Is unifying behind the president-elect something you can morally and ethically justify? Ask yourself these questions.
I was chided by an acquaintance yesterday, someone who does not know me well at all, because my frequent use of the hashtag #NotMyPresident is not unifying. She is of the opinion that, with the election being over, we should all put aside our differences in the name of unity. She finds my unwillingness to do so to be shameful, despite the fact we agree on the issues over which I find myself unable to support the new administration.
Let me be clear that I do not, at this point, condone the many street protests that are taking place, either. The violence that occurred overnight in Portland, Oregon is especially inappropriate and unhelpful to any meaningful actions that might need to be taken. The president-elect, as unsavory as his election might be to millions of us, has not actually done anything yet that carries any substantial power. One of the reasons mainstream Republicans had difficulty supporting their nominee was because he has a long and well-documented history of saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite. Until he proposes offensive rights-limiting legislation or, after being sworn in, commits acts of hate, street protests are meaningless and lack any authority.
However, that does not mean that unity behind this new administration is an option, either. For those who are considering abandoning their morals and ethics for the sake of unifying behind a president-elect who can’t be trusted, we strongly suggest you ask yourself these five questions.
1. Do you support sexual assault against women, diminishing the severity of rape, and perpetuating a culture of violence against women?
Despite having won the election, the president-elect is still scheduled to go on trial December 16 for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. Let that sink in for a moment. While any rape is horrible, we’re talking about a 13-year-old. This is the shamefulness of the person who was elected president. To support him is to support his actions. Anyone who unifies behind this man is saying to all the little girls in the United States, “Hey, rape isn’t really all that bad.”
In addition to the rape charges, the president-elect is also facing numerous allegations of sexual assault. His response to those allegations was that he would sue the women making such statements once he is sworn in. Do you support victim blaming? You do if you plan on unifying behind this president.
The president-elect has an extremely misogynistic attitude toward women as demonstrated by his conversations not only during the campaign but across most of his public life. When Fox News anchor Megan Kelly questioned the nominee about his behavior, he called Kelly a “bimbo” among other things. His long history of insulting women is well documented and inexcusable.
Apparently, those facts don’t bother some people. If your morality and ethics are such that you can excuse and tolerate someone whose words and actions are actively and consistently anti-women, then you have elected someone who shares those values. For the rest of us, though, this is a disqualifier. We cannot and will not support anyone who does not treat women as equals for any reason. Therefore, we cannot and will not unify behind the president-elect.
2. Do you support the mistreatment, registration, and deportation of people based upon their religious beliefs?
In a November 10, 2015 article, the New York Times reported that the then-candidate for president supported registration for all Muslims who reside in the United States. When asked how that different from Nazi registration of the Jews prior to the Holocaust, the candidate’s reply was, “You tell me.” He has also stated, in multiple interviews, that, “We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.” As a candidate, the now president-elect has been extremely harsh in his words about Muslims, including the possibility of an open ban on any Muslims immigrating or even flying into the United States.
This rhetoric and attitude have had a devastating effect since the election. Repeatedly, Muslim women have reported having their hijabs yanked off their heads in public. American Muslims, people who were born and raised here just like the rest of us, no longer feel safe. Some of the most devout have even warned other women to not wear their hijabs for fear of violence against them. The hate perpetuated by the president-elect is very real.
Unifying behind this president-elect is showing support for this kind of hate, disregard for the religious freedoms of the First Amendment, and bigotry toward people simply based on their religion. Can you imagine the backlash that would happen if the same statements were made against Southern Baptists? Muslims have the exact same rights as Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, and every other religion in the United States. If you can’t deal with that, you need to find somewhere else to live. We’re not going to tolerate such hate toward our Muslim friends.
3. Do you support the denial of basic civil rights, including the right to marry, based on one’s sexual identity?
Blame the vice president-elect for this one. As Governor of Indiana, he attempted to enact one of the most egregious and damaging anti-LGBTQ laws in the country. Hoosiers immediately revolted with industry from all over the world showing support by removing their business and conventions from the state. The then-Governor was forced to back down and amend the law to protect everyone regardless of sexuality. However, as vice president-elect, he has made it very clear that this administration “will be anti-LGBTQ and anti-women.”
