Over 3 million Americans took to the streets last Saturday to affirm their opposition to Donald Trump. That doesn’t include the thousands who joined by demonstrating on every continent around the world. Trump often declared that he had created a movement during his efforts to reach the presidency. In fact he did, it just wasn’t the movement that he bargained for. Never in modern presidential history has a new president entered office with such a low approval rating or so much dissension. The fear and anxiety created by Trump’s ascension to the presidency is palpable. While there is significant concern regarding specific issues, it goes beyond that. The anxiety is created as much by the vibes generated by this administration as the policy pronouncements. Simply put, there are many in this country and around the world who are concerned that we are about to lose the America we know and love.
There are some basic realities that have become undeniable over the past several months. Trump is a narcissist with authoritarian leanings. He surrounds himself with sycophants, who gladly do his bidding, and then quotes them to prove his point. His small group of close advisors have proven their lack of knowledge, experience and know-how while mirroring the arrogance of their leader. The truth is fungible in the Trump Administration. Within the first 48 hours in office there were three instances of lying by the administration. The astonishing thing about the lies is that they were all demonstrably untrue. The claim regarding the crowd viewing the inauguration was proven to be incorrect. The claim that the media created the war between Trump and the Intelligence Community is easily debunked through a view of Trump’s own tweets. The claim that Trump lost the popular vote due to the votes of illegal immigrants has been effectively disproven. Why would he make these claims that are so obviously lies? Because he is a narcissist? That is part of it. A more disturbing thought, however, is that it is part of a strategy to continue to discredit the press. His use of tweeting in combination with his efforts to portray the press as dishonest is an effort to control information and control the “truth”. Sean Spicer’s angry and threatening first press briefing on Saturday was meant to send a clear signal and an attempt at intimidation. The threats were not subtle. Kelly Ann Conway’s introduction of the concept of “alternative facts” on Sunday was chilling at best. Press intimidation and the creation of alternative facts are a threat to our fundamental rights. The Trump Administration is attempting to control and create the truth.
The demonstration on Saturday, while voicing concerns regarding many issues, was most significant in that it was a visible statement to Trump that there are many who will not tolerate what he is attempting as either moral or normal. But one demonstration does not a movement make. There needs to be continued, unending and assertive action . If ever there was a time when this is necessary it is Now. While Trump has found tweeting to be to his advantage to circumvent the media it is a fact that 3 million can play the same game. More than anything else we must be the guardians and the protectors of the truth. While it is clear that 3 million of us will not demonstrate every week, we can use Facebook and twitter to organize and send an avalanche of emails to our congressional representatives to make it clear that we won’t be silent. We must keep our elected officials honest. We must do everything we can to challenge them and be sure that they represent the needs and desires of their constituencies. When the time comes we must place our own candidates in contention for positions at all levels. More than anything those in office want to remain in office. Let’s make sure that they understand that we control their future, not Trump. Silence is Trump’s ally, loud and vigorous dissent is his enemy.
Governments don’t move with great speed. Changes are gradual, almost undetectable at first. They often appear to relate to something that is irrelevant to us. Then, one day we wake up and realize that we have lost much, and that our country has changed to be almost unrecognizable. We cannot allow Trump to do this to us, America or the world.