This was the line that opened a Facebook post from a friend this morning. A friend who, like your humble correspondent, once frequented a game-show forum that eventually devolved into a wasteland due in no small part to the unrestrained political discussions that pretty much took the board over. A friend who established a virtual “Moratorium Lounge” within the board as a way of telling the chronic offenders “enough”.
To be sure, I have occasionally made posts both to my Facebook page and this blog that could fairly be called “political”. As a rule, though, I tried to avoid doing so. Reasonable people can have reasonable differences, and I have friends across the political spectrum. Because, you see, I tend to see people in the whole. There are any number of people on my friend list whose views on things political are diametrically opposed to mine. And on the more-common occasions when I do comment to something political that they may have posted to their own timelines, I try to do so in a respectful manner. Because, you know, they are my friends.
But, like my friend, I can no longer stay silent.
Not when the fears I felt over the course of the recent election are already beginning to take root within the new administration after only a week and change. There is the manipulation of the press and the distortion of facts being propagated by government spokespersons. There is the marginalization of minorities and the obscene waste of resources that will be earmarked for the construction of an easily-circumvented wall that is intended as much as a statement as a barrier. There is the turning away of refugees and the twisted explanation as to how it is not about religion, along with the transparent exemptions given to nations where the president has business interests. There is the call for a “great” military buildup (and, Lord help me, I have come to loathe that word). There is the shakeup at the National Security Council, in which he replaced the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence with his right-hand political adviser.
Except for the thing about the press, all done by executive order. And all of this within the first ten days.
I will make no apologies here for being frightened or angry. As my friends and/or blog followers, I hope you understand. Today, I changed my Facebook profile picture to the Statue of Liberty. Not only for those who she welcomes, but also for what she is welcoming them to. Because both, I fear, are being radically altered by those now in power.
And I, too, can no longer stay silent.