I’ve never been political. I got into a major argument with someone from France while I was in college because I told him I wasn’t voting because I didn’t think it really mattered who was president.
And I don’t really think that’s changed. My immediate family is Democrat, many in my extended family are Republican. It causes friction, as you can imagine. And in the past, I’ve tried to avoid that friction. But after what’s happened in the past week, I’m feeling that I can’t keep quiet any longer.
If anything, I consider myself a Constitutionalist. For me, more than anything, the U.S. Constitution, and specifically our Bill of Rights is more important than any other part of our government. It’s what guarantees our personal rights, and you can trace its foundations back all the way to the Magna Carta when the power of the king of England was shown to be less than absolute.
That’s an important point. We have a new president who hasn’t seemed to grasp that point. The Constitution–which confirms the rights of every man–supersedes the rights of any person or group of people. Even now, the unbelievable actions that have taken place–removing the media from the White House, limiting public access to scientific studies conducted by government agencies, agreeing to build a wall that will be built by a 20% levy on Mexican goods, and most importantly, singling out seven countries based on primarily religious reasons to keep out of the United States–are ones that I hope can be reversed, and the last one I pray will end up in the Supreme Court. Because I truly believe it is unconstitutional.
Trump ran his campaign on fear, and continues along that vein as President. It’s a tried and true methodology that strongmen have used for centuries. It’s the reason why he wants to control the information that we get from the media, from science and from academia. What’s fascinating and chilling is his mentality that I have seen trickling down to his followers: if you choose not to believe it, it isn’t true. Even when the sources are undeniably valid, denial makes them invalid. It’s like learning you have cancer, and telling the doctor that no, he must be wrong, because you don’t want it to be true. That’s what’s going on with climate change, and we will pay the price for that. There’s no way around it. Chances are, it’s already too late. But of course, if we deny it, maybe it won’t happen…
People who voted for Trump wanted a change. They saw the corruption in government and with Hillary Clinton saw more of the same. But if you take a hard look at Trump’s choices for appointment to political office, not only are they a list of the same old cronies, they are highly unqualified for the positions that he has placed them in. What makes Ben Carson qualified to run Housing and Urban Development as a brain surgeon? Yes, we will have change. But what kind of change will we have?
It’s not enough to shake my head and grit my teeth and worry about the next four years. Too many people are going to suffer from the short-sightedness of our new president. And those who put him in office will soon learn their mistake.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. –Benjamin Franklin