I’m watching a blockbuster disaster movie and there is no happy ending. No hero is going to save the day and there are no scientific explanations. In a world where tv fiction and movie scripts begin to feel more like real life than what we’re seeing on our screens, it’s difficult to distinguish between reality and “alternate facts”. In 60 years time, we’re going to look back on this moment in time and realise that this was the moment in which Donald Trump should have been stopped. Before the book burning, before the rounding up of religious groups and the denial of outspoken criticism.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, a cliche perhaps. In the decades after World War 2, the world stood and wondered, how was a single man allowed to go this far? Not meaning to sound alarmist, pointing out the obvious is my forte. In 1 week Donald Trump has alienated an entire religion and race, he’s driven the progress of women’s health back 40 years, he’s cut the funding and provision for arts, culture and national parks and prevented them from speaking out about it. He’s now firing those who disagree with him.
The US President’s latest move to ban a group of people based on their religion from the US is tantamount to religious extremism under the guise of “security”. The Trump administration’s actions smack of authoritarian leadership and dictatorial governing seen in other parts of the world in which elections are rigged, bought and illegal. This isn’t the behaviour of a democratic, civilised government. These are the initial steps of a despot autocracy.
Trump’s obsession with ratings, crowd-size and his inability to make a speech without referring to himself and his “achievements” is another clue to the narcissistic personality disorder driving this Presidency. Trump’s for the people, right. Yet he stands in front of a security services memorial wall of the fallen agents and jokes about how many times he’s been on the front cover of Time Magazine.
Perhaps being a European (still) and being constantly reminded of the tyrannical path we’ve travelled, I fear we’ve seen this totalitarianism once before. The only difference between 1933 and now is that we know the way this goes, we know how the play ends. As Trump’s #1 talking head, Kellyanne Conway tweeted yesterday, “He’s just getting started”.
So, I urge you… if you feel you’re helpless to do anything about this, you aren’t. You can even assist from here. Start supporting NGOs, not for profits, charities and social enterprises that work directly against the executive orders, legislations and changes in law that Trump’s administration makes which you disagree with.
American Civil Liberties
Southern Poverty Law Centre
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Americans for Immigrant Justice
Sylvia Rivera Law Project