My Country and President-Elect Donald Trump — Part II
I have to add something else.
I sort of went off half-cocked earlier this month…about folks leaving the country because of the results of this election. My very understanding, and far more open-minded, daughter reminded me very diplomatically in a Facebook response to that post that I may have overlooked something in the passion of the moment. She pointed out that some folks might want to leave the country because they feel unsafe.
I live in Evanston, Wyoming. There are folks who hurt each other here, but rarely. Most of the time when something like that happens it is somewhere or somewhen that my lifestyle keeps me far away from. Still, there is practically no violent crime here at all…and this in a state where people can legally conceal-carry handguns without a permit (something that actually makes me feel more safe, but just might horrify some of the rest of you). Folks walk any street here, any time of the day or night, with almost zero concern for their personal safety. This is not foolish. It is common knowledge that many small, Intermountain West towns really are that safe. Some folks here don’t even bother locking their homes, fences or vehicles. The folks in the out-lying areas around this town care even less about security.
Note:(If you are the type that thinks to come out here and take advantage of that trust, please don’t. Those same folks don’t want your blood on their carpet either. 😉
When I spoke out in my about people leaving the country because of the results of a Presidential election, I had in my mind Barbra Streisand moving to France during the Bush years. You know…THAT kind of leaving. Those are the folks I was talking to. I hadn’t even considered the possibility that some people might feel physically unsafe in a Trump-run country.
This has been a very weird and very emotional election year. Both candidates, and especially their fans, saw it as a high-stakes essential win for their side. Both sides used a lot of fear-mongering, trying to make it look like people’s personal safety for themselves and their families was at serious and immediate risk of the opposite side. I read reports of threats and violence in both directions. A lot of that was blown way out of proportion…and maybe some of it wasn’t.
Let me point out that in the same way that a white, intermountain, small-town male like myself might not take enough personal security precautions, because of the safe place that I live, that fear-mongering could cause other people who live in less secure places (or who belong to political, cultural, or ethnic groups that are more likely to be targets of hate in their areas) to feel more fearful than maybe is necessary.
Here are the facts…
- All forms of violence are illegal everywhere in the United States. They are just as illegal today as they were on November 7th and as they will be after Trump takes office on January 20th. A very real risk of very serious, life-path altering consequences lurks for anyone who chooses to break those very-strict laws. If you lived in a dangerous place on November 7th…it still is. If you trusted the police before November 8th (or didn’t), then you still should (or shouldn’t). Likewise, if you felt safe from crime on November 7th, then I think you still probably still should.
- Racial bigotry is hated by the overwhelming majority of the people in this country…even while they are practicing it. How weird is that?
- If you are in the U.S. illegally, then you were in as much risk of being rounded up and deported on November 7th as you are today. After January 20th that risk will increase, a little at a time. If you’re an immigrant and have engaged in drug-dealing or violent crime then the Obama administration is already after you to send you home. The risk will go up a whole lot very quickly come Jan. 20th. I would expect the same treatment if I broke laws in your homeland. Also, green-card or not, if you haven’t done any of those things yet and want to stay here, then now would be a bad time to start.
- Racism is not just a white man’s disease and neither is bigotry in general.
- Trump got a lot of votes from a lot of people who dislike him, distrust him, think he’s a racist, a con-man, and a sleaze, and don’t believe most of what he says. Some of those people are even hat-wearing fans (I don’t pretend to understand that part).
- Even though low-credibility ratings, secret email, racism, offensive behavior towards women, lack of concern for truth, Benghazi bungling and talk of general underhanded behavior dominated this election, most folks felt like they had to look past those things and vote along party lines for the sake of more tangible issues.
This is a very large country with both very safe and very dangerous places to live. If you are considering leaving for safety reasons, then please ignore the harsh and emotional remarks in my earlier post, they don’t apply to you. I would respectfully ask, however, that you consider a safer place here in-country to move to instead and then continue to work with the rest of us to keep it that way.
Predjudice means “Judging before the facts”. So if you see anyone walking past you wearing Trump hats (or turbans, or black skin, or brown skin, or disturbing tatoos, or a holstered firearm) and you think that because of just that they might hurt you, then please consider the possibility that such fears might stem from your own prejustices.
And please just everyone calm down. If you fear that Donald Trump might be a rising tin-horn dictator, then know that a lot of other folks…even his political allies…agree with you.
I agree with him on some things…other things not so much. But be assured that freedom of speech is alive and well and we will all keep an eye on him together and he will not be allowed to turn this country into a banana republic. If you see something happening on the streets that you don’t like, help if you can do so safely. You might also stream it live with your phone camera on Ustream (free), LiveStream (free), or Facebook Go Live (free), if you’re situated where you think you can do so without endangering yourself. Tweet it. Tell your story.
This people prize their freedom. We detest tyranny and injustice.
With your help, there will be no Hitler here.