Trumpism seriously scares me. Not so much Trump himself as Trumpists. When I walked around my neighborhood yesterday, I saw three houses with Trump signs and wondered what kind of people live there. One of them had another sign saying a “badass guard dog” is in the house; maybe that gives a clue.
I’m not very happy with the state of American politics in general, but this is much worse than normal. Trump’s New Hampshire co-chair, Al Baldasaro, has said, “What he’s saying is no different than the situation during World War II, when we put the Japanese in camps.” He said this with approval. I’d say that rounding up American citizens of foreign ancestry (the “Japanese” whom Baldasaro refers to) or the “wrong” religion and putting them in internment camps would be yet another step downward, but it’s a step which Baldasaro and many other Trumpists wouldn’t hesitate at.
I generally don’t vote in national elections. People have sunk so far into mutual looting that all I could do is legitimize the game, whoever wins. But the stakes are worse here. I’ll have to vote, just to vote for Not Trump. Probably I’ll write in Gary Johnson. Certainly not Rand Paul, who’s competing with Trump for the anti-immigrant vote and said he’ll support Trump if he’s nominated.
But opposing evil is secondary to supporting the good. Without something positive to support, you just become bitter. I’ve come across a charity called NuDay Syria, which is based in New Hampshire and helps out displaced Syrians. What I’ve seen about them so far is good, and I’m considering contributing to them. I want to look carefully first; if they’re doing it wrong, ISIS could get its hands on their aid, but contributing may be a way to do something positive against the tide of xenophobia. I’ve emailed them asking how they address this concern, and hopefully I’ll have something to add here soon.
Update, Dec. 16: I received the following reply from NuDay Syria this morning:
Thank you so much for reaching out and excuse the delay in responding. NuDay Syria is very determined and focused on helping those in need in particular mothers and children inside Syria and the concern that Assad militia or ISIS extremists get ahold of aid is real and very high. NuDay Syria does not work in areas with ISIS nor in areas under the control of the regime. We do help all civilians regardless of their religion and political affiliation, but stay far away from any grey areas or areas where there is a possibility of on ground attacks for the purpose of stealing and looting.
Looking at our work, both at what we do here and inside Syria and in Turkey, then you will find dedicated, sincere people who work around the clock to help those most in need and most vulnerable and who are willing to risk their lives doing so.
We hope you will support us in our efforts.