I am sending this to as many friends, family, etc. that I can think of and ask that you pass it along to as many people as possible.
It has been a sad and, quite honestly, terrifying few weeks. My initial reaction was to stop reading the news, give up the Times, and stick my head in the sand. That lasted for about 12 hours. Then I became angrier and more convinced than ever that we need to vigilantly, consistently, and relentlessly fight the reactionary destruction of our country and the values that Trump and his henchmen will pursue.
The question is: How??? We can join in the streets whenever possible but I recognize and acknowledge that for many of us, including me, that may be difficult. So what should we do? At the risk of sounding pompous, melodramatic, or just plain dumb, here are my thoughts:
- Be informed. Ignorance, denial, and the stance of “not my problem” are/were the midwives of all despots from Hitler to Mussolini to Stalin to…
- Be loud. Talk, write, call, speak up. Silence is failure. Giving up is giving in. And I mean loud at home, loud at work, loud at social events, loud whenever you have the opportunity to respond. The time for political correctness, for “Why bother?”, for diffident courtesy, is dead. This means responding to “locker room” talk, responding to comments about immigrants, walls, women, etc. The list is endless. Silence is acceptance.
- Be strong. Don’t give up and don’t give in. We do have strength and the numbers are on our side. Almost three million more people voted for Clinton and against Trump. And, if you add the Jill Stein numbers (do I hear echoes of Nader?) the numbers are even greater. The biggest losers—sadly, pathetically—will be the very same blue-collar white men that voted for a predatory crook who will totally screw them. We need to wake them up, make them see, open their eyes. The 2018 election is absolutely critical not just at the congressional level but at the state and local levels. Control of the 2020 census-based redistricting is the endgame.
- Be relentless. Never stop calling, writing, or visiting your representatives and senators. Hound the DNC. Make them understand: This is NOT the time for consensus, cooperation, courtesy, or “turn the other cheek” politics. They/we need to embrace the Republican script of resistance, obstruction, and scorched earth. Every Trump action needs a loud reaction; every Trump appointee needs a spotlight and a dagger of truth.
- Be supportive. Help each other. Reach out to the victims of Trumpism—talk to anyone and everyone. Demonstrate and live our values at the local level with every interaction, every conversation, every transaction.
- And, finally, put your money where your mouth is. We need to loudly, regularly, and generously support the organizations that fight Trumpism, protect its victims, and defend our values. Below is a list of some of those organizations. I will be contributing every month, not just during the holidays. Choose your favorites and support them! And if you have other suggestions, please share them.
Almost 50 years ago, it was about fighting against racism and war. Now it’s about fighting to save our values as a nation grounded in democracy, tolerance, and diversity. Thank you for reading and considering what I have said.
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Emily’s List
- Lambda Legal
- National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
- Planned Parenthood
- Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP)
- Sierra Club
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- International Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- Pro Publica (Journalism in the Public Interest)