Sunday, January 29, 2017

The day before and the worries afterward.

Trump's inauguration day came and went, and no one knows what to expect but the worst. For this T-Gal, I don't expect many important changes at first, save an attitude of caution - we don't know what is coming, but the lunatics are leaving the asylum without their medicine.

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I am not focusing on what is happening at the top levels of government today.  Instead, I'm focusing on the people who believe that things will change for the better. These are people who bought into the story that America's greatness had to be restored, even though it never stopped being great in the first place. They see Trump as a success, and do not care how he achieved his position in society.  He is a poor person's impression of how a rich person is supposed to be - self indulgent, misogynist, and surrounded by excessive opulence. And his supporters have drunk the Kool Aid.

I'll admit that I held my nose when I voted for Hillary.  She claimed to represent change, but this was the furthest thing from her mind.  Her critics were right in the fact that she was only looking out for her self interest. But they were wrong about the effect she would have had, as she was the true conservative candidate - the person who'd preserve the status quo. Change is good when it is well thought out, but the unknown nature of Trump's changes could be dangerous, and that's why I felt Hillary the safer choice for transgender people. We had rights, and I know that a Justice Department under her could continue to protect those rights.

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As I write this entry, none of Trump's cabinet picks has been approved by the Senate. Although I expect that they all will be confirmed, I still have hope that some will make fatal mistakes, and be rejected by enough Republicans to prevent them from taking office. The GOP appears to soon get everything it wants without checks and balances, and I'm not sure of what will happen to human rights in the process. Trump has already said that he believes in torture - something the military side of his cabinet rejects. But what about voting rights, health care rights, education rights, and all the other things we take for granted?  None of his cabinet picks for the civilian side of things gives me confidence. All of them have spoken against transgender rights, or are affiliated with organizations that oppose respecting our rights.

A lot of damage can be done in 4 years, and I can only worry about what we're likely to see. When I see "Religious Freedom Restoration Acts" being posed, I wonder what was taken away from people except the right to discriminate against others because of who and what they are. If it is wrong to say that a Black person can't go to a washroom because he/she is colored, then it is equally wrong to prevent a transgender person presenting in his/her gender from going to the bathroom because he/she was not identified at birth as belonging to that gender.  It's the same hatred, but a different group being targeted this time.

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Do I feel that all people voting for Trump were bad people?  No.  But I do think many of them are misguided.  Living in the New York City area, I've had the "pleasure" of being exposed to Trump from an early age. And I saw the man for what he really is - a self absorbed person who can't take responsibility for his actions, but will take credit for any success in his vicinity.  Those who haven't seen him this close might see him as a decent person who can manage all of his conflicts of interest. There is no way for me to do so, having been exposed to the underbelly of some of his businesses via news reporting. Many of his supporters called the mainstream media as the "Lugenpresse", a term used in Hitler's Germany to slander honest news reporting as lies. In 1930's Germany, say a lie enough times, and people will believe it to be the truth.  But Trump added to this by lying enough times that no one expected him to tell truths, and they stopped caring about the truth altogether.

Trump supporters have been seduced by the master of pitchmen, and I'm afraid that the cabinet members he picked will be out to harm us as part of their "bonus plan".  This man is NOT a detail oriented person, and he delegates everything to his trusted lieutenants. John Kasich was offered the job of Vice President under Trump. Kasich asked, what would be my responsibilities, and Trump responded that he'd delegate virtually all of the responsibilities to his VP, saying that Trump would be in charge of making America great again.  Kasich, the honorable man he is, declined the position, leaving the spot open for Pence to assume. And he, like all other Trump picks is a big risk to us.

Trump's team is out of touch with most of his supporters when it comes to transgender folk.  Most simply want to live and let live.  Don't rub things in our faces, and we'll show you the respect we'd give others. Yes, there are preachers that stir things up, and cause people to worry. But most people simply want to get on with their lives and be left alone.

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So where is the trouble coming from?  The masses are all too easily manipulated by fear. When one loses his/her job, and no replacement comes - people worry.  Most people are 3 paychecks from destitution. So it is easy to manipulate them by saying that illegal aliens are taking their jobs, that transgender people are an abomination to god, that human rights are a luxury.  Whatever line is fed to the masses, they will often respond out of being fearful of any change that could make things even worse. 

A while back, I read an article that explained why North Korea can not allow things to improve for its citizens. The article explained that as long as things keep getting worse, people will fear standing up for their rights, because they can be sacrificed for the interests of the state.  But if things get even slightly better, people may risk challenging the state, and the regime may fall.  A similar thing is being done the people in our Red States. For the most part, the rural areas are dying, and there is no effective safety net for the people who live there. They are expected to be self reliant, and if they suffer - it was God's will. Those that have jobs are afraid to stand up for their workplace rights, as they could easily be permanently unemployed the next day. So how can these people manage risk, when they often don't have a pot to piss in?

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I am worried.  The signs of history are all around us, and our society may be making the same mistakes that caused other free people to lose their freedoms.  We will be among the first if the worst happens.  So I hope you are now hunkering down, and figuring out more than one way to weather the coming storm....

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