|It might not go down in history as another major change in individual rights like the American Revolution, and that of a government whose primary purpose is to protect those rights instead of itself, but there’s certainly a revolutionary change in the air. To be sure, almost nothing we do or experience in our daily discussions and lives have been left unaffected with 2017’s “Make America Great Again” campaign, that was met with a surprising 'make America accountable' backlash.
Elections Have Consequences…
Without a doubt, the election of President Donald Trump and his “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) was transformative. Along with confronting the mainstream media’s Fake News, which was given a free pass for fair and accurate reporting, over the last 12 months he’s accomplished at least 81 of his supporters goals. He and his cohorts have not only transferred large amounts of surplus military equipment to local police, but passed massive tax cuts for corporations while opening the Arctic for offshore drilling.
Ignoring climate change, they also withdrew from the Paris Agreement to cap greenhouse gas emissions, and did the same with the U.N.’s Global Compact on Migration while imposing a travel ban on Muslim nations. Evident too are stronger actions against North Korea and Iran, and sending more ground troops to Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen. Then there’s the nomination of Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice, the Federal Elections Commissions scrapping of Net Neutrality, and the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
And Consequences Demand Accountability
But there’s been another major shift, one that many would say is also led by good people bound by conscience and liberated by accountability. The #MeToo Movement, for instance, has certainly empowered victims of sexual harassment and assault. It’s also encouraged accountability, even being responsible for the defeat of a Republican Senator in a Deep South state accused of sexual misconduct. A group of J20 protesters, who were arrested for protesting Trump’s Inauguration, were moreover just found not guilty.
With Black Lives Matter, AntiFa, and the confrontations at some of America’s most cherished and accepted monument sites-including their destruction, protests and activists seems to be challenging power structures. So too did the two million people who took the streets in Women’s Marches across the world against what they think is a misogynistic and xenophobic administration. The same can be said of those resisting the Travel Ban, or those protecting the Dreamers and the People’s Climate March against a reckless policy.
For Better Or Worse, We Are the Sum Total of the Votes We Cast
In a limited democracy, and as mentioned with the #MeToo Movement, the ballot box is one of the few places to hold those in power accountable. Although a wave of electoral victories have shown an overwhelming rejection of President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” agenda, the real test will come in 2018. But even if Democrats win the House or Senate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the march towards making America accountable and transparency will continue-something then-President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dismally proved.
Either way, millions of “Make America Great Again” supporters are not going away in 2018. But neither are millions of protesters and activists who want to make America accountable and respectable. Given that many have already planned future protests to disrupt and sabotage the Trump Administration’s agenda, and that many federal judges, cities, and states are still bucking a number of the president’s executive orders, America is indeed in store for another year marked by unrelenting uncertainty and change.
Great Countries Demand High Cultures and Accountability
The deepening and critical national conversation over the important issues just mentioned will effect other individual experiences, including global ones. 2018 will not only set the stage that will witness the collapse of certain ideological constructs as 2017 did, but new ones will be confronted. With threats of a nuclear first-strike against North Korea, and the cutting of social programs to pay for wars, it’ll be difficult and immoral for the “Make America Great Again” crowd to escape the consequences of their acts.
As for protesters and activists who want to make America accountable, it remains to be seen how social media and the Internet will manufacture dissent, or empower dissent. A “permanent revolution” towards accountability will however challenge unjust laws and question inequality. Many will moreover make decisions needed to survive and progress even if it means new ways of governing themselves-always mindful that exclusion is the ultimate humiliation, confrontation and violence the ultimate revenge.
For Every Action, There’s a Equal Reaction-Accept in Politics
Newton’s Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In politics, though, reactions are not always equal. Nor will acknowledgement be the same as accountability. Consequently, 2018 may very well decide if 2017 was the year to “Make America Great Again,” or the start of making America accountable.
Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John’s Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for www.WN.com. You can read more of Dallas’ writings at www.beverlydarling.com and www.WN.com//dallasdarling.)