Archive for February, 2017

March, Organize, Resist

February 5, 2017

It’s hard to believe that we are only 16 days into the presidency of a ‘person’ who lost the popular election by roughly 3 million votes and only won the Electoral College because of 77,000 votes. I use the term ‘person’ loosely, because the so called president is really an animated caricature of an actual human being. And I refer to him as the ‘so called president’ because if you account for all of the voter suppression tactics employed against us, then the so called president most likely wouldn’t have won the Electoral College either.

So here we are in what can be called a coup. Our democratic processes have been hijacked, our election stolen, and every single part of our government and all of its institutions are under siege. Forces beyond our shores have crippled our national dialogue through deceit and manipulation, and internal conspirators have fed into, and used for their own nefarious purposes, our distrust, our ambivalence, and our disorganization, to achieve the goal of rendering us voiceless and powerless.

We are a divided nation, a conquered people. For decades many, if not most, of us have bitched and moaned about bureaucracy, have complained endlessly about the tone deafness of D.C., and have watched with disdain as our tax dollars were pissed down the drain by a greedy and power hungry cabal of empty suits who always promise the moon but rarely deliver more than a few rotten crumbs for the huddled masses to fight over.

We have always known that there were people among us who wished to do this nation harm. But instead of focusing on the few who would rule us, we have often fallen into the trap that it is our neighbor who is to be feared. That the person who looks, speaks or worships differently than us must somehow be trying to take something from us. The tactics of fear and paranoia keep us at war with each other. Meanwhile the 1% steal our rights and plunder our national treasures.

Though most of us may have hated the way Washington works, few if any ever gave up on the notion of representative democracy. We never called for the complete destruction of the institutions that make up our government. What many of us have always called for is recognition and reform. We have fought for the recognition of all people, regardless of race, class, creed, or gender, as equal partners in, and equal members of, this self governing experiment. And we have striven to reform the system to make it better represent and serve everyone, not just a chosen few.

What is happening now did not materialize over night. It has been a long game, a campaign by the most craven and zealous fought both in the open and behind the scenes. While most of us are worried about paying the bills, the elitists concern themselves with their own enrichment at our expense. While we vote in each election with the hope that our representatives will use their time in public service to make life better, fairer, for everyone, an army of lobbyists representing the moneyed interests seeks to undermine democracy and shift the profits of our labors into the pockets of their masters.

I wish I could provide a sense of hope in these troubled times, say that our marches, our letters, our phone calls will save us. And maybe they will. If we find focus, if we become organized, if we stay engaged and don’t give into fatigue and despair, then we might just have a chance in hell of resisting the forces that have seized control of our government. The so called president, his minions, and the power brokers will not tire of the fight, so neither must we.

The history of the last century has shown us the dangers of fascism, of totalitarianism. It has laid bare the dangers we all now face. Unfortunately that history also shows us how easily people can be convinced to give into the worst of human nature. How in our longing for something better, something or someone to save us, we become willing participants in our own enslavement.

The question is, will we as a people unite in our own defense? Will we find common cause, realize that we are all in this together? That our greatest strength is unity? That regardless of whether you live in a small town in the mid-west or a coastal city, your rights, your dreams, your future are in peril? We breathe the same air, drink the same water, depend on the same structures and have the same fundamental yearning to live a full and meaningful life.

My goal over the coming days, weeks and months is to find that common cause, and to figure out how to voice it in such a way that I find unity with my fellow citizens. Screaming at each other is what got us here. Perhaps it’s time to listen to each other. To learn to speak with each other, not at each other. Because otherwise we all loose. Maybe I am being idealistic, but I do believe that the majority of people are decent, and that ours is a shared struggle. I refuse to be dragged into nihilism, to give up on my brothers and sisters.

Whatever you do today, be kind to those around you. If they call you names, don’t call them names back. If they push you, don’t push back. Lead by example. Show everyone around you that decency and compassion are greater that hate and fear. Most of all, refuse to accept the notion that all is lost. This is my biggest challenge for sure. We are still here, every one of us. Our government may be currently infested with a tyrannical disease, but that doesn’t mean we have to give ourselves over to its sickness. Continue to speak truth to power. Your voice is your weapon. Focus its strike at the true enemy, not those around you acting out of their own sense of loss and desperation.

March, organize and resist.