Up until January 20, 2017, I was one of those people content to sit back, let the world do what it would, and just live my own day to day life with a que sera, sera sort of attitude.
Who am I to go out there and tell people what choices to make? I’ve always felt politics was right up there with religion and orientation. We may not agree, but we should respect each other’s choices.
And I’m an introvert anyway, so even if I felt differently, I’m not one to naturally go out there and have a public philosophical discussion. I’m not one to put myself out there, let alone coherently stand in the spotlight to defend a position.
Also, I’ve long felt that politicians were all essentially the same. Different parties, but leaning a little left or a little right, not really very different. I’ve been an unaffiliated to any party since I registered to vote because I don’t fully agree with one or the other and want to be free to choose whichever current candidate might be best for the office in that moment.
No matter who has been in leadership, my everyday life hasn’t been affected. It has felt almost irrelevant. I still have bills to pay, work to do, family concerns, and entertainments to pursue. Let others get upset over issues, but my life followed the same routine and there really was no change in my routine.
For years I have only casually voted. I’m in a district where the people vote overwhelmingly in one way and when it’s been clear it’s the way I agree with, I’ve let it just happen without my ballot. Other times, I have not really cared for the choices and couldn’t see myself wasting my time to write in a vote or force myself to pick one. It’s like being asked to choose a dog or a cat as my pet when I’m allergic to both.
Of course this past election drew me to have a say. My community overwhelmingly went with the popular choice, but the other guy won anyway. I sucked it up hoping it really wouldn’t be so bad. After all, there’s checks and balances in the system so one person can’t go just doing what they want willy-nilly right?
From day one, President Trump started signing off executive orders like there’s no tomorrow. It’s like he has an agenda (suspiciously personal), and knows looking for the support of congress or the nation isn’t going to work, so he’s making all these unilateral moves like he’s a monarch or dictator and just doing what he wants.
How can a person just make one-sided decisions into laws? I had to Google this to find out and it kind of scared me. Not many executive orders get knocked down. I suddenly want us to set a new precedent where not many executive orders are allowed to stand.
So, there have always been two things that have made me stand up and speak out. One thing is bullying. Another is blatant unfairness. And let’s not forget being manipulated, especially through falsehoods. Those things get me out of my introvert, laissez faire fog and fire me up. Every day of this newborn presidency has stoked my fire.
I can’t just turn my head and simply live my life anymore. I can’t laugh over a funny meme or get distracted by a cute puppy; not when my brother may lose his much needed health coverage; not when valuable tax-payer resources will likely be wasted on a ridiculous wall; not when people’s health, heritage, and homes are at risk for the business interests of pipeline companies; not when whole departments are being censored for speaking the truth; not when positive global relationships are being broken down; not when I know Permanent Resident friends and neighbors might be deported or barred from re-entry; not when people already vetted and promised freedom have their visas suddenly revoked or denied; not when what our country has long stood for is being taken apart.
I have most definitely ceased being apathetic. I have strong feelings against the direction our government is going. I still wouldn’t get into a discussion about abortion rights, but I can most certainly tell you that a president should never cross ethical lines, set cabinet wolves in charge of the department flocks, make prejudiced and uneven decisions on a global scale, back big business over the little guy, and make a slew of laws all on his own.
That’s not democracy. That’s not America.
And this is me speaking up and joining my fellow Americans in voicing our disagreement with so many ways the office of president is being misused.