I am not so naïve as to think people who might benefit from reading this piece will actually bother. But if they did, I would hope that they will at least ask, “Could this be true?” What I am fairly certain would be said by these potential readers is this common refrain by the president and his enablers, “That’s just fake news from the ‘Lame Stream’ media.”
So here goes another attempt to encourage people to feel outrage. That particular feeling is something I have been living with since the inauguration of the current president.
Two actions have generated the most anger and outrage in my emotional landscape. Both of these actions seem “beyond the pale” or outside what is morally acceptable. First and foremost is the now infamous immigration policy of the White House and top administration officials. For reasons that seem perverted, they have decided that one way to discourage immigrants with brown skin (and any colors from “fecal-hole” countries) from “invading” our borders, is to separate children from their families. What a truly fascist approach to solving problems.
When I was about 2 and-a-half years old, my unmarried parents determined that my younger sibling and I would be better off in foster care. Our mother was overwhelmed with serious health issues and our father was mostly somewhere else. Of course, the folks who think it is OK to completely traumatize children, probably believe that it was really our fault and we deserved our much-less-than-ideal treatment. How else can we explain the willingness of some people to so easily harm and permanently traumatize young children for political reasons. I know first-hand the pain and damage that such separations cause.
In addition, my 40 years of experience in counseling elementary and high school students has further illustrated that the trauma of separation and abandonment has lifelong effects. The sorrow and rage that most such victims feel is intense indeed. It also seems that the hundreds of thousands of Americans who support this approach to immigration are as blind to human decency, as so many of the followers of autocrats and dictators have been throughout history. Yet somehow the mesmerizing words and actions of current and past leaders convince some people to support such actions and do nothing to stop them.
The second action that raises alarms,concerns the president’s incredibly poor handling of the current coronavirus pandemic. Tragically, the president and others in his administration dismantled preparations for handling a pandemic. That single horrendous error has contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of our fellow citizens. He has refused to provide leadership that is desperately needed to protect our citizenry. It is simply outrageous. The lies and untruths that the current administration continues to proclaim are beyond the pale. Some folks call criticism of these actions “fake news,” another indication of how misled some people can become. Remember, it is easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled.
Our son, married with a wife and two young daughters, contracted COVID-19 a few weeks ago. He has survived by isolating himself and quarantining his family. The effects of this forced separation on our young grandchildren is as yet undetermined but could range from an interesting experience to a traumatic event, especially for the 4-year-old.
If none of the above activates your outrage, perhaps one of these examples will. The president has made well over 10,000 (some estimate 20,000) false and misleading statements since taking office in 2017. He loudly admires autocrats and dictators and, in the process, has destroyed America’s moral standing in the world. He continually tries to dismantle anything done by the previous administration, consequently reversing gains in protecting our environment, and he blithely refuses to address climate change. He has refused to combat voter suppression, engages in endless attacks on Obamacare, and has declared the press to be an “enemy of the people.” Do you need more? How about totally ignoring Russian bounties on our service members – not a word has been said.
Perhaps if folks would read any of the following books, they might begin to generate some patriotic and moral outrage: “A Very Stable Genius,” “Fire and Fury,” “Everything Trump Touches Dies,” “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election,” “Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth; A Warning,” “It’s Even Worse Than You Think” and “Too Much and Never Enough.”
As many of us watch our democracy being challenged from so many directions, we are left with fear, despair and, perhaps most appropriately, outrage. If we develop enough, it could lead to action and begin the process of repairing the damage. Remember to vote.
Kevin Wychopen is a semi-retired school counselor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.