How Long Can This Last?

Sentient Americans of all political persuasions knew that Donald Trump was unfit to occupy the Oval Office. We knew he was unstable. But even those of us who were terrified by his election have been astonished by the speed with which he is harming critical American interests and plunging the country–and world– into chaos.

Trump’s most recent Executive Order, banning refugees, is as astonishing as it is inhumane. As the Huffington Post reported,

Trump approved the refugee ban amid the biggest refugee crisis in history and on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which honors the millions of people killed during World War II, many of whom tried to flee to the U.S. but were turned away.

It’s not the blanket ban on Muslims that Trump advocated for during his campaign, and it does not single out any country by name other than Syria for its refugees.

But Trump did say earlier in the day that he would prioritize helping Syrian Christians. He also mentioned “radical Islamic terrorists” while signing it. And in the text, it carves out an exception for admitting refugees who are religious minorities even while nearly all others will be barred for 120 days.

The order–which exempts countries where Trump does business or has hotels (business uber alles, evidently)–has caused chaos at airports around the world. It has kept students from returning to their universities, scientists from professional meetings. It applies even to longtime holders of green cards–people who have lived and worked legally in the U.S. for years.

It affects tens of thousands of people: not just refugees already “extremely” vetted and on their way to the U.S., but foreign nationals, immigrants and tourists from the designated countries and Americans whose families will now be unable to visit. It also affects thousands of Iraqis who risked their lives helping this country during the Iraq War.

Like all of Trump’s actions in the days since assuming office, it was hasty, ill-considered, and based on “alternate facts.” As USA today noted,

While Trump has claimed that most Syrian refugees coming to the U.S are single, military-age men, the State Department said those numbers didn’t add up. As of Nov. 2015, 77% of Syrian refugees who entered the U.S. were women and children. Only 23% were adult men, and only 2% were “single men unattached to families.”

As Senator Chris Murphy pointed out, not only does this profoundly unAmerican order not make us safer, “Trump has now handed ISIS a path to rebirth. They can and will use his announcement today as confirmation that America is at war with Muslims, especially those Muslims living in desperate circumstances.”

Even Dick Cheney says this order “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”

It has been a little over a week since this delusional and dangerously ignorant man has been President. In that time, he has poisoned relations with Mexico, a neighbor and important trading partner; continued his inexplicable, fawning relationship with Vladimir Putin; and pulled the U.S. out of the TPP, rather than addressing fixable problems that had been identified with it– an action that will allow China to become a dominant influence in the economies of not just Southeast Asia, but also East Africa and even parts of Europe. He’s announced his support for the use of torture. He has declared war on the media. He has ignored and trashed the Constitution. His insistence that “millions” of illegal votes were cast is both ridiculous and an affront to America’s democratic institutions.

And that’s just week one.

How long will the Republicans in Congress continue to enable this dangerous madman?  How many of Trump’s corrupt and ill-equipped Cabinet nominees will they obediently confirm? How long will their self-serving partisanship trump patriotism?

If there is a silver lining in any of this, it is in the horrified reaction of everyday Americans–the millions who marched, the multiple Resistance groups that have sprung up in the wake of the election, the throngs of protestors that spontaneously descended last night on the nation’s airports: the millions of Americans who know that we are better than this.

We the People cannot allow this to continue.


  1. My feelings about Trumpster are changing. As he continues his slash and burn campaign against everything this country stands for, I find myself realizing that he really is mentally ill to a disabling degree. The narcissism, arrogance, need for attention, obsession with criticism, xenophobia, and so forth, are merely symptoms of disbling mental illness. It’s like the criminally insane, he has to be stopped and placed under treatment. I think he’s the puppet of people who aren’t crazy, like the Koch Brothers, who understand his illness, and how to use it to get what they want, he may be vulnerable to blackmail, but at his core, he’s sick. This isn’t disputes with policy or politics–the man isn’t well. My only question is when and how he’ll get stopped and how far down the rabbit hole we’ll go before he’s stopped.

  2. I agree with Gerald that words definitely do matter. Besides being symbolic, words represent ideas, viewpoints and biases. Words have been used as propaganda and jingoism over the centuries, and most effectively by Adolph Hitler only 60+ years ago. People even come to blows over flinging “yo mama” insults at each other. Words can sooth as well as cut with sarcasm or scorn. A recent infamous example of word abusers is serial liar Kellyanne WrongWay, who continues to spew misinformation and spin “alternative facts.”

    In many cultures, words are considered powerful and significant. We must use our words wisely and in the service of saving or salvaging our democracy and freedom.

  3. If he is impeached then we are stuck with Pence. Which is worse?
    We are between a “rock and a hard place”.

  4. Natacha — Please send your post to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, your senators and congresspersons regardless of party affiliation and post it on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    The guys above-mentioned and their henchmen are responsible for all this anxiety and there’s going to be more.
    Mention: Crooked Don-ary, crooked Don-ary
    and christofascist Tuppence

  5. Unfortunately behind Pence is Ryan, another danger. He claims to be a policy wonk but has been unable for his agenda to pass muster with the Congressional Budget office. We are in deep do do indeed.

  6. I am concerned that the Sanctuary cities are no longer protected yet the skin Heads, Nazis, White Supremacists ..etc..are protected. They are protected in any city they live in. We have more to fear from these home grown terrorists then any refugee coming into this country. Under this dictatorship they will grow to be even more dangerous as Trump allows and encourages this in his regime. We need a leader in this endeavor to stop this tyranny. Thank you CNN for stepping in and hiring more people to cover this. I feel we will find that voice that will bring people together and hear the message of freedom once again*

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