USA 2020 Elections Politics The World

The depth of Trumpism is here to stay, even under a Biden Presidency

If we’ve learned one thing during this election, it’s that Donald Trump has defied the expectations laid out by polls and political pundits in the lead up to the national vote. He’s managed to seize 48% of the popular vote and gain more votes than he did in the 2016 election, reflecting the firmly rooted support for Trumpism ideology by Republican voters in the U.S. Trump’s political doctrine and style of governance has helped coin the term Trumpism we recognize today. Proudly spearheaded by the 45th U.S. President, his populist, personality-driven agenda will continue to dominate the Republican Party. The 2020 election has shown that even under the Biden Presidency, Trumpism will outlast Trump in the coming years. 

In the immediate aftermath of the election, Trump desperately tried to control the narrative around the election – prematurely declaring victory, complaining of corruption, claiming there were “tens of millions of unsolicited ballots” and announcing an investigation into the states Joe Biden won. His frantic attempts to hang onto political office undermines the election process and the very democracy he is president of. 

The 2020 election has shown that even under the Biden Presidency, Trumpism will outlast Trump in the coming years. 

Despite Trump losing his second term in office (and his subsequent unwillingness to accept defeat), he lost by a razor-thin margin, signifying that the power of Trumpism can and will be prolonged. His core support will undoubtedly remain a huge force within the U.S. and within the ranks of the Republican party. To voters, the GOP is synonymous with Trump. For the Republican party to hold onto the support gained by Trump, they will be reluctant to break away from the Trumpism agenda. Trump’s style of politics executed during his tenure in office is what Republican voters want in their leader – enforcing strict measures on immigration, aversion to trade deals, divisive foreign policy, cuts to foreign aid, ignoring budget deficits and attack on the media. His policies, statesmanship style, and white-identity politics are heavily affiliated with the Republican party, whether the party like it or not. 

What is more startling is that despite Trump’s diabolical handling of the coronavirus pandemic; (with over 230,000 deaths and 9.7 million cases at current count); mass unemployment and blatant exploitation of presidential power for his own political gain, 48% of voters still consider him worthy of serving another term in office. Trumpism has held firm in the U.S. and is more embedded in society than we realized. 

Trump’s power to the top has also validated and given authority to white supremacist ideologies. During September’s presidential debate, Trump refused to condemn one neo-fascist group, Proud Boys. The Anti-Defamation Group describes Proud Boys as misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration with ties to most states, Britain, Norway, and Australia. Instead of condemning the group in the debate, Trump addressed them directly:  “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.” 

Trump’s extreme right-wing beliefs have seeped through his immigration policies

Trump’s right-wing convictions have shaped policy areas. His aggressive opposition towards U.S. immigration policy led Trump to sign several executive orders that would diminish the U.S’ standing as a country that proudly stood for family reunification, asylum, and safe harbor of refugees. Trump signed executive orders on banning refugees, prohibiting citizens from Muslim countries travelling to the U.S, replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) which was later rejected by Congress and reviewal of the H-1B Visa Program granted to foreign workers. Under Trump’s “zero tolerance” directive, his administration ordered a clampdown on undocumented migrants crossing into the U.S, enforcing the separation of children from their parents. The heart-wrenching images of children being taken away from their parents at the border horrified the U.S. and world. These images affirmed Trump’s extreme right-wing beliefs which have seeped through his immigration policies, allowing crying children to be separated from their parents at the border and confined in detention centers.

Abortion is another policy area where he has enacted right-wing control. Before his presidency, he declared that women should face “some form of punishment” if they have abortions. Last year Trump banned federal funds going to organizations that provide abortions or refer patients to abortion clinics, resulting in Planned Parenthood losing millions in funding.

His four years in office has enabled Trump to appoint three Supreme Court judges, with the most recent appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett hurried through a week before the election, securing a 6-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court. For decades to come, Trumpism will live on in the Supreme Court when it comes to the Court reaching judgments on politically divisive cases.

