Boycott Trump's America

When you first enter the Rodin Museum in the center of Paris, "The Thinker" is nowhere in sight. First you come to naïve adolescent paintings, then to the monumental models of destruction: Count Egolino eating his dying children. The warrior being strangled by serpents. The doors to the Gates of Hell. I went there on a weekend morning where everything outdoors was blinded in murky fog, not yet a week after Mr. Trump's enthusiasts had won their serpentine bid to strangle the best dreams of America and to devour any hope for her children.

Only upon leaving the newly renovated building and passing into the damp gardens did The Thinker become visible sitting well above the trimmed and water-beaded evergreens.

What better scenes to witness and reflect upon in this week following perhaps the greatest betrayal in the history of the American Republic, when millions of war torn immigrants desperate for a home face expulsion to . . . ? When half the population, women, are dismissed as nothing more than pussy grips and told, effectively, to get back in the kitchen? When one of the richest media tycoons whose Breitbart News organization embraces and gives voice to a reinvigorated White Supremacist and anti-Semitic hate movement not seen so clearly in half a century. When school children not only in the deep south but across the mid-west spit and torment their Muslim, Latino and Asian classmates, telling them to get out of White America. When even the FBI documents a sharp increase in hate crimes and speech against all American minorities?

Walking through the fog and reflecting upon Rodin's magnificent sculptural reflections on human hope and bestiality, the tendency toward depression is intense, as finally we come to his most famous piece, the bronze Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante Aligheri's "Inferno" in The Divine Comedy. America's preachers and politicians have never been far from the gates of health, whether they were hanging proto-feminist "witches" in colonial New England or lynching black people in Alabama. Naively, many of us had come to believe that all that was well behind us.

We were wrong.

By most measures, as the New York Times reports, at least 40 percent, perhaps half of America has chosen hate for those whom it blames for having unraveled their security and their dreams of prosperity. That they will surely find themselves suffering even worse from the impending hard right regime of D. Trump and his racist underlings makes little difference today, this week, this month, next year to those who find themselves at the gates of a new American hell.

As France toys with a neo-fascist lite, as the Hungarian regime shuts down its opposition press, as Poland slinks along right behind Hungary, the new American sentiment finds itself in ever greater company. To do nothing but sigh and complain and wait is not enough. America, because of its nuclear and economic power, has become a far greater threat than any of these other proto-facho movements and states that are joyously celebrating TrumpAmerica.

We must say No. No to visiting TrumpAmerica. No, where and whenever possible, to purchasing American products and services, be they automobiles, airlines or global booksellers.

No to collaborating with TrumpAmerica in any of its global economic and military adventures.

Saying no to the most powerful economic cauldron the world has even known will not be easy and for many reasons cannot be complete. [ ] No airplanes, including Aeroflot's, become airborne without some parts fabricated in the United States. And it is too much to expect the rest of the world to trash their MacBooks tomorrow. But lesser boycotts are not without their impact.

The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated $1.6 trillion in 2015 and employed 8.1 million people. One of every 18 Americans works directly or indirectly by contract in tourism, accounting for just under a third of all U.S. Service exports. A global boycott of American tourism alone will have a monumental symbolic and material impact that cannot be ignored. Will some of those who adamantly oppose the white supremacist doctrines and threats suffer. Yes. In places like New York City and California, key tourism destinations, there will be suffering, but nothing like the suffering of those who face the lash aimed at Trumpism's targets.

No collective action is ever neat or polite, There will always be collateral suffering--just as there was from the boycotts of apartheid South Africa. But that suffering is nothing compared to the Dante-esque Hell of the Trump-led inferno that the entire world faces.

Act. Avoid the United States of America wherever possible. If you must fly there, avoid American carriers. Think. Avoid the futures that Dante and Rodin showed us.
--Count Ugo devouring his children

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