I’m not really a political person. I’ve never really cared about the studied games of politics or social change, but the last election has got me thinking quite a bit. To some degree, I think that’s also the result of getting into journalism: it awakens a relentless search for the truth within you. It’s not okay to see what’s going on and ignore it or stay confused by it; it’s important to be informed, well-studied, and open to the possibility that things aren’t what they appear to be.
There are three simple parts to current politics in the US:
- Trump is not qualified to be the president
- The political agenda of the right wing is worrying on many levels
- The left is not doing a great idea of getting their ideas across
The election and inauguration of Trump is unusual and deeply disturbing on many levels. Worldwide, we took it as a joke for a very long time, but now that things are becoming real, there’s more and more cause for worry. Ignoring the fact that Hilary Clinton was running against Trump, there is no doubt that he should have never been elected as president. He has no (read that as 0) experience in government and governmental planning and is not equipped to play the political mind games in Washington. He has a short fuse and often slips with incredibly offensive and nasty remarks. He has several conflicts of interest while in office, especially regarding his properties and business around the world. He is currently, right now this second, embroiled in several unresolved legal cases. These are just a few of the reasons why he is not qualified.
The executive branch is not the only Republican-owned branch of law, the legislative and even the judicial branches are securely in control of those in charge of conservative policy makers. The laws enacted and enforced over the next four years will stick much harder than those that faced violent opposition from an opposing party. The right wing agenda is straight up scary for a number of reasons. We’ve made a lot of progress socially and environmentally over the last fifteen years, and that is being threatened right now.
Perhaps the biggest and most important issue that is that of climate change. Increasing restrictions placed on businesses and factories worldwide in the last decade or so are super important for slowing (and eventually reversing) the problems of climate change. There is literally nothing more important in the entire world. If we do not fix things now, the entire human race will die out. That’s not a panic statement; it’s a fact. Like we work hard to make money so that our children can have a better future, we should be looking to lower our greenhouse emissions for the benefit of our offspring. The world won’t end in 10 or 20 years, not even for a hundred, but greenhouse gases can reach a critical tipping point where we can’t save the world, so we need to start now. The push for deregulation and the removal of environmental strictures from the right wing is incredibly dangerous, as the US is one of the world leaders in emissions and energy conservation. Analogy: just like a bad team in Heroes of the Storm, one bad teammate can drag the entire team down.
Other issues like women’s reproductive rights, healthcare, and racism are also important. There is a lot of law already in motion to undo a lot of the progress we’ve made and return us to a previous time. Humanity is, essentially, moving backwards in a modern, global culture. We live in a world society in the modern world; you can tune into happenings on the other side of the world as if it’s in your living room—and it is. Now, more than ever, we are all interconnected and intertwined in the strangest and closest ways. The actions of anyone, individual or government, has far-reaching effects on the entire world.
Right wing agenda has told us that it’s important to serve ourselves first and place importance on our needs before those of others. Make America Great Again.
But it’s not a war of us vs them. Nationalism is a thing of the past, extinct the moment we were able to reach out across the endless sea of darkness and speak directly to someone just like us who has feels fear, joy, disappointment, motivation. We no longer live in a world where somehow the people on the other side of an invisible line are dumb creatures we can’t possibly understand. We can relate to one another.
And yet, this is where the left has failed pretty hard in the last few months. For those that don’t understand why people are protesting: it’s because they’re angry and afraid of losing their rights and want their voice to be heard. I feel like this hasn’t been clearly articulated, but it’s evident from how many people care. On the other side, there are hard-working individuals who support Trump and truly and desperately want what’s best for the country. There is middle ground between the parties, even though we don’t like to admit it. Our approaches and even our solutions may differ widely, but we can still take comfort in assuaging each other’s worries and finding some compromise that will work for all of us.
“Punching a Nazi” is not a compromise, it is an exercise in futility. Violence begets violence, and does not create a middle ground which allows us to understand and work with one another.
There is no doubt that great changes will happen in this age. This era of social change was long overdue, and it is only beginning. I never thought I would see the government use tear gas and flashbangs on civilians in my lifetime, but it’s happening and it will continue to happen. There have been several protests, riots, and social media Tweetstorms over the last few months, and there will be many more. Voices will find ways to be heard; my only plea is that we attempt to find a middle ground.