The age of Trump feels never ending.
A year on since the inauguration and in some ways, Trump has achieved very little of his agenda. However, his policy ideas were so extreme that even the most meagre of successes for him spells disaster for many Americans. The tax cut has been approved, there will be drilling in the Arctic which will have devastating ecological and global consequences and his travel ban was upheld by the Supreme Court (although it was adjusted after numerous strike-downs).
America feels stuck between a rock and a hard place. Trump is so staggeringly incompetent that his agenda is slow to implement and he will likely never achieve close to what he promised his basket of deplorables. When he does score a victory, it’s often horrifying. Trump himself too has not needed to pass much into law for there to be a surge in hatred across America. The klan has even marched openly and at a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, a woman was killed. If Trump is ousted in some way though, another Republican will simply be installed until the next election and that would likely be VP Mike Pence who is even more misogynistic and queerphobic than Trump. The President even joked in an interview that Pence wanted to kill gay people. Pence is even more sinister because of his competence, if Trump goes, the Republicans will likely be far more effective at pushing their laws through. Trump is both their greatest strength and their biggest liability.
“Trump is both their greatest strength and their biggest liability”
It’s easy to see Trump’s presidency and lose faith in humanity, but we must take care not to assume humanity is only ever about white allocishet men being honoured as humans. Trump was not the world’s mistake. He was the result of the wrath of white men and women who felt their privilege threatened. There is hope for humanity, although perhaps not white allocishet people but we need to look far beyond these people to truly start to empower others.
It’s not just about Trump but all of the people he represents – the entire Republican Party, business owners who want a tax break and to cut wages, working class people who want to drive migrants out of America, Christians who think that the state has gone too far in allowing people control over their own bodies. A lot of these groups have different aims but they’re joined together by the desire to uphold power for white allocishet and able-bodied people.
To end Trumps-times, we must end the stranglehold these groups all have on politics. Those groups are mirrored in the UK, to a lesser extent. So we must support people of colour, queer people (especially transgender people), sex workers, disabled people and young people running for office and making their voice heard. Activism has ignited across America with people phoning senators and those in congress to try and make a difference. It shouldn’t be a constant war where if people don’t make themselves heard they lose their rights. But there is hope in what activists are doing and that Trump’s agenda can be delayed or even stopped. If Americans are engaging then British people must engage too. We’ve got austerity and Brexit. We should all be ensuring marginalised people aren’t further marginalised.
2017 felt like a year that just wouldn’t stop. Perhaps everyone who said it couldn’t be worse than 2016 cursed it for us all. The fact remains that the situation will continue to deteriorate as long as the Republicans are in power. It goes beyond Trump, but if activisms keep engaging then just maybe there’s a chance to destroy and remove the root of hate.
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