Hell No! Trump Must Go!
When I began reporting for a small local newspaper, I remember standing in front of my editor’s desk and gazing at a poster of a poem on the wall.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Pastor Martin Niemöller
As a Writer I take it to heart to speak out for the oppressed, to be a voice for the voiceless, to speak truth to power, and to speak out against tyranny.
This past year I watched the Trump campaign sprout into existence like a weed and then I watched quietly as it grew and gained momentum. From a distance I looked on bemused as I might observe the antics of a buffoon at the zoo. But bemusement slowly gave way and uneasiness crept in as the weed multiplied, nourished by the language of division, of accusation, and of guilt by association. My uneasiness became fearfulness as I watched the rallies become violent all the while from the pulpit of hate the finger of Trump jabbed and pointed and cheered them on.
I became alarmed and perplexed, as friends jumped on the Trump band wagon, telling me they were angry at the political establishment, furious at the loss of the middle class and frustrated at politicians corrupted by Wall Street and corporations. And just sick and tired of the political system. On deaf ears I expressed my shared anger and frustration but not their choice of leader to voice such sentiment.
In quiet moments I considered if the Trumps would come for me someday, suppressing my freedom of speech, my freedom to write and eventually my freedom to think? As a writer born in a country for which freedom of speech is a constitutional right why was I having these thoughts? Because Fascism had become palpable, what had been just words, echoing from once upon a time had sprouted into existence before my eyes. And the poem of wisdom upon the wall which had been brought forth and thrown against this rising tide of hate had called to me.
So, while I can, I will exercise my right and speak out against the language of division and hate, against the threat of free speech: the tenet of democracy. I will speak out against the bully pulpit of Trumpism.
The love for freedom is the fertile ground from which self-rule springs forth and free speech and the right to protest is its flower, a bloom we cannot allow to suffer the heel of oppression and fear. Anyone who spreads fear through their actions or words is against the people of a free nation and cannot be a friend of democracy no matter how many stars and stripes he or she may wave. Trump is not the way. Be vigilant tending the garden of freedom. We reap what we sow.
Therefore, as I stand on the walls of the City of Democracy and I lookout at the beachhead of the Alt-Right and I gaze upon their gift of Trump placed at the gates of the City and I turn to its citizens and I say Hell no! Trump must go!