BY SHARON MARTIN
I’m not just disappointed; I’m afraid. A thin-skinned sociopath will have the nuclear codes. A climate change denier will reverse the steps we’ve taken to keep Florida from disappearing into the ocean. A billionaire will let his friends own prisons, schools, and Social Security. Twenty million people could lose their insurance. The slowing growth of healthcare will likely run away again. More people will slip from the middle class into poverty.
Our allies are afraid, too. What happens when the Balkan states are reclaimed by Russia and another Cold War begins, this one with the help of our own leaders?
I’m afraid of the hatred toward anyone who isn’t European, straight, and Christian. The attitudes of those who view women as property make me as angry as they do afraid.
But I’m not protesting the president-elect’s inauguration. Trump may not have won the popular vote, but he won the electoral vote. Until we change the laws, we have to accept them. Peaceful transition that we demanded of Trump supporters must be demanded of us.
Does that mean there is nothing we can do? Not at all. But we are a country of laws, and the laws must apply equally to everyone. They don’t, and they haven’t.
Every time a black defendant gets a longer sentence for the same crime as a white defendant, we need to take to the streets and demand equity. Every time a drunk driver gets a lighter sentence than someone who is caught with a bag of weed in his pocket, we need to take to the streets and demand that sentences reflect the crime. The passage of SQs 780 and 781 are a good start.
We do have to hold elected officials accountable. But when only half of eligible voters vote, and only half of those half the time, our so-called representatives can get away with just about anything. A government of the people requires the people to act.
We have to reverse Citizens United. It isn’t a government of the people if billionaires can buy elections.
We have to consider where we get our information. When the corporate-owned media controls the message, and opinions on social media are taken as fact, the system is indeed rigged.
I still respect the office of the president, even if a theocratic vice president will likely be the de facto head of state. I do not want obstruction. I do not want disrespect. I want a conversation and real compromise.
Let the inauguration go peacefully. Then, every time our elected officials take the scissors to our constitutional rights, that is when we take to the streets.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer