Eight months ago people kept dismissively repeating “It’s not going to affect YOU, so stop whining!”And this is probably the epitome of ignorance, this absurd assertion that the LEADER OF A NATION’s actions don’t have legitimate consequences for the CITIZENS.
Trump’s position of authority gives a false validity to a variety of problematic groups of people, regardless of what he necessarily has or hasn’t done.
Directly or indirectly, he is responsible for:
1. Furthering anti-vaxx sentiment by encouraging unnecessary caution and skepticism. Any parents already doubting modern medicine may take this as a “green light” to not give proper medical care to their children. Those children ARE affected. Any children not vaccinated because this movement is now growing ARE affected.
2. Furthering transphobia. Not only did Trump directly insist that trans people should no longer be permitted to serve in the U.S military, he propagates myths regarding trans members of the military by implying that they’re “too expensive” and a burden, unable to effectively serve the nation. And of course, the AHCA would’ve considered being trans a “pre-existing condition,” and removed many of the protections trans people had previously. And let’s not forget that he also revoked the ability of trans students to use the restroom of their choice, effectively endangering and invalidating trans youth.
Trans people in uniform ARE affected, as are trans people in general especially because this opens the door of people becoming more receptive of discrimination on the basis of flawed arguments like “manageability.”
3. Encouraging xenophobia and racism. Not only are many Trump supporters also incidentally ostentatiously racist, and not only has he been praised by the KKK, but….Trump himself has lied about personally witnessing hundreds of Arabs cheering in New York after 9/11 (an event that has no evidence and has been debunked by many actual eye-witnesses to the tragedy), he has insisted that Mexican immigrants are most likely to be dangerous criminals and rapists (despite no actual reasoning behind this idea, nor any statistics or evidence mentioned), and he now has the audacity to undermine the aggression and violence by alt-right white nationalists as a result of problems on “both sides,” as though being anti-racist is in anyway comparable to being an actual racist. He has refused to specify WHO is the bellicose group and WHY, and instead gives a half-assed “all hate is bad” Twitter address. Likewise, he refused to admit that the Portland stabbing incident was an act of terrorism, and even stayed silent about the situation for far longer than he has when addressing Muslim extremists. It has also been reported by CAIR that since he took office, anti-Muslim violence has increased exponentially. And though Trump has plenty of energy and aggression reserved for vehemently refuting allegations of racism, he doesn’t have the same passion when speaking out against racism itself.
So yeah, immigrants ARE affected, many poc ARE affected, and many Muslims ARE affected.
4. Reinforcing scientific illiteracy. It’s no surprise that the majority of American citizens are less-than acquainted with the reality of science, due to the persistent belief that evolution is “just a theory,” and with how easily healing crystals and similar products sell. But Trump is certainly making no effort to get us out of this scientific regression, and has instead erroneously claimed (and then denying he made such a claim) that climate change is a “Chinese hoax” , as well as showing his fundamental lack of understanding of the concept by asserting large amounts of snowfall negate climate change. In addition to this, he has appointed Scott Pruitt the head of the EPA, someone who clearly lacks a basic understanding of the concept and has no interest in the actual facts behind it. Trump and his administration have merely continued the unnecessary reinforcement of climate change as a bipartisan issue, rather than a legitimate concern backed by research. He has also withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, and has no scruples against implying that a healthy economy is superior to a healthy planet or healthy people. Not surprising, since as previously mentioned, Trump clearly doubts the legitimacy of modern medicine as well. Keep in mind that Trump is a man who has been rather fond of Alex Jones, the avid conspiracy theorist who believes chemicals in tap water makes people/frogs gay and that random and obscure overpriced alternative medicine is the only REAL medicine.
Therefore, anyone in the field of (or pursuing) science IS affected. Frankly, anyone not content to live in the folie à plusieurs that is becoming our general society IS affected. Those of us who value reality ARE affected.
5. Misogyny. From allegations of rape (including of a minor), to proudly asserting that he can do whatever he wants to whomever due to his status (like ‘grabbing them by the pussy’), to genuinely believing in the skewed “alpha male” idea of human pseudosociology, Trump has never been anything remotely close to “not sexist.” Far from just these things, he has also claimed women need to be treated like shit, he has belittled and insulted his own wife, he has reduced accomplished women to their appearance, he clings to the “housewife” notion and believes wives shouldn’t work, has implied attractive women cannot be intelligent, has literally had to promise then 17-year-old Ivanka that he wouldn’t date anyone younger than her, suggested there be a reality show wherein ‘trashy girls’ went to a school to learn to be more lady-like, told a lawyer she was “disgusting” for breastfeeding her infant, has made numerous incest jokes and implications about his daughter Ivanka, claimed rape is a result of cohabitation, has a (now) pro-life stance, and has an exceptionally long history of body-shaming and bullying various women. And of course, a president who manages to persist through all of these actions coming to light has shown that MORE of our citizens can get away with sexism as well. From the alt-right’s favorite ‘joke’ being that of the singularity of gender (“There is only one gender. Women are objects.”), to women proudly boasting “Yes, grab her by the pussy!” slogans. Needless to say, this is an incomplete list of Trump’s misogyny. Click here for more.
