Since Jan. 20, 2017, it’s been hard not to believe we are living our last days. It’s almost as though George Orwell is playing a sick joke on us, and his book, 1984, is coming to life as the United States appears to be under a totalitarian regime.
Reality television star-turned politician Donald Trump, as an evil dictator, has taken us on quite the ride in just two short weeks, and Democrats, particularly members of Congress, are panicking with half-hearted attempts at responding to his every move, with no real strategy other than “it’s all on fire, now react!”
As Democrats, we find ourselves in a precarious position of responding — and to a lot. President Trump has so far issued many arguably unconstitutional executive orders. From the Mexico City Policy (otherwise known as the “Global Gag Rule”), which will hurt women throughout the world who need access to reproductive health services, to the immigration ban that bars citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., to a reduction/freeze of federal workers, it’s clear that a Trump administration means a threat for communities living outside of the margins. There is also a rumored order that “[w]ould create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity.”
Trump and his cronies are surely attempting to put marginalized communities back in our place by issuing orders as fast as he can say, “You’re fired!”
It’s also no help when these orders are being drafted by Trump’s chief strategist, Neo-Nazi, white supremacist Steve Bannon and discussed by a grossly incompetent White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, and “alternative facts” herself, Kellyanne Conway.
And yet we continue to resist in the most beautiful way possible. Think about it: the next day after the presidential inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country came to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Washington to push back on the extreme rhetoric of Trump’s administration.
So, what’s next?
For community activists and organizers, the answer is clear: fight back in ways that will help the most marginalized. But for Democratic members of Congress, that fight looks a bit different.
Things came to a head on Tuesday when President Trump announced his nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, to replace deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — a seat that hasn’t been filled since Feb. 13, 2016, nearly a year ago. Judge Gorsuch is the youngest nominee to the Supreme Court in 25 years, which means he can shape major decisions for years to come. He is a federal appellate judge in Colorado, and he’s also generally terrible, despite his likability.