I’ve shied away from writing too much about politics recently, mainly because the two major elections of 2016 left me feeling completely deflated. It’s difficult when your political beliefs are so important to you, to feel like election losses are not almost a personal attack on the things you hold close.
However, during President Trump (and it pains me to even write those words) first week in office, so many utterly unbelievable things have happened that being silent, and pretending it’ll all go away, seems cowardly.
Since his election, Trump has lied about the size of the crowd at his inauguration; begun taking steps to defund the Affordable Care Act; re-introduced the gag policy which will stop US aid being given to any international charity that so much as mentions abortion; requested that all climate change data be reviewed by his staff prior to release to the public and began to take steps to build the infamous wall between the US and Mexico (praised by that gate-keeper of democracy, Benjamin Netanyahu).
But perhaps most concerning has been his Executive Order that halted all refugees from entering the country for three months, a 90 day ban on those from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia & Yemen; and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. Even worse, this order was signed on Holocaust Memorial Day, a day when the world is supposed to remember the dangers and horrors that come from the persecution of minorities…not use it as an example for current foreign policy.
It feels like we’re at a point in history where our actions, or inaction, will be looked at in the years to come as a turning point; and if you (like me) don’t really find the idea that explaining to your kids that a trade deal with the States was more important than civil liberties then here are some ways you can help:
- Donate to charities that help refugees and minorities; be that the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, International Red Cross, Hope Not Hate, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders…
- Add your name next to petitions like this one, demanding that Theresa May roundly condemn the Muslim ban (her half-hearted retraction this morning doesn’t cut it for me) or this one, clearly stating that you stand with refugees
- If you’re in the States, lobby your representatives, and if your elsewhere lobby yours to roundly criticise this policy
- Follow threads like this one, which can help give you concrete guidance about what to do
- If you’re able, add your presence to protests; the Women’s March was incredible, and shook people up. Let’s keep doing that
It’s easy to feel completely helpless against events like this, but that’s how people like Trump and his cronies win. And we can’t let that happen.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has