The long haul
After the election, I calmed myself with thoughts like this (maybe you did too):
Once he’s in office, he’ll realize that you can’t run the country like a reality TV show. The loutish, aggressive, provocative behavior will modify.
Or, this thought: As we know, he’s a liar and a fabricator. So, it is entirely possible that he lied about what he intended to do as president in order to curry favor with a certain segment of the population. Once elected, he will not follow through. He never intended to.
Or, this thought: Moderate Republicans (of which there are still a number out there) will put on the brakes. They will not allow this president to ruin their party or the country.
Or, this final thought: After all, how much harm can one man do in four years?
I don’t have to tell you about all the harm that has already been done during the first few days of this presidency, from the defunding of international women’s health care programs to reviving the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, from moving ahead with The Wall to the plan to close down our country to desperate refugees. Lifting the ban on CIA-run black sites to “more thoroughly” interrogate suspected terrorists. Dismantling the ACA.
It seems to be a juggernaut. No one is stopping him. We have to stop him.
We have to show the rest of the world and each other what we value, what true American values are (aspirational if not actual): inclusiveness, diversity, egalitarianism, compassion, optimism. And we can show it the way we showed it on January 21 with massive demonstrations all over the country. Yes, again. And again. We must be in it for the long haul.
And we can show it by fomenting a state’s rights revolt. Gov. Jerry Brown of California is showing the way here by publicly, forcefully stating that California will stay true to its people and the legislation they enacted regardless of what the federal government decrees. Universities are declaring themselves safe places for students from those countries our new president has declared evil or students who may be undocumented. Our cities, counties, states, schools, churches, temples and mosques can take a stand. Need to take a stand. We can make them take a stand.
Here’s another idea, one I am embarking on tonight: Write short, reasonable (that is, no ranting) emails to as many moderate Republicans as you can identify. Tell them they must stand up to this dangerous, out-of-control bigot, this bully (don’t use those words). The majority of Americans will support them in this. And, bonus: They will be able to look at themselves in the mirror in the morning.
I hope you will find a way to stay active and involved. I hope that you won’t give up hope.
I want to hear what you’re doing.
(photo is of the Portland, Oregon demonstration, 100,000 strong. The biggest demonstration in the city’s history.)