Political Climate

Being from Washington DC, I have never experienced a time without politics being shoved down my throat from everyone and everywhere. That being said, I never actively took a part in anything remotely political on my own free will and rather would let things go on around me, despite having more own views and options on them. This all changed a few weeks ago, January 20, when Donald Trump took office as president of the United States.

In just a few short weeks, the amount of divisiveness in American society has exponentially increased, to a point in which no matter where an individual turns, he, she, or they will find it. This is shown exceptionally well in two different articles, one entitled “I’m A Refugee from a Banned Country— This Is My American Story,” by Ari Honarvar, a writer for The Establishment, and the other entitled “Trump Says He Won’t Overturn LGBT Protections, But His Administration Will Still Discriminate Against Us” written by Yvonne, a writer for Autostraddle.

In Ari Honarvar’s article, she tells of her story, from moving to America twenty full years ago, escaping from Iran during a time in which almost any form of divergent actions and thinking. Simple things such as playing cards to simply thinking about the other sex in any fashion were against the law. People younger than myself were being arrested on the norm. When she finally was able to move to America, she felt calm, an ease went over her, but a part of her, and understandably so, still belonged to where she came from.

In her article, a memoir more of the sorts, she writes a powerful line “I had all but forgotten  what freedom was like even though deep in my  belly I knew this wasn’t right.” This simple statement a scary fact that may be frequently said in the not so distant future, if people continue to be attacked due to the way they think, look, act and feel.

The other article, by Yvonne tells of how though Donald Trump has come out and said that he will not directly overturn any form of legislation that President Obama created regarding the protections barring the discrimination based on the sexual orientation or gender of any given individual. However, this does not mean that they will not use religious exemptions in order to still discriminate, something that Mike Pence and other GOP members have been very vocal about. If anything, as the article brings up, and I strongly agree with, this is not the step in the right direction but simply a way to calm the dissenters from attacking Trump and his policies any more so than we already do. Other orders have even designated what it means to be a man or be a woman, which indirectly attacks non straight CIS individuals.

As the article ends, a striking comment is made, though Trump may not actively be trying to attack members of the LGBTQ community, he has openly not been an ally towards them. By doing so, I firmly believe that by not being apart of the solution, he is being apart of the problem. And with him having so much power now, he is adding more fuel to the fire than anyone could have ever expected.

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3 thoughts on “Political Climate

  1. Like you, Clark, I didn’t have a strong prior engagement in politics before my freshman year spring semester. I too just let political conversations just run their term because I lacked the patience and knowledge in order to respond to the topics discussed at hand. Nevertheless, I’ve now chosen the path of a Policy Analyst and have become so enthused and proficient and political debates, happenings, and flow. I can agree that the installment of Trump as our Commander and Chief has prompted many to answer the call of political awareness and ultimately become more involved in politics and common government; federal and national. Ari’s article and story provide an excellent insight on how some of Trump’s new potential policy installations have begun to further oppress those already without “full rights”. As I read the article, I really resonated with the idea that the land of the free has been on a down spiral and our new acting president may just be the crash landing we’ve anticipated.

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  2. The United States was behind other countries when it came to LGBTQ rights but when those rights were given to the people, a few short years ago, I believe, I was overjoyed. It is scary to think that there was and still is a world where a person could be discriminated against and even murdered for the choice of whom they are sexually attracted to. I feel like our generation has grown up in a very open environment where we don’t really care who anybody is sexually attracted to just as long as you’re a good person. So it just feels weird to hear that there are still people out there who are sticking to their old timey opinions that if you’re anything other than straight then you’re shunned. I do agree with your opinion that President Donald Trump is not helping with the problem of standing with the LGBTQ community by not standing alongside the community so to speak. For some reason when I read it, it reminded me of the poem MARTIN NIEMÖLLER: “FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE SOCIALISTS…” (the poem where authorities come for all different types of people and nobody helps them and then finally the authorities come for the author to take him who knows where). I just hope that during his presidency, it does not get back to those times where people lose their rights as citizens. Or even worse are attacked more so than they are now with more violence. At this point, I am still hopeful that it will not get that far and that he actually might do some good for the country but you can never be too sure what a person is willing to do.

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  3. I think that it is incredibly important that we give a voice to people like Honarvar. Trump was able to use people’s fear of terrorism to help him win the election, and while security is important to any nation, I think that it is important to be able to know where the threats are actually coming from. Many people from Trump’s support base have polled that they are in favor of the muslim ban. People may be feeling this way because so many people are able to justify their islamophobia by pointing to events like 9/11, which were carried out by islamic fundamentalists. By educating Americans about the countries on the list, as well as what Islam truly stands for, it will be easier for people to accept immigrants from the middle east. Honarvar also speaks about her experiences in Iran and why she came to America, the conditions and violations of her rights that made it impossible for her to stay. I feel as though the executive order would be opposed by many if they understood that the people trying to come to this country, who have already passed our current vetting process are typically people trying to escape horrors and start a new life, not attack American citizens. We need to be able to show the distinction between muslims and extremists, as well as educating the general population as to why refugee’s are coming here, as Honarvar has done in her article. By doing this I think that we can help to calm the fears of others and hopefully shift away from this kind of policy that discriminates against innocent people

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