The extreme right-wing sentiment is entrenched within Trumpism. It’s out there in black and white through Trump’s policies and statements and cannot be overlooked. If the Republican party standby Trumpism ideology post-Trump era, they are allowing this sentiment to continue to thrive and evolve within the party. 

The disturbing reality is that Trumpism has triumphed, and it will affect the American life forever. 

So will Trump make a return to the presidential race in 2024? There’s a strong possibility that he will given that back in 2017, Trump filed to run for reelection on the day he was inaugurated. It’s safe to say that the Trump family will be with us for years, and Trumpism will last even longer. American citizens will continue exhibiting Trumpism, even under the Biden Presidency. Trumpism will truly divide the nation through its homes, classrooms, workplaces and social spaces. Trump’s re-election loss will trigger an outraged response by his loyal followers who firmly believe he has been robbed of the presidential office that was meant for Trump. They will obediently follow Trump and hang on to his every lie in the hope of delegitimizing Biden’s win. The disturbing reality is that Trumpism has triumphed, and it will affect the American life forever. 

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USA Food & Drinks Life

5 delicious 4th of July recipes to make you forget that America sucks right now

The United States of America celebrates its 242nd year of independence from Britain, but somehow it still feels like we’re living in the 1700’s. With the constant atrocities happening in this country from children being caged by ICE to the violence towards black lives by police and everything in between, I’m struggling to find a sense of patriotism. Here are some recipes to lift your spirits and stay aware of these current events. 

1. Buffalo Chicken Dip

A bowl of buffalo chicken dip with celery.
[Image description: A bowl of buffalo chicken dip with celery.] via Flickr
Buffalo chicken dip is a personal favorite of mine. I like to use a slow cooker so it can stew all day while I worry about other things, like the fact that it’s been 8 months since Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria and there’s still a long road of recovery ahead. Mainstream media seems to have given up coverage altogether (which was already minimal from the start) but millions of people are still affected by the natural disaster.  

Click here to learn how to make buffalo chicken dip

Click here to make a donation to aid Puerto Rico. 

2. Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwiches

A pulled pork sandwich on a white plate with juice oozing.
[Image description: A pulled pork sandwich on a white plate with juice oozing.] Via Flickr
This plant-based recipe is packed with flavor and protein. You may be familiar with jackfruit as a substitute for pulled pork, but using lentils and carrots is an innovative way to recreate the consistency of pulled pork with a ton more protein than jackfruit. Whether you eat meat or not, I don’t care. You’re still invited to my 4th of July picnic because America is an all-inclusive melting pot that welcomes all races and religions.

Just kidding! The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Trump’s “Muslim ban” which targets predominantly Muslim countries.  While the government cites “national security” as justification, Justice Sonya Sotomayor’s scathing dissent laid out the true motivation: the President’s anti-Muslim stance that he has reiterated time and time again.

Click here to learn how to make vegan pulled pork sandwiches

Click here to learn more about Trump’s Muslim ban. 

3. Spicy Watermelon with Feta

Sliced watermelon on a tray with black seeds.
[Image description: Sliced watermelon on a tray with black seeds.] Aia Flickr
This recipe is a perfect side salad to accompany your grill creations. It’s light, flavorful, and super easy to make.

Another easy thing should be the decision to allow immigrant women fleeing from gang violence and domestic violence into the U.S. However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced new restrictions for those applying for asylum.  These new rules will make it difficult or impossible for women to come to the U.S. for safety. Additionally, they could result in the deportation of abuse victims who are already here on asylum.

Click here to learn how to make spicy watermelon with feta

Click here to learn more about issues affecting immigrant women. 

4. Dr. Pepper Baked Beans

A white bowl of brown baked beans with a silver spoon.
[Image description: A white bowl of brown baked beans with a silver spoon.] Via Pixabay
Cooking baked beans to perfection from scratch typically takes 18-24 hours, but who has time for that? This recipe will give you delicious baked beans in just 40 minutes without sacrificing any flavors, thanks to the addition of Dr. Pepper.

