STEPHEN KING IS RIGHT AND HE'S WRONG
Stephen King, the master of the macabre, tweeted on January 25 that President Donald Trump's first few days in the White House has been "the ugliest first week of a presidency in the history of the American republic."
While I agree with the word nerd that Trump is a wanton wretch with rotten ideas (my words, not his), I don't agree with King's assessment that this past week has been the worst first week in U.S. presidential history. Hell. No.
I'm not saying it wasn't a bad week because it was - from Trump's executive memo to resurrect the Keystone XL Pipeline to his campaign to push through the Dakota Access Pipeline to more "build a wall" bullshit, this was, indeed, a deeply depressing week.
But, from this Native American's perspective, it wasn't the "the ugliest first week of a presidency in the history of the American republic."
We must remember that during President George Washington's inauguration on April 30, 1789, in New York City there were campaigns not only to subjugate Native Americans, but to literally kill Native Americans.
When Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States, white invaders of these shores were actively pursuing Native Americans and slaughtering them.
Meanwhile, these encroachers of a foreign soil were also forcibly removing Native Americans from their homes. Later, they would add them and all Native Americans (people once considered a threat to the U.S.) to a database.
TRUMP, HATE, AND THE NATURE OF FEAR
Right. The first week. Again, I agree with King, but only to an extent. In just these few savage days of Trumpian ugliness, the brazen bozo has undoubtedly changed the globe's political and natural hemispheric mega storm:
Men who’ve never pissed the bed before are now waking up in urine puddles. Wolves have abandoned their dens and packs and have gone completely vegan. Hippies are washing their feet, and the very air is a noxious gas eating at the minds of once decent people who would, not long ago, hold doors for sweet old ladies gripping groceries, but no more.
OK. It’s time to fear. But fear is healthy. I’ve experienced real fear only two times in my life. Once, at 18 in the Marine Corps, and the other when an airplane I was on nearly flipped a full 180-degrees mid zoom. Flyers shrieked and wailed. Drinks flew across the cabin and hovered in the air like zero gravity. Cheap suitcases crashed down the aisle, and even the flight attendants were white with fright, readying for the big go.
But another kind of fear has taken hold of late. Trump fear. It’s the fear of his reign in Trump Tower, that place later to be remembered as the White House.
It’s a fear of his promises and policies. But, lo, this fear is a necessary fear. The kind that keeps your heart beating and teeth in your mouth. There are, of course, jackals who’ll shout the hackneyed phrase, “I ain’t scared of shit!” And those, ladies and gents, are the idiots.
These tall tale tellers are often posturing and playing to the audience when they say such a thing. Indeed, they ARE scared. And they’re scared to admit they’re scared. And these nitwitted ninnyhammers miss the basics of fear. Fear is your shield and blade. It's your alarm system. It’s like white blood cells. Fear is nature’s way of safeguarding one from undesirables, from vicious attacks. Fear is that thing which compels you to zip around and lay a hard right to the glass jaw of the bastard who’d creep up behind you like a nervous squirrel trying to catch you off guard. Fear is necessary, and only a liar will try to convince you they fear nothing.
Trump fear is a fear to hearken, not ignore. If you understand complex campaign finance, then you'll know that an orangey corporate money-grubber has purchased the American seat of power, and that should send ice chills down your spine and pinch your ass into serious action.
Trump is a known misogynist and racist, but he’s also cunning and opulent, and now the President of the United States. And that's something to fear, folks. Fear is the positive in this combed-over negative.
Even more to fear is that this fat cat's minions seek to privatize reservations for oil and gas interests. Trump wants to defund Planned Parenthood. His cabinet is a veritable who's-who of climate change deniers and corporate shills. These are not cretins to ignore. They are goblins who have little to no experience with the word “no” and the phrase “not possible.” A lifetime of exorbitant spending and cocaine in the candy jar will do a lot to a brain, and the repercussions of that have not yet been tested by neurological researchers. Still, it doesn't mean we can't tell that there's something seriously wrong here. And there is.
I wonder if by now you’ve noticed, like I have, that the gods are fast asleep, or at least on extended vacation. The phone's off. Voicemail's full. And the evidence is everywhere, especially in D.C.
"Time to take matters in our own hands," is the song on the streets these days, and I agree, because, as I've warned before, prayer will only take you so far.
When you're drowning, when the air is escaping your lungs, when all hope is fading, it's absolutely appropriate to pray for a miracle, but you also know, instinctively, that you better damn well keep kicking and swimming. Fight for the surface. Fight against the hand holding your head down under the crashing of the waves - even small, presidential hands.
Simon Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota, is the Culture Editor at Indian Country Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @SimonMoyaSmith.