Monday, May 1, 2017

How Trump made me a better person

My old sign.
Worse than not knowing what to post on the blog on Sunday, was not posting anything. 
It happened or didn't happen because I had so many topics, I didn't know which one to develop. On my Word doc where I leave posts in progress until they are finished, I have six – SIX – half-written posts. 
I opened the news yesterday to read about Trump's rally in Pennsylvania over the weekend. "Orgiastic" is the way Frank Bruni of the Times describes any gathering of Trump and his supporters and this one was no different. He swayed and bellowed and bathed in the glow of glory days.
There was President Trump and his followers, trashing the "elites" who, Trump has convinced his fans, are any people who shine a truth light on him. There was President Trump railing against the "liars," who report what they see in that light. 
It reminded me of bully-cops I've known who leave their small town, only to be seen and treated for who they are in bigger towns of bigger people, and can't wait to come home and tell smaller people how much better smaller is for everyone, because of how it's served him. 
That was the subject of my post of choice, but it was too big. 
I decided to no-show instead of half-post.
But that was yesterday. 
Back when Donald Trump was running for President, as much as his bawdy appearances on the trail offended me, I never feared he'd be elected. His lack of experience and demonstrated lapses in character and humanity, I was sure, would be answered with a loss. I did my part. I posted things about him on Facebook and didn't vote for him.  
I should have done more. 
But I didn't.  
"But" is an important word. 
I decided to give him a chance, but however appealing his reforms are to the population that overlooks "the rest," his flaws fight with my core values and I wind up just feeling depressed when I listen to him.
He is unkind.
He is cruel.
He is hedonistic.
He is narcissistic.
He is immature. 
He may have sober-thinking, cool-headed people to plant him in front of cartoons where he can't be too destructive, but in the ways I can't abide, he is a flawed human being. 
Supporters, or even non-Trump supporters but optimistic non-Hillary people, are tempted to believe that "well, yes" he is all of those bad things, but... 
He isn't Hillary
He is standing up to North Korea
He punched Syria in the face after Ivanka showed him pictures of what was going on over there. reform
He...immigration care 
Trump is dishonest. If we wished once to give him a chance, how is that possible when you feel you either have to fact-check everything he says, or stick your fingers in your ears and sing to deal with the toads that leave that man's mouth.  
Here is the rest of the post.
I've considered that I'm predisposed at this point to reject anything that Trump says or does. But he could be Mister Rogers and he still would have carried out an act that I've come to see in my burgeoning political view as a "last straw." 
Nobody was surprised, but on April 13, Donald Trump closed the door and signed legislation, allowing states to refuse Medicaid reimbursement to Planned Parenthood or any organization which provides abortion services, regardless of whether they provide other essential health care, and regardless of the fact that abortion is never funded by Medicaid anyway unless in cases of rape or incest or threat to a mother's life. 
Planned Parenthood  serves millions of women, men and children, mostly the poor, who will have no other access to health care in states where Planned Parenthood can't survive.   
Here are the services they will lose:

  • STI/STD Testing & Treatment for women and men
  • Contraception 
  • Female and male  sterilization procedures
  • Cancer Screening and Prevention Pap Tests
  • HPV Vaccinations
  • Breast Exams/ Breast Care
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Prenatal Services
  • Adoption Referrals to Other Agencies
They can just go to another state, right?
They can just go to the community health centers that will continue to be funded, right?
They can just go to a private doctor, right?
Private donors will make up the lost funding, right? 
No, 2.5 million women, men and children won't be absorbed into existing, already over-burdened community centers. And no, private donors will not make up the 40% of Planned Parenthood's budget that comes from state and federal funding. And no, poor women in rural areas where Planned Parenthood is the only provider of family health care will not find the funding and transportation to just go elsewhere, and many private OB/Gyn clinics don't accept Medicaid. 
What will happen is that the number of unwanted pregnancies and children will rise.What will happen is that the tax burden to fund Medicare will grow heavy with maternal, prenatal and pediatric services, not to mention the way poverty alone will further warp these lives with crime, drugs, violence. 
I've never been an activist, in a march-joining, megaphone-seizing, in-your-face way, not even at a dinner party after wine. It's been enough to exercise my right to vote, maybe pen a letter, place a call to my congressperson. 
It's not enough, anymore. 
Sooner or later, you have to write the post. You have to get your supporting data, and crystallize your ideas, and figure out what you need to say, even if you don't know how. 
I've never been that political. 
But President Trump has convinced me to change that.
I don't know how or what I will do to raise my voice.
I know I am a pro-choice woman with sons and daughters and grandchildren in my future. 
I know that at this moment, federal funding for Planned Parenthood will remain in place through September and that beyond that, families trying hard to prevent the worst things from happening to their lives will face new obstacles and risks.
I know if I don't loan my talents, spend my time, research and educate myself and others about what this could mean to them, and to us all, and how I can make some difference, I will be guilty of this: 
I should have. 
I didn't. 
And that's as no-show as it gets.


  1. Well said.
    Thanks for writing this piece.

    1. Thank you, Julie. It's just so important.

  2. You're right, the ramifications of not funding Planned Parenthood are huge, they are everything you detailed.

    As for your regret about not acting sooner, I want to share some wisdom I read somewhere: When a bird gets tired as it flies in those bird formations, the bird "steps back" and another bird takes its place.

    Your post, your future actions, allow another to take a breather. So thank you

  3. I was relieved to see Planned Parenthood was taken off the table, for now. But, I think there are enough republicans who realize he's insane as there are democrats, so I doubt much of what he says he wants will come to pass. He is certifiably insane and even his party is beginning to 'get' that.
    My husband and I participated in the Women's March right after the inauguration and it felt so good! I hadn't done anything like that before, even tho I'm of the hippy generation. We have the phone #'s for our representatives and contact them often. I think that helps keep them on their toes.
    And, I still pray for his impeachment, along with Pence's!

  4. Once you decide to raise your voice, I'm discovering, there are a lot of ways to make a difference. Good for you and your husband! It starts with caring.

  5. *sigh* I'm sympathetic, thinking back on my lackluster efforts on behalf of ole Bernie Sanders. What a situation. And time is passing sooo slowly. I read an interview where Margaret Atwood talks about "forced childbirth." That terminology really shook me. But it is accurate. And very sad.

    1. I have to take deep breaths after I read many of her comments, particularly around these discussions of Handmaid's Tale. Jesum Crow, as they say in my neck of the woods. Jesum Crow. Unforgettable.

  6. Susan, I appreciate your post. I, too, kicked myself for not knocking on one more door (or any doors to be honest), not joining a phone bank, not ........ possibly making more of a difference. I am glad to stand side by side with you in making a difference in our current environment. Planned Parenthood serves SO many, not just the "young women" we commonly think of - they provide STD testing to middle aged and elderly Americans that those people could not get elsewhere (you know, the awesome midlife people like us!). This is a post I had written about it.

    1. I just went over to visit your post. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your presentation of the impact of PP in your earlier life, and THANK YOU for shining a light on the needs of later-in-life men and women.

      What I respect most, Paula, is that you’ve presented the need and laid out the way for almost everyone to become involved in a way that agrees with their natural style of standing up and making a difference.

      Great job, really.Thank you for coming here, and leaving that link.