But, I don’t really want to talk about baked beans, if I’m being honest. What we need to talk about is the violence experienced by black kids in this country far too regularly. For example, 14-year-old Brennan Walker was shot at by a retired firefighter when he missed his bus and approached the house to ask for directions.  We need to talk about how in 2016 young black men were the victims of US police killings at the highest rate. nine times more than any other Americans. We need to talk about how the police killed 1,147 people in 2017, with black people making up 25% of the victims despite being only 13% of the population.

Click here to learn how to make Dr. Pepper Baked Beans

Click here to learn about upcoming action events happening with the Black Lives Matter movement. 

5. Berry-Patch Brownie Pizza

A round brownie "pizza" covered in fruit toppings including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and mango chunks.
[Image description: A round brownie “pizza” covered in fruit toppings including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and mango chunks.] Via Shari’s Berries on Flickr
This dessert is sure to be a crowd pleaser as it offers a little something for everyone. Almond-infused brownie crust topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting and an assortment of berries makes this “pizza” that kids and adults alike will eat right up.

I usually love dessert, although personally, I don’t have much of an appetite at this point because it has been impossible to turn my attention away from the treatment of immigrant families in this country. ICE is currently detaining immigrant families and separating kids from their parents. While held at detention centers, children are facing all sorts of abuse at the hands of ICE officers, including sexual abuse. 

Click here to learn how to make berry-batch brownie pizza

Click here for a list of ways to help immigrant families.  

Here’s the thing: you are allowed to enjoy the holiday and the time off with friends and family. You absolutely can try out these recipes and launch some fireworks. You deserve to relax by the pool. We as individuals cannot be expected to hold the weight of the world on our shoulders. However, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to social justice issues in this country, and it’s important to remember that atrocities don’t go away just because we’re not paying attention to them. Oppression is a systemic issue.

Let’s be mindful, empathetic, and check our privileges as we attempt to celebrate America this 4th of July.

Policy Inequality

This unprecedented anti-immigration bill will separate families and hurt the economy

With each passing day of the Trump Administration, immigrants and aspiring green card holders are holding their breath as the fate of the U.S. immigration system continues to stand on shaky ground. With the recent introduction of an unprecedented anti-immigrant proposal on the Senate floor, immigration policy in the U.S. is looking poised to be turned upside down.

Recently Donald Trump announced his support of the RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment) Act, a conservative bill that is aiming to slash legal immigration to the U.S. in half by 2027.

We’re breaking down the unprecedented bill to explore what the act entails, how this proposed system will function, and who it will affect.

What exactly is the RAISE Act?

This proposal has been introduced to the U.S. Senate by conservative Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA). The bill would cut legal immigration to the United States in half, making the system significantly more selective by qualifying higher skill, education, and income levels.

The legislation would also cut off refugee admissions at 50,000 per year, and it would altogether eliminate the international visa lottery.

The goal of the bill is to significantly decrease the influx of legal immigrants to the United States and increase the ratio of immigrants with high income and desirable skills according to lawmakers. The Senators purport that this bill will stimulate the economy and create more job opportunities for Americans.

How will the proposed immigration system work?

Under the RAISE Act, green card applicants will be evaluated by an immigration points system. Applicants would need at least 30 points to be eligible to apply for a visa, which would take into consideration each applicant’s age, education level, English-language skills, job offer salary and investments. The system would also put an emphasis on special accolades such an Olympic Medal or Nobel Peace Prize.

TIME recently created an interactive quiz in which users could see if they would be able eligible to immigrate to the United States under RAISE Act qualifications, and surprise: It’s remarkably hard to reach the 30 point minimum.

