Thursday, November 17, 2016

Join the Resistance

As I cycle through the stages of grief/panic/outrage/incredulity at this election one of the things I keep coming back to is how none of this is normal. None of this should ever be normal. Yet already we’re seeing efforts to normalize the abnormal and unacceptable. A white supremacist in the White House? Trump’s kids and son-in-law with highest level security clearance? Also did I mention a white supremacist in the White House? It’s OK – give him a chance!

Besides our nation’s continuing and unabated racism, sexism and xenophobia, one of the biggest reasons for this incredible debacle is our post-truth society and the self-selection of news. The sad truth is the vast majority of people tailor their information intake to fit their world view, as opposed to vice versa. “News” to them is just another way to confirm pre-existing ideologies and pre-conceived notions. The Red feed, Blue feed separation on Facebook is very real and very terrifying and very discouraging. Facts simply aren’t the same for everyone anymore. Fake news does better than real news. And it only seems to be getting worse.

Clearly, I don’t know how to fix this. I believe deeply in the core work and worth of journalism – to shed light on the truth and spread information to the masses. But the news business, too, has been caught flat-footed in the face of our divided electorate. Instead of adapting journalism has tried to keep the semblance of absolute objectivity alive – which helped to create the stunning false equivalencies we saw this past election cycle. Trump will ban all Muslims. But Hillary’s EMAILS! Trump will create a deportation force. But Hillary’s EMAILS! Trump hires a white nationalist to run his campaign. But Hillary’s EMAILS! Trump literally bragged about grabbing women without their consent and then more than a dozen came forward to say he did what he says he does to them. But Hillary’s EMAILS!

The truth is everyone has a lot of soul searching and blame to shoulder for what has happened. And no one should shirk the responsibility of accepting and analyzing this painful reality. I know I was too confident, too sure of the America that I thought existed. I was wrong, so very stupidly wrong, about that. (Though, also never forget that more – by the time we are done counting around 2 million more – people voted for her. There really are more of us. Really.)

I say all of this not to wallow, but to recognize what has helped lead us to this horrible place. And one of the small but significant things we can do it to demand that this man, his beliefs and the people he surrounds himself never be normalized. Already we see it creeping in – Oprah says she has hope for Trump, and Tom Hanks says we’ll be all right. Sure, those about to get an enormous tax cut it probably will be. But for the rest of us and those more vulnerable will decidedly not.

So fuck you, Jimmy Fallon. Thanks for ruffling this racist demagogue’s hair like he was just an adorable scamp on the playground. Fuck you, SNL. While I’ll always love Kate McKinnon, I will never forgive you for allowing this unhinged narcissist to goof around like a loveable misfit on your show. Fuck you, People magazine. He sexually assaulted one of your writers and now you’re running soft-focus puff pieces on his incredible journey to the White House. Fuck you, New Balance. You put your ability to make even bigger profits while making shitty sneakers above decrying an unrepentant xenophobe who has emboldening the worst in society.

And let me let out a preemptive primal FUCK YOU to any and all celebrities, politicians, and public figures who decide glad-handing with this deplorable man is more important than standing up for this country’s fundamental principals. We have to demand more from our leaders and our entertainers and our family members.

We must call out all those dare to normalize this man moving forward. Look out for the couched language that allows this to creep in. No, Steve Bannon is not “controversial.” He is a white supremacist. Period. No, Trump isn’t putting his businesses in a “blind trust.” He is creating an enormous and unprecedented conflict of interest by turning it over to his kids. Period. No, Trump should not get credit for not taking a salary. He will no doubt bilk the Secret Service out of millions alone for jetting him and his family around on his privately owned plane – not to mention for going back-and-forth to New York every weekend. Period.

Support the people who fight again him (like some of the worthy groups I mention here). Shame those who seek to normalize him. Stand up to those who support him.

We have to have the hard conversations with the people we love, the people in our own families, whose votes (or inaction) led us here. Like, here’s a fun idea for Thanksgiving. Start talking with your elderly conservative relatives now about how a Ryan-Trump government plans to end Medicare. Explain how it will hurt them and people with disabilities. Don’t let them blame Obamacare. Make them own their choices.

Other than alien overlords finally stepping in and saving us from ourselves, resistance is all we have right now. Resistance is our only defense. Resist, resist, resist.


Carmen SanDiego said...

You know those pictures of presidents in the beginning of their first term and at the end of their second term? The ones that show how much they aged? That's going to be all of us by the end of trumps first (and hopefully only term)

Anonymous said...

But who is going to save us from Pence?

Anonymous said...

I'm from central Maine, and I'm so heartbroken about the New Balance CEO. It's one of the only employers in my area that pays decently. I'm torn between wanting him to get hurt and wanting my friends to have jobs.

Anonymous said...

wow... suddenly having Fringe season 5 flashbacks

Nici75 said...

Guys, you have to fight this:

Make as many people as you can read that article, get it linked, tweeted, reblogged, the works. Make every woman you know understand that FADA will negatively affect ALL American women. Get male feminists to find more male allies. LGBTQ folks need to gain as many allies as possible, and that means getting straight women and men in your corner.

Pro-active resistance: call your city, county, and state reps and tell them that if they don't denounce FADA publicly and in writing, you won't vote for them. If you're a DEM and stuck with a GOP rep(s), call and tell them the same thing. They don't need to know that you wouldn't vote for 'em anyway. They just need to get the message that re-election relies on your VOTES. Scare the crap out of them.


FADA is currently a bill before the House. Get it killed dead.

Anonymous said...

While many artists try to normalize Trump, many artists still try to speak out againt him. I appreciate their courage, but I am also very worried about their saftey online and offline. Trump has the white supremacy groups and Russia on his side. They are organized and dangourous. I bet they are going to silent the voices they don't like by attacking them online and offline. So if you notice any artists speaking out, please alert them privately, let them know they shouldn't take those dangerous people lightly.

Sarah_E said...

There are nearly 6,000,000 signatures on a petition to have Electoral College members vote for Hillary; many can do so without penalty. Dorothy, please look this up for yourself and spread the your findings. Here is my rationale:

The United States Constitution has a policy in place that allows for adjustments when the number of Electoral College votes is disproportionate to the popular vote. Electoral College members are not bound by the Constitution to vote as indicated by popular vote in their specific state. While it is true that some states have passed laws imposing penalties if a member bucks tradition, each member is federally bound only to vote, using good sense and representing the citizens who put them in office. It is therefore the responsibility of the Electoral College to reflect the actual will of the American people. Those people have spoken, and it is time to translate those words into democratic action, not expectation or tradition.

PS: please forgive multiple comments. I truly only hope you'll happen to read this. My twitter handle is @SarahErgler, and that's where I follow you and read your work. Thanks for your time, keep rallying women to speak up!

-Sarah E

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