If we as a nation have reached the point where we’re so divided, so suspicious of anyone who disagrees with us that when I describe to you the cruel and obscene Trump policy tearing families apart on the border you’re first reaction is to rhetorically bob and weave and deflect, then we’re in a crisis.
We’re at a crossroads. The pot is now, at last, finally boiling. If 44% of the electorate so frames political events relative to how they might affect the MAGA agenda and not how them might harm children of all things, then we’re lost as a nation. There is no excuse for bobbing and weaving, for political shadowboxing when the lives of children are at stake. But that seems to be where we are.
It’s chilling. It’s chilling that we’ve finally reached the type of historical turning point that one has only read about in the history books. Either we as a nation take a collective stand at this point and say no more, or it’s over. This is the darkest timeline and the bad guys have won.
The only thing I can propose is learn as much as you can about this issue and scream at the top of your lungs at anyone who will listen and when they shadowbox you, press them on cold hard facts. This is a Trump Administration policy, not a “Democratic law.” This could easily be changed by Trump if you had any empathy for anyone other than himself and his immediate family.
As I’ve written before, we need to get mad and stay mad on this one. We need to be prepared to take some heat. The entire American political system is so fucked up at this point that the MAGA people know on a guttural level that they have a decent expectation that they can, in fact, decide to die on this hill and actually survive. This policy plays well with the MAGA base who are scared of brown people and they see this in terms of an excellent deterrence, not the personal and moral gotterdammerung that people like me see it as.
MAGA people are quite fat and sassy at this point in the game. They’re getting everything they want policy-wise, including this, and they know that for various systemic reasons there’s a reasonable expectation that there won’t be any “Blue Wave” in November. And, really, I would so far as to suggest that if there is any hope of a Blue Wave in November, The Resistance will have to attack MAGA on this draconian border policy like a rabid dog. We have to hone in on the fact that the United States, regardless of its need to have viable borders, is also a nation of compassion.
We have to appeal to people’s basic sense of compassion. MAGA wants to frame the issue on ideological and general geopolitical terms, not simple humanity. They don’t want us to see these immigrants, many of them fleeing horrible violence in their homeland, as human beings. They’re to be seen as a statistic, a “problem” to be dealt with in general terms, the plight of the individual be damned.
America is better than this. I want to believe America is, in fact, different, and when the dark forces that have aligned against the nation from within and abroad finally believe they’ve mortally wounded us, we’ll fight back — and win. But remember, this is not Nazi Germany. Who’s going to overthrow the MAGA regime? The Dutch? The Canadians?
We have only ourselves at this point to save ourselves from ourselves. I want to believe we have it within us to do so. I really do. But things could go either way at this point. They really could.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.