It’s real. It’s happening.
As Donald Trump takes the oath of office and becomes the nation’s 45th president my biggest fear is that people will normalize this; that they will convince themselves he’s not so bad; that he’s really not a bigot, racist, or misogynist; that he really isn’t going to roll back voting rights and civil rights, tear apart American families with his draconian immigration enforcement plans, ban people based on religion, register Muslims and surveil places of worship, continue to empower white supremacy, demean and assault women, enrich himself and his family through public office, and collude with Vladimir Putin.
he next four years will require our jealous protection of our constitutional rights and our unbending dedication to the preservation of our democracy.
I implore all who refuse to take Trump literally to read Masha Gessen’s superb yet disturbing piece, Autocracy, Rules for Survival. She wrote it shortly after the election. I have read it and re-read it since. What she wrote was prescient. For those who lull themselves into believing Trump is all talk, heed Rule #1: “Believe the autocrat, he means what he says.”
I love this country. I have faith in the American people who — despite his electoral win — voted overwhelming against Trump and Trumpism. The next four years will require our jealous protection of our constitutional rights and our unbending dedication to the preservation of our democracy.
My grandfather, a patriotic German Jew, was tested by the havoc of WWI and the rise of Hitler. A decorated veteran of the German Air Force he was forced to uproot his entire family and disperse them throughout the world as refugees. My father was tested by WWII and the horror of the holocaust as a German Jewish refugee who joined the American Army and returned “home” to fight the Nazis.
I have often wondered what great test our generation would face. I fear my question has been answered.
This post was originally published on Medium.