I want you to read the following conversation. It is a back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and a reporter for ABC News, Ms.Cecilia Vega. This conversation took place on Monday during a press conference on the front lawn of the White House.
Trump: “She’s shocked I picked her. She’s in a state of shock.”
Vega: “I’m not, Thank you Mr. President.”
Trump: “I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”
Vega: “I’m sorry.”
Trump: “Go ahead.”
Now, I want you to read a quote taken from the president on Tuesday night at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi. The context of the quote is Trump mocking the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Ford accuses Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her back when they were in high school. Here is Trump mocking her trying to explain the circumstances of the incident.
Trump: “I don’t know. I don’t know. What neighborhood was it in? I don’t know. Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs — where was it? I don’t know — but I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a country where the leader is a bigoted, pigheaded chauvinist who spills toxic masculinity like its tap water without regard for whatever the stains of his miscues might ruin. But that isn’t the scary part. The scary part is that we live in a country where the leader can exhibit signs of psychosis, intellectual disability, delusional disorder and rage, and be an evident racist and sexist, and most of the politicians and businessmen around him show more agreement than discord. Even worse than that, we the people, the true strength and power of this democracy, give lip service to our displeasure with this entire administration and the politicians that choose to keep the thing afloat, but we haven’t yet realized that words mean nothing, and we haven’t gotten sick enough to do the one thing that could change the deadly course of this titanic of a country, and that is to act.
Patrick Henry is a noted historical figure because of one speech he gave to the Second Virginia Convention in March of 1775. You’ve never read or heard the entire speech, but you are surely familiar with the line, “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” The line is credited with compelling the Convention to offer up Virginian troops to the Revolutionary War, thereby ensuring victory and independence from Great Britain. At that point in American history, there were men that would rather die than to be led in the direction that the colonies were being led under British rule. The biggest issue? Taxation without representation. The colonies felt like being taxed by the British was wrong because the needs of the colonies weren’t being served by the Parliament way across the ocean. This one issue became the impetus of an entire war for independence.
Where is our representation? Where are the lawmakers and legislators that are willing to press this issue of inequality to its limits? We pay our taxes to a government that does not work towards the best interests of the people. Any time you have leaders that are belligerent and prejudice towards women, towards Blacks, towards gays, towards immigrants, towards anyone who is part of the fabric of this democracy, those leaders are not working in the best interests of the people, and we must act immediately to ensure that those leaders, chosen by the people, are removed and replaced by better representation.
But what if these leaders are actually representing the thoughts of the people?
What if this really is America?
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a show about a society where the women are property, forced into a weird kind of servitude by a regime that shows no regards for equality. When people discuss the current climate of our government, they tend to use “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a template, an example of where we might be headed. Kavanaugh, Trump, these unraveling white men are beginning to scare me, for real. I worry that where we are headed is even further off than “The Handmaid’s Tale.”