I'm already having flashbacks to the Nixon years. Haven't had those for decades. Those original anxieties were bad enough but now I'm thinking that the Trump presidency will be way worse.
Back in the Nixon years, those of us on the left were afraid. I was a union organizer at the time, a very dangerous job, especially for a woman. We had to be very careful because the whole labor movement was under scrutiny, except for the trade unions that supported Nixon and the continuation of the War in Viet Nam. The rest of us had to deal with a National Labor Relations Board that was blatantly anti-union. Scary times for the group I was working for - women in the communications field who had no rights and were kept in lower paying jobs because they were women. We were on the front line of protecting the rights of pregnant women who often lost all promotions for simply going on maternity leave. That was just one part of it. we had to fight to allow women to advance to the higher paying jobs that they were barred from pursuing simply because they were women. Women who took these jobs were called "frame dames" and "switch bitches" among other things. Reproductive rights was a major issue; too many women were harmed and traumatized by back alley abortions and unwanted pregnancies - mainly because proper birth control was difficult to get in those days. Veterans were coming back from Viet Nam damaged and jobless; racism was rampant; health care was out of the question for the poor; and an enemies list was one of Nixon's hallmarks. we heard a lot about "Law and Order" long before the popular TV series. You did not want to get on the wrong side of the "pigs" as they were called. Many were Viet Nam vets still working out their aggressions; beatings were common. His resignation was anti-climatic; the damage had been done. Many of us became cynical.
And then, a few years later, Ronald Reagan was elected and it started all over again. Unions were practically wiped off the map. Regulations and the "trickle down theory" practically wiped out the middle class. By then, I had given up. Burned out, I was able to move to Canada and start the long process of becoming a Landed Immigrant. Best decision I ever made in my life.
Still, I could not abandon my American roots and I became involved in organizing ex-pats like myself in Canada to vote in US Federal elections. Of course, we lost more than we won. Dubya was a simple fool who was controlled by the so-called "military-industrial complex" into waging a lie-based war on the people of Iraq. But, then came Obama and the promise of better. Too bad that he was thwarted at every turn. Still though, things were improving. I was proud of America and its embrace of a Black man with a foreign-sounding name.
And now they have Trump. The Big Birther himself. I am very afraid for America's future. I see most of the gains made disappearing under Trump. His supporters fell for his lies, believing he will bring unskilled jobs back to the rust belt; activists for human rights will be quieted; free press will be punished; minorities and immigrants will be harassed and the hard fought health care reforms will be undone.
These are not just predictions; these are campaign promises that Trump has vowed to keep. Even the wall between the US and Mexico will be touted as the answer to the "illegals" making their way into the US.
It's all based on hate. And it makes me sick.
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