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This week I did some Fred Whispering while at physical therapy. My therapist voted for Hillary Clinton and he’s definitely not a fan of our new God-King. He has CNN on in his office all the time, so he’s more politically clued-in than average. But he’s an independent voter and, when I said would not watch the God-King’s
inaugural apotheosis, he replied: “Oh, I’ll watch. It’s history after all, and don’t you think we should give him a chance? Maybe he’ll surprise us.”
I asked what gave him any reason to believe the God-King might temper his white-male-supremacist ‘populism’ or curb his declared intent to use the White House to enrich himself and his family.
His answer: “We have to be optimistic. President Obama said we need to have hope, right?”
The conversation remained pleasant, and I mostly asked questions. But my questions were probing – “Hasn’t he made it clear enough that he won’t change?” “Do you believe he’ll try to deliver on his radical campaign promises?” “Do you think his cabinet appointees are evidence that he meant everything he said for the past 18 months?”
He agreed that the God-King was obviously stubborn, and said he believed the God-King would try to build a wall, deport as many immigrants-of-color as he could, ban Muslims, gut Obamacare and the Paris Climate Accords, nationalize the Republicans’ state-based voter suppression campaign, threaten and bully media critics, crack down on Black Lives Matter and other protesters … and generally try to be every bit as radical as he seemed during his campaign.
But, he insisted, we have checks and balances and Congress would keep the God-King in line. So I asked: “Have Senate and House Republicans given you any reason to believe they’ll even try to rein him in?”
He paused and said, “Well, no. But … what’s the answer then? Do we just give up?”
“No,” I said. “We organize and resist. We press Senate and House Democrats to block everything they can. We press our state and local legislators to denounce unconstitutional policies. We start mobilizing for 2018, registering voters, and running petition drives to make sure there are Democratic candidates on the ballot. We show up at town halls, in strength and loud. And we march, as often as we can, in the biggest numbers as we can assemble, so the media can’t pretend that he has no opposition.”
He looked concerned. “Don’t you think that might cause … chaos?”
I nodded. “And that’s exactly what Republicans did for the past eight years. Now it’s our turn. But unlike their whining about socialism and birtherism and all the rest, we’ll be speaking the truth. They howled about saving ‘freedom’ for white, Christian men. We will shout about saving our democracy itself … for everyone.”
“You really think it’s that bad?” he asked.
“I think the God-King means every word he said,” I replied. “The only foreign leaders he praises are dictators, and that’s what he wants to be. This is our Italy 1920, Germany 1930 moment. And that’s why we have to organize and resist.”
He nodded. “Where do I sign up?”
Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.