Cancel the Fire Sale, Colltalers
On Friday, some 70% of Americans who didn’t vote for Donald Trump watched or chose to ignore the swearing in of the 45th President of the United States, before an estimated 160,000 crowd. Saturday, the Women’s March gathered three times as many people to protest it.
That split in Washington may be the tonic of the next four years in America. In one side, a new administration quick to nominate a group of billionaires to lead the country. On the other, an entire genre calling all segments of society to join in and resist. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Yes, we’re back, if not exactly freshened up. Thanks for all the personal messages of encouragement and support, during our break, and of course, for your continuous readership. Although advocacy is not our purpose here, we’re glad to be part of a common defense of civil rights.
Every little action will count, apparently. And all signs indicate that the president is determined to pursue an agenda of hostility disguised as ‘America first,’ and contrary to our best values as a nation, will indeed consider everyone who disagrees with him his personal foe.
From his brief and dark-toned inaugural speech as Commander-in-Chief, loaded with words such as ‘carnage,’ ‘pain’ and ‘fear,’ to his first executive orders, signing an obscure set of instructions to undermine the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s mortgage fee cuts program, the new boss of America has shown that, along with his nominees, decisive steps will be taken to disable his predecessor’s legacy.
He made a reference to the ‘little guy,’ and that such a figure of speech is now in charge of the White House. But it’s hard to know how, given that his appointed cabinet’s material wealth is actually greater than the combined income of a third of low-income Americans.
While some millions of women and their supporters around the world joined in the Saturday’s protest, Trump was
already busy blaming the media for supposedly under-counting crowd numbers at his inauguration, despite the evidence presented by photos of the event. In typical fashion, he refuse the facts, and also lied about his fully documented criticism of the intel community, which he now denies having done it.
We may get used to that kind of M.O., which has been on display practically from day one of his campaign. That doesn’t mean we will find it all ‘normal,’ because it is not. Despite what Trump says, he does not have a mandate to govern, and his every action will be contested.
Specially when his every action has been so far so wrong. Or is there any ‘right’ about eliminating the Climate Change-dedicated page, from the White House Website? Did it have to be exactly when NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration both released independent data, asserting that 2016 was the hottest on record, beating the two previous years that had consecutively held the spot before?
As for the DC march, it’s possible that many of his supporters understand why women, of all races, classes and beliefs, are leading the charge for preservation, and extension even, of civil, reproductive, and freedom of expression rights, painfully fought over by the American people. But, in case there should be a redundant example to show why, and why by women, tell them this: female labor is not paid equally.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘weekly earnings of full-time workers were $827 in the third quarter of 2016,’ with women earning ‘81.85 of the $911 median for men.’ White women earned 81.5%, blacks 87,3%, Asians 75%, and Hispanics, 88,9%, as much as men.
And in case one lets the current baseless, fact-free paranoia about government manipulation of economic indicators take the best out of them, keep in mind that the Obama administration, more than any other, would love to claim some kind of reversal on the trend, under its watch. The fact that it didn’t is not only a reflection of the former president’s morals, but a matter of accepting reality and/or working to change it.
As for us, we’re not having a hard time accepting that the pseudo-millionaire – we may never know for sure, if he can help it – is now in control of the world’s most powerful army, and don’t even start with his nominee to manage our nuclear arsenal. Elections almost never go our way. What we won’t accept is not that we may have lost, but that American institutions may be treated like assets for a big fire sale.
We won’t allow Trump to start another war, or short-change education, or undermine clean energy projects, in order to boost his nominees’ private businesses. They may try to dismantle Obamacare but it won’t be easy to enroll his supporters on that, since the majority are actually covered by it. Then again, if you think we believe that they’ll simply drop it and give up, you’re forgetting that it’s the year that’s new, not us.
For the odds are indeed against us. Saturday, as people hit the streets of the world, demanding equal rights and fair income distribution, some of Europe’s most notorious right wing politicians gathered in Germany, trying to work a common agenda to capitalize on Trump’s ascension.
It’s also not hard to imagine, and maybe even fear, the day when believers of his promises of a return to a ‘buy American and hire American’ world, of manufacturing jobs and an immigrant-free workforce – as if there was ever one – realize that they were sold a bag of goods.
Between the billionaires, now about to profit from the ‘swamp,’ and the message of resistance and inclusion, sent by millions of women now committed to man the trenches of social injustice, the choice may be clear even to those who voted for the scion of a real estate mogul.
It’s good to be back, just as mourners have to, at some point, put aside the black band, and carry on with the business of being alive. That’s a privilege we all have. People in New York, California, other big cities, and those lucky enough to have a shot at success in life, including, yes, scions of the mega-rich and millennials alike, may not realize why we need to insist and stick out and say no to power, whenever possible.
We do, or else we should, because not just that lower third of our fellow Americans, but people throughout the world need to occupy our voices and speak up about the damage global warming is already causing to their lives. And against the obscenity of the wealth of only eight individuals being worth half of the population of this planet. And that, ultimately, no one can’t take a dime along when they leave this planet.
We depart as we come, naked, hungry, and vulnerable. Between these two moments, some change the world, while others, suck it out dry. There are many shades in between but the way each one of us leans to through life, is what really will outlast us all. Have a great week. WC