The conservative lawmakers behind the bill seem to favor applicants from ages 26-30 who have a doctorate degree, are fluent English speakers, have a starting salary of almost $160,000, or are looking to invest about $1.8 million for a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. Those most disadvantaged are children, the elderly, non-English speakers and those with lower education or salary levels.

Who and what will it affect?

The bill, if passed, will ultimately amend the Immigration and Nationality Act, which in 1965 abolished immigration quotas based on nationality. Also called the Hart-Celler Act, the measure dramatically changed the racial makeup of the United States.The act not only made the nation not only more diverse, but it also provided the U.S. with immigrant labor that filled in the gaps of the American workforce.

The RAISE Act opts for a merit-based system, neglecting any prior immigration goals of reuniting families in the United States. Enacting this bill will make it significantly harder for Asians, Africans, Latin Americans and Middle Easterners to come to the U.S. legally, and will keep immigrant families separated.

Time and time again has immigration also proven to be good for the American economy. The U.S. economy gravely depends on immigrant labor for economic growth, especially since Baby Boomers are aging. There are also 5.7 million job openings in the U.S. today, countering conservative sentiment that jobs are few and far between, and that immigrants are “stealing” American jobs.

In fact, restricting immigration will only lead the nation to low rates of economic growth, according to Global Economist Bernard Baumohl in a Washington Post article.

If immigration doesn’t actually hurt the economy like conservative lawmakers purport, what is the RAISE Act other than a guise to enforce nativism and xenophobia? Enacting this bill could potentially reverse these demographic changes, tear families apart and potentially destroy the fabrics of American society.

Tech Now + Beyond

These digital resources are protecting and empowering undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants in the United States are facing an uncertain future amid Donald Trump’s harsh immigration policies. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has already arrested more than 41,300 undocumented immigrants in the 100 days after Trump signed executive orders to crack down on immigration enforcement.

While the fear of deportation among these communities are more salient than ever, resources made to protect and empower undocumented folks have recently flourished in the tech world.

From text message alert services and real-time maps, to social media and mobile apps, these digital resources are helping undocumented immigrants stay vigilant of ICE raids and police checkpoints, while also empowering them to live unafraid in Trump’s America.

Real-time alerts

Verifying individual reports of ICE raids can be tough to do without the proper resources, but MigraMap seeks to clear up confusion by mapping accurate and verifiable raid reports. Launched by Latino Rebels, users can anonymously report ICE immigration raids through an online form. The data is then populated onto a map so users can get a better idea of where raids are happening.

The initiative captures the official and unofficial national story of ICE raids, said Latino Rebels CEO Marlena Fitzpatrick. The platform ultimately gives everyone the opportunity to fight for undocumented people in their own communities.

In a similar mission, PaseLaVoz sends you immediate text message alerts in your area of police activity or possible checkpoints. This crowdsourcing platform gathers text reports from users and redistributes them to those who subscribe to messages within their zip codes. Users don’t need to download any mobile or desktop app to use this system—all you need is a mobile device.

Since police work in public locations, information on their whereabouts is also public, so using this network is completely legal in the U.S. Messages are also available in both Spanish and English, and registration only takes five seconds.

Mobile apps


In recent years, movers and shakers in tech have created easy-to-use mobile apps to help protect and support the immigrant and undocumented immigrant communities.

For those living without documentation, adjusting to a new country is made difficult by language barriers, lack of knowledge of one’s rights, and the fear of retribution. Arrived is an important resource for undocumented people because it is the first app of its kind to act as a convenient one-stop hub for all topics immigration.

Arrived was created to empower immigrants by providing resources on finding housing, jobs and information on the deportation process. The app also educates users on their constitutional rights and provides a map of law clinics, sanctuary cities, and a list of legislative updates on immigration policy that may affect them.

Notifica is also an indispensable mobile resource for those without documentation. The app sends out preloaded secure messages to a designated network of family, friends and legal assistance when users are detained or caught up in ICE raids. With the touch of one button, the encrypted message will be sent to every person in the user’s network (a user get up to 15 personal contacts) and will be erased once opened, similar to how Snapchat works.

