I have a degree is in Political Science w/ emphasis in International Relations and a minor in Psychology. Yesterday’s UN rant by Trump is inexplicable to me. I just witnessed decades of work, peacebuilding, and international cooperation be flushed down the tubes in the literal center of international diplomacy.
To call another leader “Rocket Man” wasn’t just third-world dictator-esque. It sullied every former President’s words that were ever uttered on that platform. The use of the words “sovereign” and “sovereignty” at least twenty-one times is a dog whistle to every two-bit dictator wannabe that the United States isn’t interested in what you do to your people, as long as it does not interfere with “America First” or Trump himself.
I haven’t been alive for a long time, just thirty-six years. I’ve lived the equivalent of nine presidential administrations. I’ve never heard the office of the President or the “Leader of the Free World” sound like a fifth-grade bully. Nor have I heard the Office of the President be used to further such a heinous agenda since Andrew Jackson.
Trump’s policy isn’t some radically new alternative to past administrations, it’s a page out of Despotism 101. Focus your ire on an “enemy” or “enemies”, cast that enemy as the boogeyman that stands in the way of peace and security, then proceed to whip the public into hysteria over this perceived threat.
It’s a common staple in a dictator’s bag of “goodies”. Falsely accusing Jews, Poles, Romas, intellectuals, socialists, communists, artists, and anyone that’s outside a perceived “mainstream” have led to mass genocide and war. The sad thing is, people fall for it almost like clockwork.
The United States built up to Iraq; the Philippines President’s “war” on drugs that has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings; the Rohingya people are currently being slaughtered and stateless. These are all bogeymen that these despots use to elicit a fear reaction from its populace to justify heinous acts and atrocities. These monsters depend on the population to back their horrific agendas.
What can be done? How do you combat the Oligarchy and the power brokers that run this blue ball in a sea of nothing? The first thing you must do is recognize the rhetoric. You must be the history teacher sharing with the masses that the words used by these despots are the same used by former tyrants to justify horrors that scarred a civilization.
The second thing to do is, as a people, rise against the coming cataclysm. Protest, petition, use all methods of free speech and do not quit until the despot is in shackles. A person is strong, a people are a gigantic force that none can resist. We cannot allow a government that does not serve us to continue to speak in our names.
The last thing that must be done in a peaceful and legal way to remedy our current situation is, as a progressive or leftist, to run for office or elect those that are standing for office. We must elect these people to work on our behalf and be beholden to us as a people. We must hold their feet to the fire and not hesitate to show them the door when they diverge from the people’s will.
Trump’s speech is the opening salvo in the battle for not only this country, but the planet we live on. Either we sit idly by and let future atrocities occur because we couldn’t be “bothered” with politics or we stand and fight. I can’t guarantee victory parades or roses at the end of the struggle, but I can guarantee that we will have done all we can to ensure that future generations do not live under the rule of oppression.
This moment is the point of no return. The actions taken by this administration will set us on a course that will lead to destruction and events that could cause a cataclysmic shift into the totalitarian. Now is the moment to stand and use all the rights that our Constitution provides to remedy this dark point in history. Protest, run for office, speak truth to power, and fight. Now is the time and now is the moment. Anything less than actual “resistance” will be a final nail in the proverbial coffin of the concept of America.