Me: “I feel like I should be writing about the Trump presidency. I’m not doing my part.”
Susan: “You need to write what’s in your heart.”
Susan says something like this every day. It’s a bit like living with a Buddhist monk. Of course, she’s right. I don’t pick a topic and write about it, I start writing and the topic picks me. Or it’s already in me, and it just finds a way out. Out onto my computer screen.
In truth, I’m thinking about Trump all the time. Every day I scour the news looking for confirmation that the world is ending. I keep waiting for the shoe to drop, for all hell to break loose, for the shit to hit the fan. Today, I think it has. But this is the real world, not a dystopian novel. Things unfold slowly.
This is day ten of President Trump. We’re currently reeling from the first full day of Trump’s Muslim ban. Yes, I know the party line, this isn’t a ban on Muslims, but a ban on travel from countries compromised by terrorists. The executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” was implemented to keep us all safe.
Curiously, excluded from Trump’s travel ban is every predominantly Muslim country where Donald Trump has property. And any country where he is working to negotiate one of his much bragged about deals. The other notable exclusion is an exemption for minority religious refugees from those banned countries. Meaning: Yes, there is a ban on entry to the United States… unless you’re Christian. So, in a nutshell, this is a Muslim ban. But just for the bad ones. The ones who aren’t filling Donald Trump’s pockets with cash.
I was almost surprised to read that the countries included in his ban haven’t exported any terrorists to our shores. At least not since 9/11. But Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt—all Trump customers, all left out of Trump’s ban—were home to almost all of the 9/11 hijackers.
I realize that by writing this, I’m now a conspiracy theorist. Picking and choosing my facts to prove that our president has questionable motives. But I don’t really care about his motives. I don’t care who was left out. What I care about is that the United States has now banned Muslims. I care about what happens next.
This is what happens next:
As we’ve seen over and over, the most likely threat to the United States comes from the so-called lone wolf attackers. These are American citizens or long-time residents who feel so marginalized by what they read in the paper and hear on the news that eventually they lash out.
Over the past few years, we’ve had a steady diet of attacks by folks who are so pissed by the way Muslims are portrayed by our leaders that they choose to murder innocent people. Well, it’s no longer just hateful rhetoric by bigoted politicians. Now a religion has been singled out—by law—as the one to fear.
Starting now, we’ll see a flurry of terror attacks in the United States. These will come from individuals and small groups who have endured so much hate they can’t take any more. With each attack, the message coming from the White House will grow more and more brash. We’ll be told that Muslims can’t be trusted, that Muslims want to kill us. The attacks will continue, and the president’s rhetoric will too.
Before he’s through, before 2020, he’ll convince congress that our Muslim neighbors need to be vetted. They will be required to prove their Americanism. And the thousands who don’t pass whatever test of patriotism the Trump administration invents will be incarcerated. Just like our citizens of Japanese descent during World War II.
Now I’ve written what’s in my heart. It’s bleak, and it’s black. It might have been better not to look.