Hold on to the rope...

I have a new philosophy in my teaching job...don't check social media during the day. Don't get me wrong...I haven't been a rabid social media checker in the past, occasionally checking Facebook and my email but this week, I have decided that I am not going to check because I am frustrated and angry every time.

We have had a new president for four and one-half days, five if you want to count inauguration day as an entire day. It was reported that he took the weekend off (after declaring that inauguration day was National Day of Patriotic Devotion...sigh) so truly he has been in office for only three days.

So much has happened in just three days, so much damage. Sadly, there are some who have declared that he has done exactly what he claimed to do and is putting America and American workers first. I just don't even know where to start because sometimes thinking how far we have walked backwards in the last few days is a bit frightening.

I used to feel that we were a part of a Global Community where we looked to do good in the world. Now I feel that we are pulling away to become the most selfish and childish one on the block...the United States has a bit of a "me" complex. We are now reviewing all treaties (you know...play nice with others) and have said that we will reject most refugees, especially those of the Muslim faith.

Our new administration has also vowed that Sanctuary cities, which Portland is, will also be blocked from Federal money. This means that we are just expected to turn over our friends and neighbors, make school children feel unsafe because they are now concerned that they or their families may be deported. I understand that there is a pressing concern regarding immigrations, but, since we are a nation of immigrants, maybe we could figure out a more humane way to not only allow people to get green cards, but also be a legal, contributing part of society.

Our new president has said that he may let DACA expire, meaning that hundreds of thousands of dreamers, children born elsewhere but brought to the US as children, could risk being deported. They are registered with the government and pay hundreds of dollars to renew their participation and acceptance into this program. Letting this expire essentially tells these young people that their sacrifice and willingness to follow the law has led them straight into Immigrations hands, a little bit like bait and switch with a little dashing of dreams.

Finally, it seems that our new president believes that reinstating torture is a way to go. We have long ago signed an agreement to humanely treat prisoner's of war. I am not naive to believe that mistreatment occurs but times where we put prisoners on leashes and practice waterboarding had passed and we were employing better methods like building relationships. The new order that puts torture on the table is horrifying. What does that say about us as a country? We can only get information through bullying and cruelty. I am not sure how I feel about being a part of this "new America."

I have not agreed with many things that have happened in the country over the last twelve years or so, but have tried my best to be not only, open-minded, but hopeful. I wanted to believe that this president would surprise me, that my cynicism would prove to be unfounded and I would apologize and eat crow to the friends I have who are convinced that he knows what he is doing.

Sadly, that is not what is happening. Each morning after driving to work, I do a quick check to see what is happening, then unplug from Facebook and other sites for the day. I don't check until I am seated and home, possibly with a beverage in hand. Then I look, and cringe, and feel ill...the last two days I have just wanted to cry.

We are only on Day 5...we still have a new (and incredibly unqualified) Secretary of Education to potentially confirm, plus a plethora of other appointments with equally rich and unqualified players to put in office. Each day, it is like we are digging further and further into the ground...hoping that we can still get out.

We need to keep holding onto the rope. Someone who will pull is bound to be on the other side...not sure who, but I am holding out hope that they are there...or coming to save us soon...


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