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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inspired by a recent conversation Hiromi and I were having about the Matt & Kim video for Lessons Learned, Alt Text has a new post idea. Yay for “Lessons Learned”!
Anyway in the video Matt & Kim strip down to, what appears to be, nothing in the middle of Times Square. Aside from some contention on whether they are truly naked or have some skin-colored skivvies on and the cops being real, we discussed if we could do that, and why or why not. I think the answer starts and ends with unconditional love. Think about it, you can be naked in front of your significant other, or your dog easy enough. That is because they each love you no matter what. If everyone loved each other unconditionally we could all be naked in front of each other without fear or shame.
This video made me smile, a lot. Guy #1 is dancing for the sheer joy of it. You can see it as guy #2 arrives. Two crazy guys dancing at a music festival. The tipping point to get a dance party going, as it turns out, is 3 crazy dancers. The first 3 dudes have courage and vision to see a dance party before the others. There are likely some lessons that can be drawn out of that for businesses and startups. It is good to be 1st, but the 2nd and 3rd to market are also innovators. Guy #1’s are fun to watch, flail about as they may, but as Seth Godin puts it, “We need more guy #3s”.
Can you feel it? The sky is a little clearer, the days a bit brighter. Alt Text is post-ier. With all the energy and attention being placed on the inauguration of Barack Obama and al of the expectations placed upon his Presidency, it is easy to see why some of my friends facetiously call him “the savior”. It is is also why so many people will be disappointed. President Obama can not, nor should he, bring about all the changes people want. He haas promised to be a President to all Americans, not just the ones who voted for him. That means that all of his decisions will not be well-regarded from the progressives. They have to get used to that. But with this new President I have confidence that things will be considered and thoughtful and believe that America’s best intentions will be served.
For me, today feels good. There is a return to hope and to optimism and to reason in the capitol and yes, the country today. Happy Obama Day, everyone!