I woke up this morning to many of the people I care about writing Facebook posts and Tweets assuring their transgender friends and family that they are loved and valued and seen… And I thought, “Shit. What did Trump do now?” I’m sure you’ve already heard, but here are his tweets, announcing that transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve in the military.
He ended it with a “Thank you.” What an unbelievable asshole. And he made this announcement while Secretary of Defense Mattis was not around, and without briefing the Senate Armed Services Committee…
Now, before you give yourself over to outrage, I want you to think about something…
I am a person who cares about these things. I pay attention to what is happening in this country. The people I follow on Twitter are mostly journalists, theologians, and comedians. When stuff like this happens, I read about it, I write about it… I CARE about it. But as I lie here in my bed this morning (I still haven’t gotten out) reading stories about this morning’s tweets, I tried to remember the thing we were all outraged about just two short days ago. Yesterday was the Senate vote to get rid of healthcare for the poor while giving huge tax breaks to the rich. But just before that, there was some giant distraction… Some gaudy display of Trump’s lack of character and common decency… But–even as a person who CARES and PAYS ATTENTION–I couldn’t remember what it was. I had to look it up to be reminded. Turns out it was his demented, depraved, inexcusably inappropriate speech to the Boy Scouts of America that I was trying to remember…
It was only two days ago that this president did one of the most historically disgusting things a sitting American president has ever done… And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember it. That got people angry for a day. Then, everyone was like, “What? They’re taking a vote on healthcare? I thought that was done for now!” People spend a little time discussing the hypocrisy of how John McCain enjoys life-saving government health care, and then turns around and votes to get rid of it for the rest of us. Now, we wake up today to find the national embarrassment (elected president by angry white people) has declared that the “T” in the “LGBT” people (whose rights he vowed to protect) are no longer welcome or fit to serve in the military. And I can’t even remember the remarkable reason–from 36 short hours ago–I had to be ashamed ONCE AGAIN of that despicable man.
And this is how it works: If we are given new things to be outraged about on a daily basis, we end up forgetting the ones from two days ago. It is strategic, it is shameful, and it is diabolical. Day after day after Day after DAY… We are overloaded with outrage. It is an Awfulness War of Attrition. They give us something new to be angry about (rightly angry, but distractedly angry nonetheless) every day… And while we’re busy basking in the warm glow of our outrage, they give their rich friends a giant tax cut while taking away healthcare from the poor and vulnerable. This isn’t just pure meanness. It’s STRATEGY. Here is a quote from a Trump Administration official:
“This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin to take complete ownership of this issue. How will the blue-collar voters in these states respond when senators up for re-election in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaigns?”
It’s strategic. Get liberals pissed off about something new so they are distracted from how awful this whole healthcare debacle is, and then have them take the side of trans folks… The same folks they’ve spent four years telling their ignorant base they need to be afraid of… The same folks they’ve been falsely and dishonestly demonizing into monsters who are trying to get into your bathrooms to molest your kids… THOSE transgender people. They are the ones the democrats are on the side of. It’s a strategy of demonizing minorities to a scared and ignorant populace, and then betting that when liberals and progressives stick up for the rights of those minorities, they will get voted out. And it’s a strategy that is currently working.
Trump is doing as much damage to the country as he can do, and we are letting him. He is doing immeasurable damage to the image of our country worldwide (which would be a great strategy for the Russians to reinforce). He is doing daily damage to the hope and confidence of the American people that the government can be of any value. Our government is the only protection the common folk have against the power of oligarchy. But when people are elected who are committed to making government as ineffective as possible, confidence fades. This is the diabolical genius of the republican plan: If they succeed, government gets smaller and ineffective… If they fail, they can still make government even more ineffective by inspiring people to lose hope in its ability to do anything worthwhile.
Donald Trump needs to go. He is a demented distraction. He says whatever his raging narcissism brings to his coke-addled mind… Meanwhile our rights are being taken away in the midst of our shock. I’ve seen enough to know that he does not have the capacity for change. His mind is slipping away. He is NOT WELL. Time solely focused on criticizing this megalomaniac is time wasted. We all understand that he is a piece of shit… He wears his shittiness like a merit badge from the very Boy Scouts who attempt to teach young men to not grow up to be like him. Our criticism needs to be directed at the ones supporting him while shaking their hypocritical fingers at his “tasteless” and harmful actions. If you are not ACTIVELY OPPOSING the people supporting this president, you are one of the ones supporting this president. We need to call our representatives and senators and demand moral actions. We don’t just need to vote them out… We need to demand that they use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
And when I say “WE,” I don’t just mean “people who look like me.” White people need to get out of the way in this country. We need to build a coalition of people who are horrified by the actions of this disgusting man (and the INaction of the disgusting people who support him)–Black and brown and hispanic and gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender and and Muslim and Hindu and Sikh and Jew and Christians (who actually follow Jesus) and atheist and poor and vulnerable and disabled… All while white men like me move aside and let others lead. There is no time to squabble amongst ourselves about which of our issues are the most important. We need to be UNITED in our opposition to the clear EVIL (and I use that word intentionally) of this administration. Trump needs to go. The people who are supporting him need to get voted out. And if it’s going to happen, straight, white, Christian men like me need to get the hell out of the way.
I’m so sick of writing about this crap. I’m sorry if you’re sick of hearing about it. Thank you to Lezley for becoming a new Patron. For those of you who support me, I want you to know that it matters. You fill me with encouragement when everything in me wants to roll over and go back to bed. These are dark times… We need each other. If you want to BE A PATRON, if you want to BOOST A POST or leave a tip, or if you want to keep up with me on Facebook or Twitter, you can. THANK YOU!!