Gloomily pessimistic, I shuddered with each blast in the fusillade of Trump’s executive orders. It is happening so fast, I thought, as Trump defunded, gagged and paralyzed one essential agency or program after another.
But people reacted. They resisted, protested, called their members of congress and demanded to be heard. The Women’s March was larger than any demonstration in history, drawing millions of people into the streets, united in their opposition to the increasingly unpopular demagogue.
On Friday Trump shocked and infuriated all Americans who are proud to be a nation of immigrants. We refused to target and reject our neighbors. It was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Trump decreed that the US would not admit Syrian refugees. Families who had survived the carnage were already en route to asylum and new lives. Instead, they were detained upon arrival, sequestered for hours in windowless rooms.
Protesters streamed to the airports, chanting and carrying defiant signs. The ACLU and lawyers from big law firms and small descended on the federal court. By Saturday afternoon they succeeded in trumping the despot by obtaining a temporary stay that allowed the release of the detainees.
In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh defied the president. Not only did he refuse to aid the feds in rounding up undocumented residents, he offered to shelter them in City Hall as long as they were afraid and subject to deportation. Mayors in other sanctuary cities united in opposition to Trump and defense of their people.
Now I see the resilience of American democracy. It has taken the darkness of a fascist cloud to rouse its citizens from decades of apathy. Today I am much more hopeful and confident that we will counter and deter the megalomaniac who has managed to diminish America’s greatness in less than a week.
Make America great again? Trump has no idea what makes America great, but he’s about to find out.