Coming together to oppose the new president

On Jan. 20, Donald Trump was sworn into office, marking the official beginning to his first presidential term.

Over the past year, we stood in awe as Trump effortlessly overwhelmed the Republican Party’s most accomplished politicians.

The rise of Trump represents something different to each person. If you are an admirer of Trump, you are probably glad to finally see someone take a genuine approach against the government’s most entrenched elites.

If you aren’t a fan of Trump, then his rise probably represents something less optimistic and certainly grimmer.

Regardless of how you feel about the outcome, Donald Trump will be the one to sit in the Oval Office on behalf of the American people and he will enact the most anticipated agenda of our time.

Now that the president has been sworn in, it is important that we take a critical look at U.S. politics in order to understand what led to the rise of Trump, especially if we don’t want to see a similar movement take place in Canada.

Trump’s behaviour during the election has been unacceptable by many standards — I found it especially ironic when he swore to protect a constitution declaring all men equal despite having declared Mexicans rapists in his first campaign address.

Trump’s rise still amazes me, but I can’t say that I was surprised when I found out that he won.

If you think about it, Donald Trump didn’t introduce many new ideas throughout his campaign: everything that he discussed has been on the agenda of Tea Party republicans since before they protested Obama’s inauguration back in 2009.

While the liberal population was rejoicing the arrival of Obama, Tea Party activists were going out to local town halls and bellowing about how all their jobs were being moved to Mexico, or about how the “lazy illegal immigrants” were stealing all the work.

Tea Party activists then went out and elected likeminded conservatives to local and state positions, setting the stage for a presidential candidate who “wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is.” If you feel threatened about the rise of Donald Trump, please take comfort in the fact that the majority of Americans feel your displeasure to some degree.

Trump’s words have not only offended some of us, they have threatened some of our civil liberties. Rest assured, for every political revolution that has ever taken place, there is a counter revolution to oppose it.

As an example, look at JFK International Airport this weekend. The American people aren’t going to take Trump quietly.

Even though the Republicans control the Presidency, the House, the Senate and many state legislatures, this consolidation of conservative power only illuminates the cries of the alienated left.

Just as there were many angry Republicans who vowed to oppose Obama, the progressive and hopeful left must come together in opposition to the rise of right-winged populism.

In North America, our political parties have tended to veer towards the centre as a means of adhering to everyone’s opinion. As it turns out, this practice has effectively alienated both the far-right and the far-left to the degree that a former Secretary of State lost miserably to a man whose key phrase is “you’re fired.”

If there is a lesson to be learned from all of this, it’s that the left needs to unite and organize itself so that its populist message can one day be embodied by a likeminded populist of their own.

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