Mom, Wife, Doctor, Activist

If you had asked me a year ago if I ever thought I would be active in political discussions, working to effect policy, protesting, and organizing I would have said “Absolutely not!” I don’t like to call attention to myself. I prefer to work behind the scenes and effect change one person at a time. I would rather hide behind my stethoscope and my pen and paper than put myself out there at risk of having to speak for a cause and take on the establishment. But the election of Donald Trump, with his ensuing systematic attempts to dismantle the rights and protections of others as well as to defund organizations that have contributed to the enrichment of our culture, the betterment of our society, and that have worked to advance our understanding of and our respect for the world around us, has turned me into what I am today. In addition to my roles as Mom, Wife, and Doctor, I now also don the hat of Activist. I no longer feel that I can rely on others to ensure protection of my liberties, of our liberties. Look what happened when we assumed that the American voter would make reasonable decisions about who to elect as President of the United States. All Hell broke loose.

And I am not alone. In fact, the Trump presidency has created the greatest generation of activists that this country has seen in a long time. Never before have we seen so many people organized around a cause. Perhaps this will be his only positive lasting legacy. The large majority of Americans, whether they would admit to it in public or not, are nervous about what is happening in our Government right now. Trump is taking aim at some of the very institutions that have made this nation great. He is doing the opposite of what his campaign slogan promised. He is making America dangerous, intolerant, hateful, and the laughing stock of the international community. He is setting back the advances we have seen in race relations, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, health care, international relations, environmental protections, and the list goes on. He forgets that we are the United States of America. Every time he removes freedoms from one of us, it threatens the safety of all. Every time he takes aim at social programs for one group, it weakens the societal safety net of all Americans. And I, we, cannot stand by and let him unravel this beautiful patchwork quilt of diversity and liberty that is our great nation.

It is as if he is trying to cross off a check list, one item at a time; trying to undo every measure or bill put in place by the Obama administration, just to say he lived up to a campaign promise. Never mind the fact that he and his sycophantic cabinet offer no realistic or reasonable alternatives or replacements. And the American people are becoming wise to his game. He is a figurehead only, and a very poor one at that. And for all the obstructionist tactics the Republican Party has used over the last eight years of Obama’s presidency and for all the talk of bridging the party divide, he is making no efforts to bring Democrats and Republicans together to develop solutions. Instead, he is ramming presidential order after presidential order down our throats like he’s in some race to the finish line. Perhaps he sees that his tenure in the White House is coming to an end and this is a frantic dash to do something, anything that he promised on the campaign trail. Otherwise, his presidency would be an unmitigated failure and he himself would be a national embarrassment. Well, Mr. President. It is too late for that.

The March for Science is coming up on April 22. In contrast to the dozens of people that showed up to the Anti-vaccine movement’s March for Truth yesterday in Washington, DC, the nation is again going to witness the huge outpouring of support that the world has for its fellow citizens, its planet, and for reason and fact. The March for Science will bring tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people from around the world to speak out against Trump’s anti-health, anti-environment, and anti-intellectual agenda.

Without the Environmental Protection Agency, we would have many more deaths due to poor air quality, many more children poisoned by lead in their drinking water, many more species on the verge of extinction, many more instances of severe and damaging weather. Without Planned Parenthood, we would have even higher numbers of pregnancy terminations (since more accidental pregnancies would occur without access to birth control), greater numbers of sexually transmitted infections, and higher rates of cervical and penile cancers. With the doubt and fear mongering that Trump plans to disseminate in questioning the efficacy and safety of vaccinations, he would set public health advances back to the 1700s when we saw millions of people die from vaccine-preventable illness. Does he even know how many organizations (both government funded and private) are already devoted to monitoring the safety of vaccines? I count at least eight and there are undoubtedly more. Yet he would have us believe that 220 years of vaccine science is false, inadequate and needs to be redone. And who’s going to pay for that?

If we love this country and we want to preserve the rights and dignities of all Americans, we must stand up and let our voices be heard. If we stand for truth and justice and equal opportunity for all, we must stand against Trump and his administration. His policies may not directly affect you or your loved ones now but, if we allow tyranny and prejudice to stand, who’s to say what group he will target next. His words and actions are not Christian (nor are they consistent with the messages of love and tolerance that are central to the teachings of all of the major religions), they are not American, they are not even Human. Most of us are born with an innate instinct to show care and compassion for our fellow humans. This moral compass seems to be lacking in president Trump.

So, I hope that you will join me at the upcoming March for Science rally on April 22. Let your activist flag fly.  Speak up for that which you believe. Help bring this reign of absurdity to an end.

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