Traveling in the Age of DJT
Don’t worry, I’ll address your concerns before you continue reading. I know that the last few months, and especially the last few days, have been tumultuous and emotional for us all. I know that a lot of scary, scary things have been happening. And I also know you think that traveling is probably the last thing you should be worrying about when so many terrible actions have already been taken in the first six days that are going to affect so many people so immediately and so directly. Was that a run-on sentence? Hear me out.
Right now fear is being used as the basis of all the dangerous rhetoric that Donald is spewing. I’m not entirely sure what happened to Donald in his childhood that instilled such deep-seated fear in his heart (and I think that’s probably best left up to a lofty team of psychologists to speculate on), but it’s up to us to combat that fear with knowledge, love, and understanding. He’s scared of Mexico. He’s scared of China. He’s scared of the Middle East. He’s scared of women. He’s scared of scientists. He’s scared of the New York Times. For the love of Christ, he’s scared of our national parks. And he wants us to be scared too! He wants us to think that Mexico is bringing in “criminals and rapists” by the truck load. He wants us to think that every Muslim person you meet is a terrorist. And he wants us to think that China is the single biggest threat to the US/global economy.
Why though? Why? Why is he doing this and why does he want us to think these things? Because he wants us to be afraid like he’s afraid. People who are afraid are easy to control and God Damnit does Donald want control, and he wants it now.
He doesn’t want us to find out that everyone he wants us to be afraid of are just like us. Actually no. They aren’t just like us, they are us. He doesn’t want us to know that all the other countries in the world are just filled with other people, other humans who have the same needs as us and live the exact same lives as us. Sure their skin may fall somewhere else on the color spectrum, or they might put different clothes on their body, or eat different foods than us, or they might even speak a different language. Gasp! But that’s it, I promise you. They’re just humans who happened to, for whatever reason the universe decided, be born somewhere else on this beautiful planet that every single one of us call home. The parents love their kids the same way our parents love us. They make art just like us. They love science and math just like us (well, some of us). They go to work, come home, make dinner, and have a glass of wine just. Like. Us.
But how are we to know that if we don’t go see for ourselves? Don’t take DJT at his word because God knows we can’t do that. So go travel. I don’t necessarily mean quit your job, pack up your things, and go travel the world (although I highly recommend it). I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t also be educating yourself, calling your senators, attending peaceful marches, etc. But in addition to that, just go somewhere new. If you have the means to leave the country for a bit and go experience a new culture and see first-hand how other people are living, then great! Do it. Show Donald that you’re not scared, and that you’re not listening to his angry, hurtful words about other people, and that you do care about the other humans that are living on this planet with you. Even if they don’t happen to be within a 100 mile radius of you. And if you don’t have the means to leave the country, that’s okay too! Take a weekend trip to the closest city and experience the vibrance and the different cultures that co-exist there! Go to a state that you’ve never visited before that might be different from yours (aka if you’re from Maine, don’t go to New Hampshire. Maybe try Louisiana?). Volunteer in a neighborhood close by that you’ve never been to before. For fuck’s sake if you really can’t be bothered to move, get a pen pal (old school, I know) or message somebody on Facebook who lives in a different country and would want to tell you about their culture while also learning about yours. You will be surprised by what you learn about yourself, just by connecting and learning different things about other people.
I guess my point is to connect with other people. We are all the same, the only thing that separates us is geography and the fact that we happen to have different physical bodies. Even if you can’t travel right now, lucky for us we live in a time where it’s easier than ever before to connect and communicate. So if you’re looking for another way to stick it to POTUS DJT - connect with other humans around the globe. Educate yourself and love others. We truly are all the same, and the sooner we all start to wake up to that fact, the sooner this nightmare of ours will be over.