With Notifica, users can be sure that their loved ones know their whereabouts so proper arrangements can be made and aid can come their way.

Social media


While social media platforms have often been used against the undocumented community, these platforms can also be significant sources of support and empowerment, and many undocumented folks aren’t letting anti-immigrant rhetoric run them off these spaces.

Although often portrayed in the media as invisible and technologically unsavvy, undocumented people have used social media most actively and strategically for immigration reform.

Social media hashtags have literally started social movements. Many in the undocumented community, particularly those who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, are using hashtags like #WithDACA (along with the Spanish hashtag #ConDACAlogre) to tell their stories and let people know they’re not going anywhere.

Digital spaces not only have the power to protect and support a community, but for many undocumented folks, it also gives them the power to live unafraid.

Politics The World

Aditi Juneja, creator of the Resistance Manual, talks patriotism, citizenship and what makes us American

Talking to Aditi Juneja is easy. She’s young, funny and she reminds me of any number of my friends in the activist space. Like so many capable organizers, she’s down to earth even though her work makes her look like superwoman.

Shortly after the election, Aditi started compiling a spreadsheet of issues and legislation that was coming out of Congress and being promised by Trump. She shared the information with Sam Sinyangwe, the co-founder of Campaign Zero and Stay Woke, who gathered a team to turn it into a wiki for the resistance. The result was the Resistance Manual. This open resource is continually being updated with new information about current policy as it moves through the government. The manual also breaks down bills into easy to understand explanations, then tracks them visually as they advance through Congress or state government.

Aditi is in her final semester of law school and is simultaneously managing the daily content needs of an army of around 200 volunteers who are responsible for the bulk of the updates to the resistance manual. “It’s a huge job” she admits, but “the strength finds us.” She has powered through the challenging first months, and she tells me it all feels a little surreal. Shortly after the manual went live, she was getting calls and emails, “Now I’m the go-to source for the anti-Trump resistance,” she laughs.

It’s not an easy time to be spearheading a progressive resistance. Her detractors on the right have bemoaned from day one that the concept of resistance to a president is definitively unpatriotic. When I ask Aditi how she feels about being labeled unpatriotic, she’ says “I’ve personally thought a lot about it; about whether resistance was democratic, whether it was the right thing to do, or whether we should be trying to work closely with and influence GOP politics and Trump. What I came down on, there has to be a line in the sand. Once your government is not subscribing to democratic ideals, once your government is holding press briefings where they exclude certain outlets and attacking other branches of government or the intelligence community, then you are in resistance mode. It becomes incumbent on the people to preserve the democratic ideals that make us a nation.”

So, I ask, what brought you over the edge from interested to wholly invested in organizing against Trumpism?  Right away she says, “It was during the nominating convention when Khzir Khan spoke. For me, it was about representation and identification because he looks like a person who could be related to me. To hear him say ‘Do you even know what the constitution says? I will gladly lend you my copy.’ That was a moment where I realized that what makes us Americans is our choice to be Americans. Period. Full stop. That’s it. You don’t have to bleed for the country; you don’t have to die for the country. If we want a just and equitable nation, we have to accept that what makes people Americans is their desire to be Americans. We make a choice. Unlike other nations, we don’t have a shared culture or religion. What we have instead is a set of values and ideals, and they were the foundation of the first functioning democracy. DeTocqueville called us the great experiment- he came here from France to see if it could work, you know? And 250 years later we are still standing as a democracy. It’s remarkable, most don’t last that long. The reason it lasted in my view is that the people who are here are not accidentally here, we all go back to someone who made a choice to take a risk, including those who were brought here as slaves and took the risk to fight for freedom and equality for all.”

