By Liz Greene
The morning after the election, my office was eerily quiet. The routine buzz of chitchat, occasional shrieks, and bursts of laughter were all absent — even the company chat was dead. As a company comprised of about 95% liberal millennials, we were in a collective, shocked state of mourning. As we slowly began to pull ourselves together, the common reassurance was that he couldn’t possibly do the things he promised in his campaign.
We were wrong.
The current administration’s actions are detrimental to damn near everyone — and the millennial generation, especially women, are feeling the pain to a profound degree. Despite our nation’s history of misogynistic leadership, it’s quite possible that we are now, in 2017, facing an administration that is our greatest enemy yet.
Let’s look at a few reasons why:
Because They Constantly Lie
There’s no getting around it, every political administration has deceived the public in some way or another — yes, even the ones we consider generally respectable. However, Trump’s administration seems dead set on outdoing all others (even the Nixon administration) with the startling frequency, and absurdity of their lies. In a mere month since Trump became president, some of the lies we’ve been fed include:
- Trump lied multiple times about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, stating it was much larger than it actually was. When firing back at the media for calling out the president on this, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.” — This is categorically untrue.
- A senior administration official said of the travel/immigration ban and its implementation, “It really is a massive success story in terms of implementation on every single level.” — The travel ban caused mass confusion in airports, sparked protests, and was eventually put on hold by the 9th circuit court of appeals, who said in their ruling that the US Justice Department had not offered, “any evidence” of national security concerns which had justified banning migrants, visitors and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.”
- In an interview, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s presidential counselor stated, “”I bet, there was very little coverage — I bet it’s brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized — and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. I mean, most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.” — There was no Bowling Green Massacre.
- On refugees, Trump said, “We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn’t vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and you have no papers?” — Refugees to the U.S. are rigorously vetted. The process includes multiple kinds of background and security checks and at least two interviews with U.S. representatives.
- “The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years. I used to use that— I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised, because the press doesn’t tell it like it is. It wasn’t to their advantage to say that. But the murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, from 45 to 47 years,” — In fact, the murder rate has been steadily declining.
There are many theories as to why we’re being deluged by falsehoods on a daily basis. There are those who say it’s one of the signs of a serious mental illness, others who say it’s a way for him to prove the loyalty of his subordinates, and still others who say it’s a way to gaslight the American people. Whatever the reasons, these lies prove that Trump and his administration don’t care about the American people. They are treating us as a means to achieve the their purpose and demeaning our value as human beings.
Because They’re Trying to Manipulate Us
I’m not the first to say this and I certainly won’t be the last — Trump’s administration is gaslighting the American people. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s a form of psychological abuse named after a 1938 play in which a murderer manipulates his wife into thinking she’s losing her mind by dimming the gas lights in their home and then denying it’s happening.
The way a gaslighter works is twofold:
- First, they state falsehoods with such intensity and conviction that the person taking it in is left so confused that they eventually begin to question their own memory and perception.
- When confronted with their lies, a gaslighter will:
- Deny their own statements
- Change the subject
- Lash out with insults
- Feign outrage or act indignant about the accusation
- Attack the questioner
Any of this ringing a bell?
Why is Trump’s administration gaslighting us? It’s quite brilliant, really. It’s a premeditated attempt to undermine the media and destroy their position as a check on the power of government. They’re working hard to discredit the media by sowing doubt with their baldfaced lies, denials, and insults. Once they’ve succeeded in undercutting the public’s trust in the well-established sources of information, they’ll be free to substitute their own version of reality.
Because They’re Determined to Abolish the Affordable Care Act
The Trump administration has already started the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — and have yet to give details of a replacement. Rescinding the ACA without first ensuring an active replacement would leave 18 million people without health insurance, and quite possibly lead to what would have been preventable deaths.
Considering that the contraceptive mandate in the ACA has long been an object of ire among conservatives, and the fact that the Trump administration is heavily pro-religious freedom, it’s likely that contraceptives will no longer be considered preventative care under a republican replacement for the ACA — and therefore no longer covered.
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, and women no longer have private insurance, contraception prices are sure to go up. Those who find themselves paying out of pocket for it are going to be feeling the pinch, especially low income women who don’t fall under Medicaid.
Because His Executive Orders Hurt Everyone
In the four weeks since Donald Trump took office, he’s signed so many executive orders and completely cut congress out of the loop that I’m beginning to wonder if we’re living under a fascist dictator. Millennial women are being hurt by these executive orders.
They’re hurt by the start of the repeal of the Affordable care act, they’re hurt by sanctuary cities being stripped of federal grant money, they’re hurt by the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, they’re hurt by the barred entry of immigrants and refugees from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia to the U.S., they’re hurt by the building of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
But what’s truly important is that everyone is hurt by these executive orders — even his supporters (who may fail to realize it.) I’m afraid for our country if we don’t do something soon. Though our courts are trying their best to stem anything unconstitutional from happening, the majority of our congress is in the president’s pocket, and our media is being attacked daily by his administration. If this is allowed to continue, what will become of our democracy? How many freedoms must we lose before we stand up and say, “enough is enough”?
There’s a classic idiom I’ve been reminded of lately, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Simply put, if it looks like something is wrong, something is probably wrong. Well my friends, everything looks wrong right now. It’s time for us to do something about it.
Liz Greene is a makeup enthusiast, rabid feminist, and an anxiety-ridden realist from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. You can follow her latest misadventures on her blog, Instant Lo.