There’s a lot of talk about the rise of populism and this national identity that journalists keep calling dangerous but few really go into detail explaining why. There’s a shift in our climate (no duh) but not just due to the seasons or the rise of a new president. It’s a trend happening everywhere and you have to pay attention to be able to pick up on it.
Take a look globally at what’s happening, for example the announcement from Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel on the ban of a veil that impacts solely Muslim women. This comes after the backlash she received from opening the countries borders to refugees in a way no other European country has and quite possibly because she’s running for a 4th term.
A ban also occurred in France with the temporary ban of burkinis, and the permanent ban of the burqa and niquab (Similar bans are in place in Belgium and Switzerland).
There’s also many movements that cause alarm like the Freedom party in the Netherlands that want to register it’s citizens ethnicity and ban Islamic schools. The party is expected to win the most votes when the country votes in March.
Let’s take a hop back over the pond to our own land to see how ideals and practices are changing too.
Just a couple of months ago, an informal adviser to Trump wanted to imprison the New York Times executive editor because of an article the Times published about the leaked pages from Trump’s 1995 state tax returns. We can also bring out the point of journalists being banned from campaign rallies if Trump did not like how they represented him in media and even going as far as promising to expand federal libel laws so Trump can sue news outlets. Freedom of speech right?
Or let’s take a look at the newest proud accomplishment of The Donald. The 1,000 jobs he and Gov. Pence saved from being shipped to Mexico by Carrier in Indiana. Except that he fails to mention that Carrier will still be shipping another 1,200 jobs and received state backed incentives. Even Sarah Palin outcried this practice as it sets a precedent for other companies.
And Trump is already proven he can’t be trusted. Trump was an opponent of common core, yet he nominated Betsy Devos as his education secretary an avid supporter of common core.
And of course he’s already proven he is going to nominate to his cabinet the same people he said he was going to sweep Washington of. (And equally incompetent people *cough* Ben Carson *cough)
Trump repeatedly claimed global warming was a hoax throughout his campaign. Yet this week he met with Al Gore, as did his daughter. People are shouting “look he’s coming to his senses” and have already forgotten that Trump promised to back out of the Paris deal where 175 countries decided what they could commit to to help reduce global warming. If the U.S. backs out of the deal there’s no reason the other 174 countries would have a need to stay.
Don’t let the smoke and mirrors fool you. To the people saying he will not fulfill his campaign promises (if you’ve forgotten let me remind you, ban on Muslims, registry of Muslims, separating families with his deportation policies, building a wall, backing out of NATO, suing news outlets, overturning Roe v Wade, etc etc etc.) I say to you, you aren’t paying attention. The change will not come with sweeping mandates. The change will come in small incremental changes and then we’ll look up and not be able to recognize the mess we’re in.
My point to say that we must stay vigilant to what is going on in the world around us. Remember the story about the frog? If a frog is dropped in hot water it immediately jumps out, however if the frog is dropped in cold water and then the temperature is slowly turned up the frog will think everything is fine and not do anything to save it’s life. Do not ignore the facts. Keep a crisp memory. Pay attention people. And when necessary, take action.