So, what is patriotism in 2017 if that’s what defines us as a nation? “It’s about active and engaged citizenship,” Aditi explains, “I think that’s what it’s always been. Different moments have looked different- during World War 2 it was Rosie the Riveter and women going to work and planting victory gardens. At the same time, though, there was Japanese internment and what we get to do as a nation is learn from the failures of the past. We can look with guilt, but not shame.”

She tells me that Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” harkens back to a time that didn’t exist. It ignores the mandate that we acknowledge our mistake so we can grow and learn. “So, I think patriotism is active, engaged citizenship that ensures we do better than we’ve done before.” In the Resistance Manual, that looks like individual volunteers taking ownership of sections and being rigorous in their examination and reporting on a policy issue. She says she hopes that the manual will be able to include a full, factual story on all policy issues. That will require volunteers to continue to engage with her definition of patriotism by dedicating themselves to remaining engaged with government.

Aditi ended by giving some honest advice to people just starting in activism or organizing who might think the work is daunting. “You don’t have to know what you’re doing, ” she says matter-of-factly, “When I created the resistance manual, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know it would become this. I started making a spreadsheet of policies because I was just trying to keep track and know what the hell was going on and then I shared it with someone who helped me make it public. You don’t have to know what you’re doing every step of the way. I think that there is this notion that you have to have a plan, and you don’t. You can figure it as you go along and you’ll screw up probably, and that’s OK too. You don’t always have to know how it’s going to work out and what’s next. I am as guilty as anyone of wanting to know what comes next.”

Lastly, to young women she says, “When you do something. Take credit for your work. Have your name on it, do an interview, reach out to press. It feels weird, and it feels self-aggrandizing, but I hope our last generation of women was the last generation that had hidden figures in it.”

Edit: The original version of this article did not include Aditi’s mention of African slaves who did not choose to be Americans, but have continued to fight for the rights of all people to have the full benefits of citizenship.


It’s time to look policy right in the face, and The Tempest is doing exactly that

At the close of 2016, many of us looked back on the year with a mixture of incredulity and sadness. We felt the deep reverberations of a changing political global landscape, riding the shockwaves through events like Brexit, an attempted Turkish coup, and the American election campaign. For many, politics took a dark and sudden turn the night Donald Trump was elected.

Donald Trump’s rise to power and ultimate capture of the White House was jolting for many. The rhetoric he used to incite support was divisive, destructive, and crass — but the sad truth is that he was merely capitalizing on the sentiments of his support base. He’s all of our childhood bullies personified: the ones who picked on us for our names, sexualities, clothes, lunches, appearances. Our bullies tried to make us feel small, alien.

[bctt tweet=”The Tempest is launching a new Policy vertical to kick off the new political era.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Donald Trump’s victory is an affirmation that those bullies don’t merely exist on the playground. And as of today, he was sworn in as 45th President of the United States of America.

That’s not something we’re going to take lightly.

We’re not here to participate in internet slacktivism — we’re here to assert our political presence. Which is why The Tempest is launching a new Policy vertical to kick off the dawn of a new political era.

We’re here to help people like you decipher laws and policies in ways that are easily digestible for everyone. In times like these, the most powerful thing we can do is equip ourselves with knowledge.

However, keeping up with politics requires time, energy, and (more often than not) an advanced dictionary/thesaurus. Truth is, many of us become discouraged with the seemingly daunting and clunky language of politics. Bills can be up to hundreds of pages long and full of legal jargon that’s difficult to break down. It’s all-too-easy to disengage from the endless bills that flow through the congressional labyrinth.

[bctt tweet=”We’re not here to participate in internet slacktivism .” username=”wearethetempest”]

This section is going disrupt that flow, take out the haphazard fluff and get straight to what matters. We’ll walk you through some of the hottest bills, what they aim to do, and whether or not they’ll disproportionately affect you.

Given that this is such a crucial time for politics, it’s extremely important that we understand the policies which govern us. Practicing active citizenship is the best favor we can do for ourselves, regardless of whoever’s in office.

And we’re here to shake things up.