It’s a chilly Tuesday afternoon in Denver as I pen this essay to you. Rest assured that I have other, far more enjoyable items on today’s agenda other than writing About Trump, and yet, I’m once again compelled to do so.
I already captured emotions present the day after; the purpose of this note is to explain what has already been written. This is an open letter to everyone I know with a heart that yearns for freedom, justice, unity, and decided Donald Trump was ultimately best equipped.
Stein and Johnson voters, you share responsibility too. Why? Because you are silent. You exercised privilege on November 8th, now is the time to speak up. This is what I’ll never understand: silence from so many of my contacts while friends wake up every day in abject terror.
If it isn’t clear, I don’t care how you voted. It’s the smug attitude, the desire to dredge up past political wrongs to justify your inaction to help the minorities being shouted down in our country; that’s what bothers me most.
On November 9th, I awoke to a terrifying reality. Soon thereafter, my fears began to fade into the background as news of hate crimes began to populate my feeds. I realized the main threat wasn’t to me. And then, just when I was getting used to this apocalyptic hellscape, Trump decides flag burning should be criminalized.
Some hope that Trump’s rhetoric is just “marketing” — I’m afraid it isn’t. His policies echo Bush’s post-9/11 strategies, which should concern anyone who values liberty.
Immediately, I began advocating against policies from the incoming administration that could harm friends or myself. I have also written extensive personal correspondence between friends whose political ideology was unclear, asking for their support in private. The best I have been given was blind reassurance that Republicans care.
If you’ve been silent so far, remember this: as I wait for unknown healthcare reforms, your emotions are irrelevant. I’ll remember your silence and inaction. While my friends are forced to register with the government because of their birthplace or religious ideology, I’ll remember your silence and inaction. I’ll remember that you questioned Trump when it was safe, but quickly fell in line once he gained power.
I’ll remember that you aren’t a patriot; that your speeches are just marketing too.
As a technologist, I have pledged to stand in opposition to this administration, not because I have a partisan thorn in my side. Instead, my choice is human: my smart, witty, creative friends (many of whom are immigrants) deserve a full, happy life, unimpeded by our government. All technologists should prepare themselves to uphold the pledge, should we be asked. If history is any indicator, we may be called to duty. Soberly considering our position now, away from the struggle, is a very important step.
The next four years will be difficult. Liberties are at stake, and unless you are willing to step up and advocate as needed, you will be complicit in the crimes. I have declared my position. Now, those of you who voted Republican but disapprove of Trump have a crucial decision. To advocate for those likely affected by the incoming administration, or stand by while history records your indifference.