What are you doing?

This past weekend we saw thousands of protestors and volunteers, commit their time and energy in fighting the injustice that is Trump’s executive order on immigration. Maybe you participated. Maybe not. In any case. Now is a time of action.

As you may remember, the first goal from my recent plan to live in a post-truth world is:

1. Understand and articulate the things about which I care most so that I know where to focus my energy.

Before this self-awareness, I would churn from issue to issue, outrage to outrage until I either tired or spun out into an online tirade against some internet troll, who was immune to truth and logic anyway. I needed better tactics.

You may also remember that the issues I identified—those things I care about most—turned out to be pretty basic:

  • Ensuring Equal Human Rights for All
  • Protecting the Environment
  • Reforming Campaign Finance and Improving Elections

Even so, there is still a long way from those broad statements, to concrete actions I could take daily/weekly. That’s where I turned to the internet for help. They have action plans covered. Here are the ways I am going to turn my (over)informed outrage passion into progress and deeds. I encourage you to do the same.

tl;dr

For those who really just want directed actions, there are a few options to get email “to-do” lists each week. Be forewarned, you’re going to have to call people to be most effective. I was surprised to learn that conservative activists out-call progressives 4:1. This needs to change. Choose one, or sign up for them all. Action is what is called for today.

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Let the record show.

John Pavlovitz has been on fire recently—or I should say I just became aware of him and his writing during the campaigns—and it’s great.  He’s a pastor, in North Carolina, so he adds diversity to the group I tend to tune into, but he often writes from a place I recognize in myself.

On this, the day when we will swear in a wholly unqualified person to the most powerful position in the world, John has declared his strong opposition to Trump. You’ll sympathize with many of the emotions he has and statements he makes.  The idea that we want—maybe even need—to tell the world that we are NOT OK with Trump or those who supported him has. a strong pull for me. That is the thinking behind the marches and protests so many of us will participate in this weekend.

And while I know I just introduced my plan to deal with life under Trump. I like this idea well enough that I am reiterating Pavlovitz’s proclamations here for my current and future self:

  • I do not believe this man is normal.
  • I do not believe he is emotionally stable.
  • I do not believe he cares about the full, beautiful diversity of America.
  • I do not believe he respects women.
  • I do not believe he is pro-life other than his own.
  • I do not believe the sick and the poor and the hurting matter to him in the slightest.
  • I do not believe he is a man of faith or integrity or nobility.
  • I do not believe his concern is for anything outside his reflection in the mirror.
  • I believe he is a danger to our children.
  • I believe he is a threat to our safety.
  • I believe he is careless with our people.
  • I believe he is reckless with his power.
  • I believe America will be less secure, less diverse, less compassionate, and less decent under his leadership.

And if I prove to be wrong, it will be one of the most joyful errors of my life. I will own these words and if necessary, willingly and gladly admit my misjudgment because it will mean that America is a better and stronger nation, and the world a more peaceful place.

And like John, I’d love to be wrong. Even with all that we have seen thus far, I still hope that Trump decides to serve all the people of his nation rather than just the one he has served his entire life.

At least now I have a plan

First, I have to address my conservative friends who may not understand why I have not called them, blocked them on Facebook, or otherwise ignored their sympathetic and (sometimes) sincere advances to tell me it’s going to be ok. I have not been willing to listen. I cannot stand their smugness. They think this election was about politics—that I am angry about policy differences. Ha! I would pay thousands of dollars to have had Romney or even G.W. Bush elected instead. I could write a short novel on how they are wrong. The people who voted for Donald Trump may not be racist, misogynistic, or hateful, but they were ok voting for someone who is. They are enablers, and the true, tragic cost of this election is not in having a different party in the White House but in the different way I see my fellow Americans. I had such faith in us before this election, and that faith has now been thoroughly dashed.

And so, I am conflicted. I vacillate between listing all the people and groups that should eat a dick and then turn to the understanding that we need to do better for a broader swath of people in this country. There is blame enough to share. It isn’t as simple as pitting rural vs city, but that notion can serve in effigy for my purposes.

But for all the moments of anguish and hours of depression—for every Facebook argument sure to be won with the right fact—there were just as many times when I just wanted to feel better and to not to feel what approached hate. It ate at me.

However powerless I felt about Trump, the incoming Congress, the Supreme Court nominees to be, or the countless other calamities that have or soon will befall the United States, I know I need to make things better for myself.

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Expat

I just got back from two months traveling abroad but as I stand here, awaiting my luggage, I have never felt like I was entering a more foreign country. 

I cannot even process my shame and anger right now. I just want to buy a ticket to anywhere else and leave again.  

There are no safe states.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a swing state, or a “safe” state—blue or red.

No state is safe from the ideas espoused by Donald Trump—ideas that are endorsed by the KKK—ideas that are rejected by real Republicans—ideas that are laced with cynicism, fear, bigotry, and hate.

Vote. Please. Proclaim that America has no place for these ideas*.

* It is crucial that you vote tomorrow. After the election, we’ll figure out what motivated many Americans to overlook these ideas and cast their vote for a flawed human anyway. We need to fix what allowed this. And we will. 

Goodbye, America. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Jena and I are leaving the country tonight and won’t return until the middle of November*. By that time, a new President will have been chosen by the people of this country and we can finally move on from this nightmarish campaign that started years ago.**

I have faith in the people of this country despite some of the recent ugliness we have seen at rallies or in the streets, that they will not follow the historic election of the first black President, with a man who treats women, minorities, the disabled, veterans, the families of veterans, and everyday people, the way Donald Trump does.

People say Trump, speaks his mind, tells it like it is, and isn’t politically correct. Not accounting for the childish way he acts and speaks, he also lies more than any politician.  Look at the fact checking of a “typical politician” and you can see that they tell half-truths and outright lies about half the time. Compare that with Trump who can only manage to tell the truth or mostly the truth 15% of the time. How can anyone believe anything from him? He is not trustworthy.

This is not an election between two similar candidates despite how the press may treat it. This is an election between a man who would be extremely dangerous for all of us and a highly qualified person who has spent the majority of her life in the service of others***. Don’t fall for the false equivalence in the way these two candidates are presented. The media is failing us all.

Let me say repeat how dangerous Trump is. Electing Donald Trump would endanger us all fiscally, emotionally, and physically.

So what we need from everyone is simple. Don’t fuck this up. Send a message by voting—whether in a “blue state” or a “red state” or a “battleground state” or even overseas—and clearly declare that the types of attitudes and behaviors exhibited by Trump and his most fervent  supporters are not acceptable in the USA and that we, as a nation, are better than that.

Trump won’t win the election, but he shouldn’t even get 10% of the vote. Don’t be one of the people who cast a vote for this small, angry man. History will not judge you kindly.****

Kia ora.

*We’re headed to New Zealand and Australia. Our gracious friends Luke and Jenny are watching our cats and our house while we are gone. We’ll post more on this as we go.
**We’re voting by mail
***You won’t see any such list like that about Trump as he is only interested in making money and putting his name on things.
****Neither will I. In fact, if you are a friend or family member that cares so little for yourself and for your country that you would cast a vote for this man, then I do not want to know about it. Seriously. Do not tell me. I won’t respect you and I sorta need that for our relationship to continue.