy I ever dated (from each of which I “woke” — god, I hate that stupid visionquest term — and broke up with).*
Here is your government, your society, your fellow, writ large and loud and ugly. And as long as you keep reacting to every. single. headline. with wails and moans (“Yesterday Was the Worst Day Yet”? Really, Slate? WTF?) and don’t take a good hard look at history, here is yourselves.
*Their tactics — lie, don’t even acknowledge things that have happened, provide alternative facts, demean and diminish, treat you like you’re crazy until you question your own sanity, tell you you’re being overly dramatic, run a distraction game — are the same tactics of good old patriarchy men have been using on women for the past 2,000 years, often out of mere habit (and women have been buying into; how many of us have actually believed we’re more emotional than men? how many of us have taken the time to patiently explained obvious points to men until we’re too exhausted to complete the task they’re questioning? how many of us call ourselves crazy bitches as though it’s a point of pride?). But that’s a whole different essay.