I recently reread Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ so the story has been fresh in my mind as of late. It appears each day brings more chaos and a bizarre feeling that we, the American people, have been transported into some sort of alternative reality where outrageous lies are touted as facts and false stories of massacre and bloodshed are used to cause fear. Citizens are encouraged to keep silent, not trust any news source, and trust those in power or suffer their wrath. Power among those in our top-level government positions are convinced they hold all the cards and that tyranny will rule this nation.
The Queen of Hearts rules Wonderland keeping her citizens under her thumb, ready to declare off with their heads at any given moment that she feels people are showing disrespect to her ways. Reminding those in her presence that “All ways are my ways!”. She is authoritative and dominant and insists people address her with “Yes, your majesty”. She’s thin skinned, completely irrational when challenged, acts as a temperamental child, and is controlled by her inflated ego. She rules the judicial system and believes only she knows how trials should be conducted, while undermining the qualifications of those that are educated in fair judicial laws. Starting to sound familiar yet?
How many times in the last couple of weeks have these same scenarios taken place in our country? Falsified stories about Islamic terrorists are used as a fear mongering technique so that we question our safety, even though facts show that the seven recently banned countries pose no immediate threat to our national security. People holding green cards and visas from these countries are lumped into the same sentence as terrorists even though they have been rigorously vetted. We have heard stories of students traveling abroad to visit family that were not allowed back, refugees that were told they could have a second chance at life turned away and told to go back to their war riddled country to die, children and elderly turned away that needed medical procedures, employees of U.S. companies unable to return to work, and the list goes on. These people have been victims of unjust treatment that is not the American way. How quickly we forget that this country was built on the backs of immigrants. That we all descend from these immigrants that once fled repression from their home countries. That America use to believe in standing proudly for the American dream.
However, we are also lucky to live in a country where free speech is held sacred. That we have qualified individuals in the judicial branch that are willing to speak up and stand against these policies that are deemed unconstitutional. They do this while knowing that this president will take to Twitter and smear their names, question their qualifications, and attempt to push blame for future events onto them. A tyrannical man that is ruling by ego, convinced that he is better able to determine how our judicial system should work. That he is the law of the land and our citizens should bow before him saying ““Yes, your majesty”. What we must do to fight this is stand up for our civil servants. The lawyers for the people fighting in our courts, the judges ruling based on constitutional freedoms granted to us, and the senators that are determined to stand up and speak for the people against all odds.
This authoritarian cabinet is determined to cause chaos and a divide between the American people. They will do whatever necessary to bring this country to ruins while pretending to swoop in and save us all. They will confirm unqualified individuals to rule our government agencies. To allow people like Betsy DeVos to undermine our public school systems with her elitist views and lack of compassion for lower economic and disabled students. They will allow white nationalists in like Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon to direct polices like the travel ban and wall to stir up racial divides among our citizens. They will allow people like Scott Pruitt to abolish the EPA while denying climate change and allowing the oil industry to set its own standards further endangering the lives of our youngest citizens. And they will use fear as a method to steal away our rights as a façade to keep us safe.
We must see through this alternative reality. Resist against the unjust actions and escape the dictator’s thumb that is working to oppress our voices. We must support those working for us and stand with our neighbors and fellow Americans when their rights are threatened. We must keep using our right to free speech and peaceful protest to get our message out. Most of all we must retain our solid humanitarian values while standing amidst the tides of hate. Because the truth is “if you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland