By the end of today, Donald Trump will be President of the USA.
Even though we’ve had a couple of months to process this as reality, there’s still a netherworldly quality to what’s about to happen. Inauguration Day is finally here and nobody really knows what comes next – least of all The Donald. As a world, we’re braced for the hostile incognito; Trump’s America is uncharted territory and everyone is sailing into it blind.
But blindness doesn’t have to equal ambivalence.
Upon Trump’s victory, a host of commentators from all over the world were quick to declare that mass hysteria was unwarranted. “Nothing’s going to change”, we were informed. “He won’t be able to do anything”. For them – straight, white, well-paid males – they were probably right. Their world will continue to turn. For millions of others though, Donald Trump is a hostile force; a danger to their rights, progress and wellbeing. While we don’t know what he will do next, we can’t claim the same kind of ignorance for what he represents. We know exactly how he got to Washington DC – and we know exactly what he’s about.
So, on 20th January, 2017, now is the time. As Donald Trump is sworn in as Leader of the Free World, we can exercise equivocation no longer. As decent, progressive people, it is now – and precisely now – that we mount our political defence. It is time to directly challenge hatred, to call out lies and manipulation and to hold those responsible for division to account.
We’re depleted, but we haven’t lost yet.
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Words by Niall Flynn