From now until at least the midterm elections in November, we’ll be featuring essays from powerful cultural voices alongside one simple thing, chosen by the author, that you can do to take action against the paralyzing apoplexy of the daily news. Maybe it’ll be an organization that deserves your donation; maybe it’ll be an issue that deserves greater awareness. Whatever it is, our aim is to remind you, and ourselves, of the big and small things we can do to work toward justice and change.
War Is a Human Invention
by Ocean Vuong
Geopolitical war is a human invention. But the mantle of a democracy allows for a collective interrogating of our long and rich lineage of violence, and allows us to bring forth a more rational, complex-thinking body politic that mirrors the myriad views of its people. That, of course, is the ideal — but rarely the reality. And in the case of this current president, the devastating legacy of war, not only in this country but throughout our species’ timeline, is dangerously ignored or, at worst, forgotten completely. With increasing tensions and threat of nuclear war, Trump’s administration wields a dangerous amnesia towards history’s insurmountable evidence of war’s human-canceling effects. And with that, it places the safety of our citizens, allies, and the planet at large in jeopardy. The tactless, empty acts of machismo and bravado displayed by the president join a long tradition of patriarchal violence that divides and cripples the moral integrity of this country. Donald Trump’s actions as president present a constant and exponential danger to our species, and as a citizen, as a son and grandson of both veterans and refugees, I believe that this needs to change. To help enact this change, I commit to vote in 2018, and further to support candidates, leaders, people and organizations who aim to be a part of positive change and lasting peace.
Take action today:
Join over 5 million Americans who have signed a petition to impeach Trump.
Ocean Vuong is a poet and essayist. His first novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, will be published in 2019.