Monday, November 7, 2016

Mr. Trump, Put Me on Your List! / Joshua Abbott

There is a real possibility that on Tuesday Donald Trump will be elected the next President of the United States. As I’ve argued here, here, and here, this is the closest Americans have ever come to electing to our highest office a demagogue who, by definition, seeks power "by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people."

Of all the "emotions, passions, and prejudices," Trump has shown a particular genius for arousing fear. He exploits our fears of terrorism, crime, immigration, impacts from trade, and dishonesty in the media. He evokes fears of racism, misogyny, nativism, and religious persecution. If FDR was correct that "the one thing we have to fear is fear itself," then Trump has proven to be the latter-day prophet of fear.
  • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
  • Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
  • Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
  • Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

When you deport the millions of Americans who are undocumented immigrants, deport me too—because today, I am an undocumented immigrant. #PutMeOnYourList

When you force Muslims to register on a national database, add my name—because today, I am a Muslim. #PutMeOnYourList

When you "take out [the] families" of terrorists, be sure to target me as well—because today, I am the family member of a terrorist. #PutMeOnYourList

When you order the torture of suspected terrorists, order my torture too—because today, I am a suspected terrorist. #PutMeOnYourList

To those who agree, please share this message and vote to show that Americans will not be intimidated or afraid because we know that "perfect love casteth out fear."

If Trumpism continues to prosper beyond the election, it may yet usher in a climate of fear unknown since 1930s Europe. As one writer has observed, "frightened people do frightening things." A Lutheran pastor who lived during that time and ended up in a concentration camp, warned what can happen when we take counsel from our fears:

The lesson of history is clear: when anyone's rights are threatened because of race, religion, ethnicity, or belief, the rights of all are threatened. The only way to defeat such threats is to speak out in solidarity. And so, Mr. Trump, I have one demand: Put me on your list!

1 comment:

  1. .

    For the less polite:


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