Making America Eight Again

January 14th, 2017

no longer accepting

Donald Trump; name calling, tantrums and policies with the substance of a fourth grade school project. He is making America eight again. This may actually be unfair to eight year olds, but it’s the only number that rhymes with great.

It’s easy to laugh. A Chinese factory has even produced some Trump-alike inflatables for the year of the rooster.

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It’s also easy to cry. People I care about are suffering; because Trump has legitimised mocking disabled people, and disrespecting women and vilifying immigrants etc etc etc.

There’s nothing I can do about Trump being the US President right now. However I have no intention of living the Trump reality. He is not the president of my life and I refuse to inaugurate Trump values. So much of what he stands for is unacceptable and I don’t accept a world where people are treated poorly because of his fear mongering.

As Martin Luther King said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

The decision to stick with love looks like multiple daily choices to protect human rights and preserve human dignity. Unfortunately we seem to have too many opportunities to practice at the moment.

Recently I was on the train (quiet carriage). A woman was talking quietly on the phone. It really wasn’t worrying me and I was sitting right behind her. Another passenger got right up in her face, stood over her and shouted at her to shut up. I had an instant reaction that he was out of line. Me and another guy a few seats back simultaneously told the guy to speak nicely. He shouted his excuses at us but his focus was off the woman and his nastiness was now obvious to the whole carriage. It was such a small thing but I believe we shifted the energy of the carriage and made him accountable for his intimidation and hate. I just hope the woman felt our support.

I plan to speak up more often. I have large male privilege and I intend to use this privilege to hold Trump, and those who mimic his hatred, to account. We all have a responsibility to change what is unacceptable anywhere we can. Live our values no matter what happens in Washington.

The Trump era will be short, a blip on a trajectory toward greater civility. He is on the wrong side of history and the best thing we can do is continue living inclusive values and helping to usher in the next steps in human progress. It will come one ordinary moment after another as we choose love over hate.

One of my favourite songs is Great Leap Forward by Billy Bragg. It seems relevant now.

You can be active with the activists
Or sleep in with the sleepers
While you’re waiting for the Great Leap Forwards
If no one seems to understand
Start your own revolution and cut out the middleman
So join the struggle while you may
The Revolution is just a T-shirt away.” – Billy Bragg

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