Given the extremity of the circumstances, I have been working of late to bifurcate my umbrage into two wholly separate categories. As the Republicans take over all the levers of the government for the first time in more than a decade, there are some things that concern me as a Democrat, some things on which I have very strong opinions.
But there are also many things that outrage me as a decent human being. I have been working on only crying foul for the latter category.
For example, the new Republican majorities look almost certain to repeal Obamacare, repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reforms and — at least partially — privatize Medicare. For reasons I need not delineate, I think those are bad ideas. But those are policy initiatives that any Republican, be it Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush or John Kasich, would have likely accomplished in the White House.
Trump is more than a Republican. He is a fascist demagogue, and some of his proposals and actions, even after winning election, are evil on a different level.
First, Trump named Steve Bannon, the former editor of Breitbart and a folk-hero to the alt-right (a politically correct way of saying “white supremacist”), to be his top advisor in the West Wing. The website, which under Trump could be the closest thing to Pravda this country has ever had, is a cesspool of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other assorted forms of prejudice. Bannon himself has been accused by his ex-wife of harboring anti-Semitic beliefs.
Next, Trump surrogates have doubled down on the idea of forcing Muslims to register with the government. One such supporter, Carl Higbie, the spokesman for a pro-Trump super PAC, favorably compared the idea to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, one of this country’s most shameful moments.
Maya Angelou said that people should be believed the first time when they show you who they are. Trump was a bloviating wannabe-despot before the election, and he remains one after the election. The battle lines he has drawn are still not red and blue, they are good and bad.
I plan on going to the mosque or government office where Muslims must register with the government. I plan on telling them I have converted to Islam. If need be, I plan on sewing yellow crescents to my clothes. As a Jew, we say Never Again. And Never Again means Never Again.
This country was told by its leaders to give the next president of the United States a chance. I did give him a chance. He reiterated some of the most despicable things for which he had stood in the primary and the general election. I will not stand for it.
So I will not focus on the vanilla-Republican actions taken by Trump. I will focus on the unprecedented. I said that Trump would be incalculably worse than Cruz or Bush or Kasich, and I mean it. So I will instead focus my outrage at the acts those men would not have done as commander in chief.
We do not have to wait until Jan. 20. The resistance starts now.
Horwitz is a first year law student from Houston. Follow him on twitter @NmHorwitz