I was sitting at a Starbucks trying to mind my own business and right next to me two individuals were discussing the aftermath of the Nov. 8 presidential elections. At one point they began discussing the protests that have spontaneously spread across the United States in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s so-called victory.
I listened carefully when I heard them both express their opposition to the protests and their agreement that Trump must be given a chance. One of the two indicated that she would certainly protest if Trump did something wrong, but that we needed to wait and see.
While I wished that I could have entered the conversation, I respected their privacy. Nevertheless, what I wish that I could have said runs something like this:
There is no giving Trump a chance. What would anyone hope to see happen? Seriously. Think about it. We have witnessed the rise to the presidency of an open misogynist, racist and xenophobe. We are now watching appointments being made, including that of neo-fascists. Word continues to spread that the new administration intends on setting up a registry for all Muslims in the U.S. There is not one piece of this scene that can give anyone of conscience any degree of confidence that this incoming administration will be moderate and reasonable.
The youth who are protesting and those people who are speaking out against Trump understand the gravity of the situation we are facing. The incoming administration has made it clear that they plan on orchestrating an ultra-conservative agenda, irrespective of Trump’s campaign promises. An unsettling example of this is Medicare. Trump promised that Medicare would not be touched. Congressman Paul Ryan announced that he intends to end Medicare. The Trump team then started mumbling about “reforming” entitlement programs. You know and I know where this is going.
There is no need to give President-elect Trump a chance. A chance to do what? Actually, the longer that we wait and remain quiet, the more likely it will be that the incoming administration will be especially aggressive.
I wish that I could have said to the two people in Starbucks that someone who ran for president demonizing Muslims, Latinos and black youth, denigrating women, someone who was willing to embrace neo-fascists in his campaign and who took his time finally admitting that President Obama was and has been a legitimate citizen of the U.S., is neither to be trusted nor given a pass. Regardless of what politicians may say, for those of us in the broader world, let “resistance” be our watchword, that is, if we have any interest in preserving and expanding democracy.
Bill Fletcher Jr. is a talk show host, writer and activist. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.