When we have a president we trust, we pay less attention and go about our lives. It’s been said before by greater minds than mine, but it bears repeating now.
I know I went happily about my life when Obama was in charge. I knew he had it under control, was doing the absolute best he could – for the country, not for the benefit of his own bank account. He had a hard time — an overwhelming amount of opposition to that which was coming out of the mouth of our first African American president. Those who hated him and all the progress he stood for never gave him a break.
So now, the tide has turned — it is the American people who are being called into action. To give President Tweety and his radical Republicans — from his woefully inadequate cabinet appointees to extreme White Supremacist Steve Bannon — a very, very hard time. Not because we want to, but because ever since President Tweety began running for office, we’ve learned so much about him.
Those of us who’ve been paying attention, that is.
We’ve learned about this man not just from the media (“fake news” and all), but from the words originating with President Tweety himself. He’s shown us we can count on him to stir up chaos and embolden racism. He’s proven he cares nothing for the integrity of processes and transparency. He’s shown us he has all to hide, because there are so many, many things of which he is ashamed or insecure. He’s shown us he will go to great lengths to protect his reputation, sullied and scorched though it is. He actually is, for all intents and purposes, a very reliable president.
I feel sad for us all — I don’t believe the American public, much less the world at large, ever deserved this.
When it comes to trust — we now have a president who repels the very democratic principle of trusted leadership — tossing it squarely back on us.
After seeing the images and videos from yesterday’s nationwide Women’s March, I feel genuinely proud of us as an American people. We may suffer division — the only difference between supporters of President Tweety and the rest of us being the fact that non-supporters saw through him for who he was from the first time he opened his tiny mouth. For the rest, it will take some more time. Somewhere along the road of eroding our civil rights, eliminating funding for arts, reducing Medicare funding and stripping women of the power to choose what to do with their own bodies, his supporters will realize the ills begotten from misplaced trust as they suffer along with the rest of us.
Eventually, I believe with all my hopeful heart, we will be united again if only in our collective misery for the country we love so dear.
I do take heart, also, despite the oncoming storms we are all intuiting, in this: When leadership fails, we still have ourselves to fall back on. I’m kinda’ like — because I was — the kid who realizes at the young age of thirteen that her alcoholic father is not going to send her to college or help her get ahead in the world and get a decent job — or any job — to support herself. How strong we are depends on how much we’ve endured, learned and grown in life. It’s not how educated or talented we are, it’s about how much we are willing to speak up for what we love. It’s about strength of character. It’s about how much we are willing to act, from signing petitions to showing up at protests to voting for what we believe in, for what we care for and want to protect. From clean air and water to gray wolves and public lands, from children’s lunches and health insurance to equal rights for ALL, it takes only one thing:
The American public is showing courage in volumes. I feel inspired and energized. Hopeful, even. Our leadership is radically letting us down — from President Tweety to the radical Republicans enabling and supporting him — as they insult and ignore us, turn their backs on us. They are going about their business of abusing the weak and lining their own pockets without remembering that their business is our business. They have forgotten that their agenda is supposed to be our agenda, not their own selfish interests. They certainly seem to ignore the vulnerable truth: They are there because we elected them.
In this our new reality, there is only one thing left to do: Trust in ourselves. Trust in our voice, trust in our vote. Trust in our instincts, trust in our power. We have had, and will continue to have, an impact. We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing, and do more of it.
We become more of ourselves through life’s challenges, and I for one intend to become an even stronger social activist and advocate for all I hold dear. I intend to write my ass off because I believe there are millions who feel the same as I do, thousands who are going through the same thing I am. I know of what I speak because at the end of the day, I’ve been paying attention, as we all now are. And that for one, is a very good thing.
So while we may no longer be able to trust in the good ol’ U.S. of A. — we have a new challenge we can ask of ourselves —
Shall we trust in us?