(Adapted with permission from the author from Facebook posting 12/30/16)
For some reason getting very specific about the possible consequences of this administration is helping me sort out hysteria from useful and measured foresight. To that end, here are the things (the least partisan and value-laden things) I most fear from Trump and Co.
- Nuclear or environmental catastrophe.
- Licensing and modeling of community anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic hate crimes; police violence; harassment (especially of Jews, women, and POC–with swastikas, rape and noose imagery); and all forms of brownshirtism, up to and including murderous or even exterminationist violence, ethnic cleansing.
- Muslim registry, deportation, climate of suspicion and the concomitant destruction of families and communities.
- Voter suppression. Further gerrymandering.
- Housing discrimination and Fair Housing repeal.
- Outright war, possibly with nukes, in Israel and the rest of the Middle East.
- Secession from the global economy and international citizenship that undoes the signature phenomenon of civilization–trade, commerce and cultural exchange superseding tribalism and war.
- Fracked, undermined and devastated American soil and substrate, water supply.
- Destroyed and shuttered public schools in favor of for-profit charter schools that reject literacy, the humanities and the sciences in favor of hollow success creeds and superstitious nonsense.
- Media stymied, turned to propaganda, and shut down. Journalists, activists and artists threatened, hazed, trolled, doxed, stalked and assaulted.
- Internet collapse, turned over to black hats, trolls, hackers.
- Economic disaster and chaos in capital markets caused by anti-globalist policies, destabilization of the Internet, walking back of post-2008 safeguards against bank fraud and overreaching, China-baiting, scattershot protectionism, panicky Fed.
- Medicare and health care laid to waste.
- Family health and stability crisis caused by forced pregnancies and withheld abortions.
- Alienation from our allies.
- Aggravation of the refugee crisis so extreme as to be among the nation’s war crimes.
- A bought and blackmailed White House that’s a tool of Russia, with Putin ends that we cannot know.
- The daily humiliation, danger and chaos of living in a collapsed democracy, now kleptocracy.
- Rudimentary, subliterate and violent communication and relentless propaganda and anti-intellectualism causing so much damage to our brains and language that we can’t reconstitute liberal democracy later or ever.
- Tax breaks and hand-outs to corporations and the rich that widen income inequality so much that America becomes a sitting duck for demagoguery, despotism, fascism.
- Hostility to women’s economic empowerment, safety and well-being that will further hobble the economy and bankrupt families, and open the door for the kind of misogyny seen in Iran and elsewhere that disenfranchises, impairs and sidelines half the population and brings nations to a halt.
- Renewed discrimination against gay people (under banner of religious piety) that will destroy lives and livelihoods, and turn violent.
- Increased incarceration of people of color caused by misplaced, hysterical and racist fear of crime.
- The running down of U.S. sanctuary cities by denying them the federal funds due them from the vast taxes paid by those municipal residents. As a result, more dangerous and divided cities, the dismantling of Democratic strongholds.
- Pervasive surveillance and thus widespread paranoia and mental illness.
- The arts stifled as remaining federal grants are terminated.
- So many curbs on the lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness of the majority of Americans as to make well-being almost impossible, and existence almost intolerable.
Bio: “In her new book Magic and Loss, Virginia Heffernan treats the Internet not merely as a new technology or business tool, but as a great masterpiece of civilization—a massive and collective work of art that radically revitalizes the way we see digital life. PBS calls Heffernan a ‘luminary’ and ‘among the founding mothers of the digital revolution.'” (from the Lavin Agency)