Therefore, it makes sense that many plus-sized women ARE affected, that many young school girls facing more harassment ARE affected, that any woman in need of an abortion IS affected, and that women in general ARE affected (hence the Women’s March in January boasting somewhere between 3-4 million attendees).
6. Tension between the U.S and North Korea. Not only has Trump threatened North Korea with phrases such as of our “fire and fury” and our military being “locked and loaded,” he has suggested that he might meet Kim Jong-un for a hamburger, and maybe even become best friends. Of course, he may be willing to befriend a tyrannical dictator and offer up Guam as North Korea’s target practice. Though Trump claims the media attention will bring tourism to Guam, and he doesn’t expect war with Kim Jong-un, understandably, many Americans are still very uneasy about the entire situation, though conversely, some ardent Trump-supporters are actively calling for the battle to break out.
So, our military IS affected, citizens of Guam ARE affected, and anyone who doesn’t want our nation caught up in the literal and financial tragedy of war IS affected.
7. Borderline infringement of the Bill of Rights. Trump is notorious for his “fake news” cop-out, considering anything that he disagrees with to be an automatically invalid source of information. He has gone from insulting and harassing journalists that criticize or question him (such as Arianna Huffington and Gail Collins), to having tweeted a poorly photo-shopped video of himself physically assaulting the entity of CNN. This, along with the White House’s ban of certain media from an informal press briefing, have all pointed toward an infringement of our Freedom of Press. While Trump may be aware that he cannot (yet) get away with outright attempting to criminalize the media he dislikes, he is well aware of his abilities with propaganda. Instead of technically outlawing all the news sources he disagrees with, he vehemently denies any credibility they may have and warns citizens not to trust them. This is reminiscent of Nazi book burnings, or of the alleged events of 213-210BC Qin Dynasty.
Those who value accurate details of global events ARE affected, those who value their Constitutional rights ARE affected.
8. Putting our health at risk. As mentioned a few times above, Trump clearly isn’t a doctor, nor does he necessarily care about the health of his citizens. From questioning modern medicine, to befriending those who sell faux cures, to claiming autism is a result of vaccines, he clearly doesn’t know what he is doing. Aside from this, the American Health Care Act of 2017 was predicted to leave 23 million Americans uninsured, the “skinny repeal” an additional 16 million. His plans for health care have consistently left poor, disabled, and queer citizens in the dirt.
This is only a handful of grievances. This doesn’t address numerous of his lies, his colluding with Russians, or his everyday irrational Tweeting. This is only scraping the surface, and the fact that this alone isn’t enough for his supporters to think twice is incredibly alarming.
But overall, no one should be so callous as to ask if any given individual is actually adversely affected by Trump’s reign. The real question is, “How can’t you be affected?”
This asinine implication that just because every detail of one’s life hasn’t changed, they aren’t truly experiencing any result of Trump’s presidency needs to just fucking stop.
What about when the whole nation was emotionally devastated by 9/11, and we subsequently adopted stricter safety measures? Not all of us were tangibly affected (at first). But did it simply not matter?
And when the world started Praying For Paris, when you probably had that Facebook profile filter, were you not “actually” affected by those terrorist attacks? Your life went on, did it not? You weren’t fired, were you?
Is the oppression of PC culture somehow legitimate, but concern over our presidency not?
Are those who whine about Starbuck’s cup designs doing so because they are affected on a serious, personal, integral level?
Are you truly affected by homelessness? Starving children? Does knowing that some areas of the world lack access to clean drinking water “bother” you, but not like, enough?
Does it “count” as being “actually affected” anytime some old conservative man passionately protests and argues against abortion? I mean, he still probably goes to work, so….
The reality of the situation is that if you personally feel that you are not negatively affected by Trump in any possible way, ask yourself the following: a) Do I believe in privilege? b) Am I rich/cis/het/white/able/male?
If the answer to “a” was “no,” but the answer to “b” was “yes,” then congratulations! The very fact that YOU are not adversely affected is in and of itself is a privilege! If you’ve never understood it before, now you can.
But otherwise, not being aware of something doesn’t negate its existence. Even if you’re a member of an oppressed or marginalized community, living in denial won’t let you escape the consequences of our current president and his avid supporters. Caitlyn Jenner may be transgender, but that doesn’t change the fact that Trump did insist on banning trans people from the military. Tomi Lahren may be another conservative woman, but that doesn’t change the fact that she got fired for her stance on abortion (something Trump is now against).
Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, or other, Trump is certainly not the best at representing or supporting the American people as a whole. Maybe you don’t feel like any of this is affecting you, but it should be. You should care about those who are tangibly or even inadvertently affected, even if you feel like you’re not.