It might be easy for progressives here in the Oklahoma outback to believe a Trump presidency doesn’t matter much locally because the state is already dominated by GOP ideology and has its own set of contemporary Okie weirdness, from all the fracking-induced earthquakes to over-the-top bigoted politicians to U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s denial of global warming.
How to pay for Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar agenda? Congressional Republicans aren’t saying. https://t.co/76zuf3q2NI
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 21, 2016
But it can and will get worse for progressives here, and the answer, as blunt as this might sound, is to move, and I mean like MOVE like right now.
Here are three ways the Trump presidency will make Oklahoma a living hell for progressives:
(1) Oklahoma, as we all know, is heavily reliant on the federal government for disaster relief and other funding. With federal budget cuts looming under Trump and an empowered Republican Congress, and Trump’s promise for now of giveaways for billionaires to make major infrastructure improvements, Oklahoma might just end up “weathering” the next major tornado catastrophe or ice storm on its own. Meanwhile, other federal funding could be cut dramatically as well. The state already faces a major budget shortfall for next fiscal year. What will all this mean in terms of funding for state education and health programs? Probably, it means huge cuts. Don’t expect local GOP politicians to complain about this, though, because most stand to gain personally from a Trump presidency in terms of stature and employment opportunities in his administration.
(2) This state has a horrific racist past from the Tulsa Race Riots in the 1921 to conservative politicians who blame all Muslims for the terrorist acts of just a few to what’s been going on at the University of Oklahoma campus lately. Trump is the darling of the alt-right and white supremacy groups and has clearly identified himself as sexist who objectifies and demeans women. Expect the racists, bigots and sexists here in Oklahoma to be emboldened under a Trump presidency. Guess what. There’s not much progressives can do about it but get on Facebook and whine, but you might as well post a picture of your cat or what you’re eating for lunch because it won’t stop the hate and anger here.
(3) Oklahoma is filled with closed-minded and often empowers religious zealots, such as former legislator Sally Kern, and it makes Oklahoma a terribly suffocating place to live and work for open-minded people. This might sound a tad too existential, I know, but I believe it’s worth noting: The right-wing suffocation factor will multiply by a huge number approaching warp speed dimensions at your work, at the store and, really, just walking down the street in Bricktown or anywhere else. The message you’ve already heard about never speaking up for progressives values because it may mean you will lose your job or get punched in the face will increase to such a huge proportion you might have to seek help for panic attacks.
Of course, the plus side of all this is that there’s never been a better time to leave this place. Get out while the getting is good, and that’s before Trump actually takes office.