Thursday, January 19, 2017

Encouraging Signs

Just as we see reports that the Trump agenda is going to be as awful as one can imagine, gutting all kinds of government agencies and fulfilling the wishes of the far right dreams, I can't help but be impressed with the signs of resistance.  I have never seen my friends and family more politically mobilized with so many going to DC for the big protest or showing up elsewhere.

People get it--the stakes are high.  The very future of pretty much everything is up for grabs.  That is alarming and awful. But resist we can and we must.  Non-violently, of course, because it is both right and more effective.  Politicians, even Republicans, do respond when pressured.  We have seen some signs of it already, as mobilization around defending Obamacare has some GOP members ducking out of meetings and Trump making promises that directly contradict Paul Ryan. 

The Democratic Senators are sharpening their teeth on the most poorly qualified cabinet appointees in history.  I don't know if they can block any of these appointments, but there is a big difference between Trump and the GOP in the Senate--some of those in the latter do have some shame left and they may even have the national interest in mind from time to time.  Tillerson will be a key test--do the Republicans fear Trump or do they care about the United States?  I have no faith in Rubio to stick to a position.

Anyhow, the point is that we, the majority of Americans who did not vote for Trump, need to resist passionately, consistently, strategically, persuasively and with great perseverance.  It is easy to say from my perch above the Wall (maybe not a joke in the near future), but I am trying to figure out what I can do.

Some ideas?
  1. I am no longer going to blamecast about the election anymore.  That is over--time to move on and fight alongside the Sanders folks and the neverTrump Republicans.  We can find common cause on some issues, if not on everything.  
  2. I will, of course, donate money to groups that fight Trump, especially those that fight for voting rights as we need to preserve the future.
  3. I will use whatever outlet I can to keep talking about the dangers of Trump and his team of arsonists (the theme of this administration is burning down the US govt and the international order).  Talk is cheap, but we need to keep explaining and shining a light, as it may help to mobilize people here and there.  And I will share here any ideas I get about what folks can do.
  4. I will try to be less mad and more kind.  We need to foster a wider community of support, to build bridges among people and support those who are at risk.  This new government is going to try to divide us, using hate and fear.  We cannot fight that with more hate and fear. They aim to tear down civil society.  We need to build it up, to create a sense of us that is broad, inclusive and powerful.  The "we go high, they go low" thing sounds naive, but, first, I am not going to argue with Michelle Obama, and second, it is basic Moneyball--we need to focus on our comparative advantages, and mobilizing hate ain't one of them.
What else can I do?  What else should we do?  Let me know as we need ideas as much as we need patience, passion, and all the rest. 

To all those about to march,  I hope your feet hold up, that the weather is good, that you develop new friends, that you do not face violence from counter-protestors or the police, and that you realize that you are already making a difference.

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