But, remember, this is not the first showing of the hit musical America: OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE.
We live in a country that went through a bloody, devastating civil war because half of our fellow citizens believed they had a god-given right to own a human person as property.
Yesterday, my fellow protester, Laney, and I saw Hidden Figures which took us back to a time where a 14 year old black boy was violently murdered because a white woman lied about him whistling at her and his murderers were acquitted.
Around the same time, Nixon was throwing a monkey wrench into peace talks in Vietnam so he could win an election.
When I was a teenager, tens of thousands of gay men were dying of AIDS and our president didn't even say the word. In the meantime, his vile press secretary was using the epidemic as a chance to work out a truly despicable comedy routine (I wouldn't click that link on a full stomach).
Trump may be worse. He's only been president for one week and has in that time:
- Issued an executive order that will strip millions of their healthcare
- Refused our moral and legal obligation to refugees
- Destabilized our reputation in the middle east, likely creating a whole buncha new recruits for ISIS
- Put forth a plan to make American taxpayers pay for his stupid, fucking wall
- Put a white supremacist in charge of the NSC
- Declared the press the enemy
- Decided #lolnope via executive order on the water rights of Indigenous Americans
He's a terrible president and a terrible person.
But we've been here before. This is not to say everything is fine. After Nixon's vile politicking, 22,000 American soldiers died. George Bush's excellent adventures in Iraq, cost about a million people their lives.
People will die because Donald Trump is a thin-skinned, authoritarian know-nothing who doesn't seem to recognize the humanity of anyone who isn't Donald Trump and sees the presidency as nothing more than a booster for his ego and an opportunity to profit. And the people who enabled his presidency will not see him that way because they are too invested in their fantasies about him and themselves.
But I remind you: we fought a civil war when half of this country believed they had a God-given right to own a human being as property (by the way, if you're a Trump or Stein or Johnson voter and you don't like this comparison, I don't care). This country has a history of delusional evil and a history of fighting back against it. Hard.
I don't think we're looking at the end of America. To quote noted internet journalist and all around brilliant mensch Josh Marshall, "People need to have a bit more confidence in themselves, their values and their country."
So, don't despair. Make a conscious choice for focused optimism. We've faced the monster before and won. Even if victory came at considerable cost, the forces of good still won. And here's the main thing: doing something will make you feel better. Do these things:
- If you got some $, give some $. It doesn't have to be a lot. If 1000 people give Refugee One $10 a month, that's $10,000 a month. The little bits add up.
- Support real news organizations. I know this is getting expensive, but it's hard out there for real journalists when our president is operating under Fake News=They Don't Like Me/ Real News=They Think I'm Fucking Awesome and the internet is an aggregating force for people not gettin' paid. So pay for a subscription to The New York Times or The Washington Post. Unfortunately The Chicago Tribune can suck it since they endorsed Gary "Aleppo I Don't Even Know Her" Johnson. I love Talking Points Memo. They do yeoman's work and have a subscription service. It's good. I'm a total Josh Marshall fangurl.
- Protest. Protesting is a pain in the ass. You're in a crush of people and sometimes it's hard to get out. But, in my limited experience, protesters are the nicest people around. They'll have your back. The whole point of a protest is to show the people in charge that we're not standing behind them. We're standing in front and saying NO. Protesting has a long history as a force for positive change in America.
- CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. Do it every damn day. This nifty page gets updated all the time with scripts. And if you're struggling getting through (this is a good link! You should click on that one), encourage those nifty news organizations you're supporting to find out why the hell we can't talk to our reps.
- Take a break. This is important. Unlike the previous dark epochs in America, we're living in a time where information comes out at us fast and furiously in a nonstop onslaught of OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. So, take a break. I plan to spend much of today in my PJs reading Harry Potter. You don't always have to be in the middle of it.
So, to summarize: no, I don't think we're all going to be fine. But I also don't think OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. Do something, get in it. And choose to be hopeful.
And, you know, re-read childhood books you loved. Watch beloved series on Netflix. Give yourself a break here and there.
And if you start to feel real bad, remember, I think you're pretty cool and you look great today!