Benjamin Esham

What I believe

Sarah Kenzidor recently said, “Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them. Write a list of things you would never believe. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will either believe them or be forced to say you believe them.” Well, we’re almost over the line, so now is as good a time as any.

I reject Donald Trump as President of the United States. (Later today he will be the President — I don’t dispute that — but his sneering disregard for the formal and informal rules of the office make him unfit for it.)

I reject authoritarianism and fascism.

I reject Trump’s contempt for the free press.

I reject the supremacy of cis, straight white men, even though I am all of those.

I reject the notion that anyone is not a “real American” because they are well-educated or well-off or liberal or live in a city.

I reject lying, whether shameless or subtle. I reject gaslighting. I reject the idea that truth is a meaningless concept. I reject anti-intellectualism. I reject climate-change denialism.

I reject the Electoral College. I reject our “first past the post” voting system. I reject the two-party system that they enforce. I reject the voter suppression that may have helped Trump to win. I reject the idea that Republican Party unity is more important than the health of the country.

I reject intolerance. I reject the idea that intolerance is an opinion as valid as any other.

I reject the assumption that a free society has capitalism as its core. I reject the notion that unfettered capitalism is even compatible with free society. I reject letting “the market” determine people’s health-care options, or their fates.

I reject racism. I reject bigotry. I reject sexual assault.

I refuse to accept that humanity is no better than this. I know that — eventually — we will do better.