This blog post — verbal barrage — manifesto — beginning of the end — has, as I’m sure in many of yours, been stirring in my mind for months. I should have done it then, but I was waiting for some moment, some trigger, which would tell me, this is it. This is the time. This is the time to stand up and fight. Why fight early? Why waste energy, or resources, or put myself at risk, if it wasn’t the time yet?
But it was the time, and I should have known better. Better late than never, though, right?
I’d like to start with an cognitive organizational strategy that’s been floating around since The Day That Shall Not Be Named. With so many rights, liberties, privileges, traditions, people, places, and things, at legitimate risk, it was hard in the beginning days to know what to care about or focus on. Women’s rights? Immigration? Healthcare? (Intersectionality?) The free press? The basis of democracy? WHY IS THE MOSCOVIAN CANDIDATE NOT A BIGGER DEAL?
I developed a diagram to help me figure out what issues I care about, who and what they affect, how best to address them, and how and to what extent and from what source the issues and risks and threats are arising. I just jotted some issues down that concern me, but if you chart your own according to the axes I propose, I believe with some thought it can provide a useful tool for organizing one’s own thoughts and reactions and strategies in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. Because we are nothing without strong, effective strategies. And loud voices.
^ Here it is as a PDF, because I am lazy.
I guess my point is: threats to democracy and democratic institutions ought to be treated differently than, say, a Senate voting on an obscure if quite necessary prerequisite to dismantling the ACA. For the latter, we can call our Senators, and make our voices heard in other ways, as the Indivisible document clearly demonstrates. But for the erosion of the democracy, we must be more wily. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but it will be scrappy and dirty and potentially dangerous, as struggles against Nationalist (in all the dirtiest ways of the word) semi-autocratic “leaders” must. Fundamentally we need to demand that checks and balances are implemented, that our elected officials act in our, and not their, best interests, that our rights to assembly, protest, speech, opposition, and a free press are not impinged upon, that personal gain does not trump (*shame face*) national interest or security, and that the vulnerable among us do not become scapegoats for the worries of the comfortable. This was not about jobs, and it was not about infrastructure, and even though it was, it wasn’t about civil rights or sexism or racism. Because without our democracy, we have none of these things anyway.
Am I crazy to be worried about this? I don’t know. But I’d rather worry and do something about the preservation of, if not the improvement of, democracy, than stand idly by and wait for my next trigger moment.
This was Day 1, and I did not like it.