We have two choices in the Trump era. You can fight back. Or you can live your everyday life and acquiesce. People have long wondered how the German people let Hitler take over their nation. We are living how it happened. Too many people just decided to put their heads down and go on with their daily lives. You must not do that. This blog serves as a community to its commenters and an outlet for its writers. That’s great. But it’s not really resistance.
On the other hand, I am going to try and make it part of the resistance for one post by organizing you readers into action. Right now, you have a choice to make that you will have to live with the rest of your lives. Will do you do something–ANYTHING–to stop the Trump administration from destroying everything we love about this country?
If you will, now is the time. We are all busy. We have children, elder care, jobs, life. I know that. I share that. But we can all do something. And we can all do something more than we are doing right now. If you can’t get out of the house, you can call your senators and representatives at both the state and national level and tell them to stand strong against Trump and his terrible policies. Any of us can do that. If you can do that, can you give a little bit of money to the ACLU, to Planned Parenthood, to the Sierra Club, or to some organization seeking to fight back against this agenda? If you can’t give money, can you volunteer? If you are a member of a union, can you get more involved? If you are a member of a church, can you work with your fellow members to turn your fellowship into solidarity with Muslims or safe spaces for undocumented immigrants? If you aren’t a member of an organization, can you volunteer somewhere? Are there groups in your community who are going to be part of the resistance? There almost certainly are. Can you at least talk to someone who might not be active and try to move them toward understanding the situation? And no matter where you live in the U.S., there’s a Democratic Party ready to be moved to the left and to have a backbone against this onrushing train from Hell. You can do SOMETHING. You must.
This afternoon, I was part of a mass meeting of around 800 people under the rubric Resist Hate RI. It’s just people coming out to figure out what to do. This was the second meeting. The first, a month ago, had 1000 people. 800 for a second is amazing. We broke into working groups around the issues we cared about. I was of course part of the Workers’ Rights group. And it had 25 people instead of the 200 or so for the Reproductive Rights group, but that’s OK. Each group came up with actionable things to do that will be shared with the larger Facebook page. Our group is going to do an organizing training and come out to support a picket, if we can. Other groups have trainings, actions, events, phone calls, letters. It gives us something concrete to do as part of the resistance.
Did I change the world today? Did I become Martin Luther King, John L. Lewis, Ida Wells, or Emma Goldman today? No. But I played a small role in larger movement and I will continue to do so. Plus it’s wonderful to know that there are hundreds of other people equally outraged, distressed, devastated, but also determined and trying to move ahead. It helps to be around these people. I’ve also been getting move involved in my own union, signing up new members, talking to people, trying to motivate people into taking this seriously. I also found out about a meeting later this week to support Keith Ellison’s candidacy for the DNC head, which I assume is really part of a larger group to make the Rhode Island Democratic Party more progressive. So I think I am going to go to that and see if there’s a path for me to get involved. Wouldn’t have heard about it otherwise. And of course I’m writing when I’m not too depressed about the new reality to do so, both on the blog and in my strikes book, which I am trying as hard as I can to turn it into a book useful for the resistance against Trump.
Again, it’s not the world. But I’m trying. And I want you to try. Can you commit to doing one thing every day to fighting against Trump? Whatever it is? Can you do one thing other than read or comment on this blog (although keep doing that too!)? Be creative. Use your skills. Fight for the future. Don’t let America become Nazi Germany. Be part of the resistance. Our descendants will thank you. I will thank you too.