“In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and nothing was true… The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.” – Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951
So Donald Trump is the now the 45th president of the United States; a man who couldn’t be more different on almost every level from the 44th president. There’s enough written about the new president and the potential dangers of his fascist leaning, misogynistic, racist and isolationist views that there’s nothing new I could add here.
Tens of millions of women and men have marched, since the inauguration, and protests roil online and off about cabinet appointments and early administrative actions. And there are also plenty of people who are pleased about our new president.
Either school of thought, however, as well as those in between require vigilance – a willingness to stay informed, to understand the facts of the matters that govern our lives, and to take some meaningful action when governance strays from upholding the Constitution to authoritarianism, discrimination, or otherwise abusing the rights of the governed – the citizens by whom the president is employed.