Once again, it is the attitude of the incoming administration that is setting off real violence in the streets. Tuesday evening, a Calgary film producer visiting Santa Monica, California, was beaten to a bloody pulp for being gay by supporters of the president-elect. Is this how it is going to be? Does anyone actually think we are making America great with this sort of behavior?
Our LGBTQ friends have made some great strides in terms of establishing their rights as citizens over the past eight years. Now, all those rights appear to be in jeopardy under this new administration with the vice-president leading the attack. There is no way anyone of reasonable mind can unify behind a government that fails to condemn hate and is threatening to remove the rights of people based upon their sexuality. We are morally and ethically required to fight against any such activity.
4.Can you support a president who shows complete disdain and disrespect for people of color?
Someone apparently failed to tell the president-elect that white people no longer make up a majority of the U. S. population. Here are just a sampling of his documented statements about people of color:
“Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” (source)
“Laziness is a trait in blacks.” (source)
“And if you look at black and African American youth, to a point where they’ve never done more poorly. There’s no spirit.” (source)
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” (source)
The list could go on and on for days. The fact is that if you’re not as pasty white as he is, the president-elect has no respect for you. None. In fact, one of his primary goals within his first 100 days is to enact legislation that would provide inner-city police more powerful weapons in dealing with alleged crime and violence in urban neighborhoods. If you thought police violence against people of color was bad before, it could get a lot worse under this administration.
“Black Lives Matter” is not an opinion. We cannot unify behind a president who does not protect the best interests of people of color, who does not respect their lives and their contributions to the fabric of our country.
5. Do you support the denial of health and reproductive rights to women?
We’ve already established that this administration is anti-women, but what matters now is that the entire political structure in Washington is ready to wage a full-scale war against women. Over the past six years, the Republican-controlled Congress has tried repeatedly to limit, freeze, or completely destroy funding for women’s healthcare, especially when that healthcare involves a matter of choice. With the election of this new president, all legislative roadblocks that prevented Congress from achieving their evil plans are removed. Women across the United States are in grave danger.
Healthcare is a tremendously serious issue for women, especially when it comes to pregnancy and child care. Thanks to increased insurance coverage and support for non-profits such as Planned Parenthood, the United State’s unreasonable high rate of infant mortality has gone down in recent years. Make no mistake, however, that should the funding for those programs be removed, which would happen if both the president-elect and Republican-controlled Congress get their way, those deadly numbers would once again skyrocket. More women would die in childbirth. More women would have unplanned pregnancies. More babies would die from disease and distress before they are one year old. More women would die of cancer because they wouldn’t have access to early treatment programs. The devastation across our country would be severe.
I understand that not everyone agrees on a woman’s right to choose. Most of those who fail to agree on that topic, however, are men, who have no right to even have a voice in the conversation. Women alone should be in control of their bodies. Government has no business telling them what to do and men, especially, have to business trying to force women to do what they’re told. To remove funding for women’s healthcare is a form of legislative rape. Congress has already proven its willingness to commit, if not outright fondness for rape against women’s rights. Now, they have a president willing to sign that legislation into law.
I cannot fathom how any person with the ability to reason above the level of a six-year-old can support or unify behind such intent. To unify behind the president-elect on this issue is to stand up and tell the world that you hate women. There is no excuse. There can be no tolerance. We cannot unify behind such policies and we must do everything in our power to keep them from becoming law.
I could take this list on and on forever, but I don’t have time to type it all and you probably wouldn’t read the whole thing if I did. Five questions are sufficient enough for anyone to decide whether or not they can morally and ethically justify unifying behind this president-elect. I know I can’t. On each of these issues and more I plan on remaining very diligent, very vocal, and very adamant about stopping any moves on the part of this new administration that in any way threatens my family, my friends, or my freedom of expression. As long as the threat remains, there can be no unity.