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Friday, November 18, 2016

On the Election of a Demagogue

I have been away from this blog for some time, disgusted and full of fear regarding the election of Donald Trump as our President.  It is a travesty of everything I personally believe.  I am not alone in this.  Unless the Electoral College does the right thing and overturns his position by casting their votes for    Hillary Clinton, the rightful winner of this election, he will become President in January: a man who was roundly endorsed by the KKK, who has elected a white supremacist, Steven Bannon, the former editor of alt-right Breitbart News, to his cabinet.

Protests in all countries (not just the US) are called "riots" when they have been mostly peaceful (except for the small number of people who are not peaceful, which unfortunately happens in every protest movement, and which is denounced by peaceful protesters).  The right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Southern Poverty Law center has reported more than 300 hate crimes since Trump's election , and I wager there are many more which have not been reported.  It is mind-boggling and sickening.  There have even been hate crimes in my progressive county and the university at which I taught for many years.

As a writer, I came to this blog in fear of my right to exercise freedom of speech. Trump's goons are not going to likely sue a blogger who writes in a fairly obscure corner of the world...but at some point, there is a possibility (strong, in my opinion) that Trump will endeavor to undermine this right, which belongs to every American citizen. He has threatened to sue newspapers that dare criticize him.  When will he target writers?  At some point, German people had to swear an oath of allegiance to the Fuhrer.  You could not say a negative word out loud about Hitler, or you would risk jail. Is something similar coming to the United States, under perhaps a different form, but no less oppressive?

A normalization of Trump has begun in some of the mainstream news, as if reporters and politicians are almost afraid to criticize him.  His rhetoric can never be normalized.  People tell me to just accept, to move on, to get over it.  My own family calls those who voted for Hillary Clinton "crybabies": which includes me.  Let me tell you, NOBODY calls me a crybaby and a sore loser.  If any crying is to be done by me, it is for the hate crimes in Trump's name, and all the oppressions we may have as American citizens.  And mark my words, they are on the horizon. I pray they do not happen, but my skepticism is great.

So, I won't be silenced out of fear.  That is contrary to every belief I have as a writer. I have been told that it will be dangerous for me to make political statements now, publicly.  I will not stop: the danger to this country outweighs my personal fears.

I leave you, for now. with a letter that the Kennedy family wrote as an op-ed piece in the Washington Post.  I strongly urge you all to read it.

Letter from the Kennedy Family Regarding Donald Trump