Hello, dear ones.
Here we are, two weeks out. I find myself…okay, but not great. I feel like I am actually grieving, going through the process but unable to find any closure. I’ll do something fun, and then feel guilty that I was enjoying myself while Trump still hangs over our nation’s head. Every cabinet appointment makes things worse. Just when I think it can’t get any worse, it does. I don’t want to wallow in my pain, but at the same time I can’t allow it to become normal. The fear and anger are going to be what keeps me sharp and fighting. (And yes, I know, fear and anger lead to the dark side. But we tried the light side, okay? And we lost. Badly. The Dark Side has massacred all the younglings in the Jedi temple, and it’s time to whip out a lightsaber and kick some serious ass. Because sometime a little righteous anger is necessary, okay?)
The worst thing for me has been how unexpected it was. Facebook had led me to believe that everyone in the whole world was pro-Hillary (or at least anti-Trump) and that there wasn’t a snowman’s chance in hell that he’d win. 538 agreed. Now I feel like I can’t use Facebook to gauge interest in things, as I did before. I can’t take my usual news sources at face value. I can no longer trust things I once did (like my own judgment, apparently). I am really, really well insulated, apparently, and I need to change that.
I’ve been reading some really interesting and diverse hot takes about how the Democrats let this slip away and where to go from here. I have to admit, I’m pretty dismayed at all the finger-pointing and division that’s starting to emerge. I am entirely less concerned with how the election was lost and more concerned with how we are going to fight Trump.*
We need to take some lessons from the Tea Party, y’all. They got super pissed, and they built a nationally-known movement out of that. Their anger was their #1 goal–stop Obama at any cost. They did not let anything get in the way of their goal. And they got a lot of candidates in office and they became a force to be reckoned with in a major way. I’m not advocating their politics, but I am advocating their methods. We need to keep our eyes on the prize at any costs. All whining and infighting is a distraction that keeps us from stopping Trump’s racist and harmful policies. End of story. Also, we need a flag. Really! I think we need a flag. Can it be a flag made of pantsuits? How about, to steal a tea party tactic and take an old flag, the women’s suffrage flag? It looks like this.
Isn’t that pretty? Don’t you want to have that on your bumper and in your yard? I know I do! Let’s get on it, people. I’m serious. Can we start a #LoveTrumpsHateFlag movement? I will make some of these flags if need be.
I know somebody, rightly, is going to tell me to check my privilege. I know that, as a white woman, I experience only a small fraction of the bullshit POC and other minorities face. I get that. But I have come to the conclusion that you can’t please everyone all of the time. If you wait for something that everyone is happy with, nothing will ever, ever happen. And we don’t have that time to wait. There is far too much at stake.
So let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt, huh? Let’s have some faith that the person trying to fight alongside you is worried about the same things you are worried about and wants to see you succeed and thrive. Ignorance is a thing. I admit that there are concerns that say, the black community has that would not occur to me as I plan a movement. But that does not mean in any way that I don’t care about those concerns! And if someone were to tell me, “hey, we have this concern and it needs to be a part of the plan” I would do whatever I could to make it happen.
This is not Susan B Anthony opposing black suffrage. This is not a bunch of racist jerks plotting to exclude people. Those are the people we are trying to STOP! But if we keep fighting with each other over little things, really small and ultimately unimportant things, then that is not going to happen. Hatred will win. Bigotry will win. And it will be our fault because we couldn’t unite to stop it.
On that depressing note, who’s up for some advocacy? We’ve got some phone calls to make!
I will be the first to admit, I’m pretty terrified about speaking on the phone. I had a hard time ordering pizza as a child (before it could be done online–thank God for the internet!!). Even when I worked on the Obama campaign, calling hundreds of people a week, I was still really grossed out by phone calls.
BUT–you can do this! There are a lot of scripts available online. And the numbers are right there! It’s easy and it’s effective. So please, let’s all do this. Often. Set aside a block of time a week (some lunch break one weekday?) and call your representative. Tell him about what you’re worried about. You don’t even have to use a script! If you’re reeling from the Sessions appointment, tell him/her that. If you think Bannon is a disastrous choice for America, say so!! We’re all talking about this stuff constantly. So tell someone who can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. It’s worth it. It will get easier. I am cheering for you!!
Here is a link about why calling works. Also, unless it’s something where specifically asked for everyone to call (like Paul Ryan’s Obamacare survey) then just call YOUR Rep–they don’t care if you’re not from their area, and they do check. So print out your rep’s local office number and put it on your desk. Heck, enter them into your speed dial. And call! Call early, call often. It matters. It actually helps. Just go do it.
BIG NEWS!!!!! BIG NEWS!!!!! BIG NEWS!!!!!
I have started a book donation campaign for local and school libraries. My son’s personal library is packed to the gills with books about racism, sexism, diversity, immigration, the environment, sharing…you name it, he’s got it. And I know that he will grow up respecting people who are different from him and our earth because of them. As an author, I have to believe that books matter, especially books we give to children. So I have to put my money where my mouth is and start a project, Books Banish Bullying. You can either buy a book yourself and donate it to a library, buy a book from the wishlist and I will donate it to a library in need, or you can chip in for shipping via paypal. I have a list of recommended (by me) books on the site broken down by topic, along with a brief summary. The website is http://www.booksbanishbullying.com. Or check us out on facebook! Share this, people. Spread it to everyone you know. Let’s just make a big flood of children’s books that will wash the whole nation. This is a firmly bipartisan effort. I don’t care who you voted for, you are not anti-book.
I am a one-woman operation as of now, so I am happy to have suggestions/ideas. (why, you could even email them to me at email@example.com!) Also, I need to get 501(c)3 status STAT, any of my smart lawyer friends know how to do that? But seriously, in the spirit of Christmas, why don’t you give a book to a school in need? You can feel like you’ve done something to combat Trump’s nightmare cabinet choices (if indeed you find them nightmarish) and you can do something good for kids, too. Thank you.
Now for some questions:
- Are you interested in me making a weekly action item? It’s hard to shift through facebook sometimes. I am offering to choose one thing to call about, etc. and post about it here/sending it out in an email. I work from home and have flexibility to do this. Most of y’all don’t. I know people who are quitting their jobs to work on stopping Trump full time. This would be my contribution to that, like Lee Jordan’s Potterwatch radio show. I want to give hope by offering an easy thing to do each week. Does anyone need/want that? Please let me know.
2. I was inspired this weekend to write a short story–a version of “Annie” where Trump adopts a young Latino girl for PR reasons. It occurred to me that there are several other Christmas stories that could use a Trump-update, and I have 4 in mind (one for each week of Advent). They are funny and mostly hopeful in nature–if we plant positivity in the world, then we’ve increased the possibility that positive things will happen, right? Christmas is the season for miracles…and we could sure use a miracle right now. These stories are in the vein of this piece about Obama and President Bartlett. Question is–does anyone other than my Mom want to read them?
So that’s where I am this week. Please comment, either here, on FB, or via email if you’re interested in weekly action bulletins, the Books Banish Bullying campaign, or the Merry Christmas, Mr. Trump stories. Have ideas? Want to help? Let me know! I long to hear from you. The only way we make it through this is together.
Stay safe out there. Be good to yourself and others. I love you all.
*Yeah, I said it. Trump. We need to say it, and often. I know it makes me feel gross. I’d rather call him some demeaning nickname like he calls women and minorities nicknames, but we can’t do that. It’s a direct Voldemort parallel. He MUST be named. Don’t give him the power, don’t make him larger than life. He’s just a man. Donald Trump. Let’s keep it real.