In three days, a man who has proven himself to be a racist, mysoginist, xenophobic, Muslim- and queer-antagonistic bigot is taking the highest ranking office in the United States. Before the election, Slate compiled a list of 230 reasons why he was unfit to be the president. Welp.
Of course, since the election took place, many Republicans have been calling protests about the results anti-democratic, saying that people are being sore losers and disrespecting the office of the president. Ironically, of course, the same thing happened on their end when Obama won in 2008. None of that is new, of course. What I find interesting is the congressional stance since then. At least fifty congressmen have decided to not attend the inauguration, including at least one Republican. I've been looking for information on previous mass-inaugurational skippings, but everything is clogged up by He Who Must Not Be Named. I did find an article from Obama's second inauguration that a bunch of Republicans skipped out, but I'm taking this article with a grain of salt. Anyway, skipping out because you don't like someone's policies and skipping out because the person is literally threatening the life and liberties of millions of people are two different things.
Skipping the inauguration is a symbol of resistance, but does little else. That doesn't mean that it's useless--if anything, his narcissism will be triggered by not having people watching it, and he'll throw one of his famous temper tantrums. But in the end, he'll still become President 45, and we're still stuck with a royal flush of Republicans in office.
What happens if this stuff with Russia comes to fruition? Clearly, intelligence agencies--and now, apparently, members of Congress--know that there is something to these claims of Russia's interference in the election. (I'd like to know what exactly interference means. There are some rumors that they were the ones that leaked the DNC emails. But what, did they pad the vote?) But practically speaking, if there is actually an investigation into the allegations (which I doubt), there might be little we can do. It is possible, of course, that after being sworn in, he's impeached and removed from office. But then we get Mike Pence instead.
I worry about that. In this strangely almost neutral Fox news article, Pence is painted like an almost decent guy--different values from liberals, sure, but trying to reach across the isle, working to connect with congressmen personally. It reeks so much of politics that it's nauseating: of course Pence appears to be moderate in comparison to the hair-triggered fascist. When one person takes to task everyone who criticizes him on Facebook, by comparison, the next guy will look pretty tame.
Unfortunately for us, Pence and Paul Ryan (blame the rest of my district for reelecting him) are conducting a war on anything not-them, or, more specifically, anything mandated by Obama. Defunding Planned Parenthood, which doesn't even use federal money for abortions, doing all sorts of things to immigration reform (including sending back immigrants who came here as children and remain under DACA), and, of course, repealing Obamacare are just the beginnings.
What is laughable--because what else can we do but laugh, especially those of us who are so marginalized that our sheer existence endangers us in this country--is that people who voted for the current regime did so knowing that one of its big platforms was repealing the Affordable Care Act--Obamacare. Yet, with Congress already implementing steps to repeal it, many Republicans want to know what will happen to their healthcare. You know, the one they got because of the ACA.
It's true that Obamacare didn't work out quite as expected, with its noble mission of expanding healthcare met with an increased cost, especially for the healthy. What many fail to understand is that for individuals with pre-existing conditions, the ACA has literally saved their lives. For those of us who are self-employed (guess I'm part of that group, now), the ACA allows us to be insured. For someone who is on a lot of medicine, insurance also saves someone like me thousands of dollars a month.
And then, in typical fashion, our Fascist-In-Chief turns around and tells WaPo this week that, indeed, he does want universal healthcare! How could we think otherwise? Of course, what else could we think from the man who wants to nominate someone civil rights activist Coretta Scott King said had "reprehensible conduct" as attorney general, or wants the Secretary of State to be a (recently) former oil giant? I never did understand how the middle USAjustified their vote by saying that he cared about them.
As Maya Angelou once said, when someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time.
This was originally featured as a Tuesday Telegram on January 17, 2017. Join us every Tuesday at tinyletter.com/naseem.
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