On fear and supporting each other.
Until now, I would never have dreamed that researching or discussing our government might make me afraid. Until now, I thought only other countries had leaders corrupt enough to frighten or shame their opponents into submission. I was not one of those initially distraught when Trump declared victory. I thought that maybe, just maybe, Trump would lead differently than he campaigned. I was kidding myself.
Almost immediately after the election, Trump started tweeting about private citizens who dared question him. Those private citizens would then be inundated with death threats. From then on, I knew this man would never be my president. Things have gotten worse. It’s now officially ok for Republican politicians to assault reporters or to suggest that they should be shot. It’s now officially ok for people to say that Obama should have been hung from a tree. Heck, those types of comments might even earn you dinner with the President and his popular (per opinion polls) wife Melania.
Forty percent of the country doesn’t much care if Trump wants to be like Putin. Or if he wants to make America like Russia. Russia, where Putin’s opponents are sprayed green with toxic chemicals. Russia, where Putin’s opponents mysteriously fall out of windows, are shot dead by unknown assailants, or are sent to prison.
I gotta admit that I’m scared.
An army of Russian bots spreading fake news about Hillary Clinton helped Trump bully his way into office. Trump freely criticizes everyone, except his family and Putin. Trump even discussed with Putin the possibility of partnering on cybersecurity, when Putin was the one who used cyberwarfare to get Trump elected. Eighty people were arrested yesterday for protesting Trump’s wildly unpopular healthcare plan. A woman who dared research Manafort before the election has been harassed by Trump & Putin supporters ever since. Someone else who dared research whether Russia might have changed vote tallies has been harassed by so-called Resisters who think “resisting” means lulling everyone into inaction with baseless promises that Trump and his cohorts have already been indicted. These people dug up and published his address and his kid’s name. This is the type of conduct that would make Putin proud.
A well-known hacking expert has told me that I probably am safe because I don’t have a large enough platform. That is some COLD comfort. If more people start listening to me, and if I start publishing more explicit facts about what I think, will I still be safe?
In a post-Trump world, I cannot assume that is true. Will I be harassed? Will I be hacked? Will I be harmed…or worse. These are questions we must now face in the Resistance. So if a fellow Resister is attacked, we must loudly defend their right to resist by condemning the attack. Any one of us could be next. Speak out because, as Resisters, we are #STRONGERTOGETHER. Speak out now because, in a year, we may no longer have that luxury.