One year ago today, Americans woke up to a reality that more than half the country desperately wanted to avoid. Donald Trump had been elected president.
Reactions to Trump’s election were expected – complete shock, followed by the silent fear that set in with each American who did not empower Trump with his or her vote.
The uncertainty behind Trump’s future presidency loomed over the American people until his inauguration, when the wheels of hate and prejudice were set in motion and he began to appoint his committee of “yes men” – an unqualified cabinet dedicated to affirming his every decision, no matter how irresponsible or irrational they might have been.
For many, it was a bleak turn of events. Life as it was known would be different because the man who had emboldened white supremacists and advocated for the hatred of different groups was now leading more than 300 million people.
Since taking his seat as president, Trump has been steadily unraveling nearly everything set in place by his predecessor. His takeover of American politics came as a surprise to those who said he couldn’t win the presidency.
The ongoing list includes the court-blocked Muslim travel ban, failed efforts at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and federal judges blocking efforts to ban transgender troops from serving in the military.
The projected end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the recently-announced end of Temporary Protected Status that enables Nicaraguan immigrants to reside in the United States are among the brash decisions made during the Trump Administration that leave the residential status of some Americans hanging in the balances.
As president, Trump is not productive. Each effort to completely overhaul something from the Obama presidency has been met with blockage by the glory of checks and balances.
Nearly every campaign promise and potentially country-altering decision Trump has willed for his presidency has been blocked – whether it be by federal judges, Congress or the Senate.
At every turn, Trump’s efforts at bigotry and xenophobia have been met with activism and the loud voices of government officials and constituents everywhere.
Trump is making efforts to alter the way that Americans understand things, like freedom of speech and trusting the free press. He has turned the phrase “fake news” into a household utterance and consistently finds ways to discourage trusting news sources committed to exposing his true nature – bigoted, inexperienced, self-serving and a liar.
Because of this, few substantial policies have been accomplished in nearly one year of presidency. Rather than for productivity, Trump has consistently used social media as a means to inform news outlets about what he believes is right for our country.
As long as Twitter exists, Americans may never be able to escape Trump’s empty shouts about fairness he thinks he deserves and the improvements he wants to make for the country which, in fact, typically influence hate and bigotry among his supporters.
While racists, sexists and homophobes are more empowered than ever, so are those fighting against Trump’s constant efforts to create injustice.
We can not continue to kid ourselves. There is no easy solution to ending the Trump administration. But nevertheless, the administration needs to be challenged while it holds office.
By using Twitter to isolate himself and the few people he trusts, Trump continues to wage war with both reason and facts.
It’s our job to continue working against this hate machine.
We must chart a new way forward. But that new path cannot include Hillary Clinton or those complicit in Trump’s win. This new path must strive to be more inclusive and aware of Trump’s fear and hate-mongering tactics.
Every day, voters of tomorrow view the same news Trump denounces. We must continue to hold journalists accountable for producing factual news, and support them when they are holding government officials like Trump accountable – even if he does not like it.
Our best hope for moving forward is a direction of revolution, embracing honest efforts to improving the lives of others.