You are now being taken over by the hothead in the family (also the more fashionable one). Caution: Adult words below!
Oh boy, this has been one coo-coo- bananas year so far. Every day, I open my social media apps to read about all the insane shit the #CommanderinCheetos has done, then I hop on #FiveMinutes to see what I should do and who I should call. Never having been politically active before, at first it seemed daunting; Senators and Representatives to call, and who do I call about which issues? All I really wanna do is wave my hands in the air and yell at the top of my lungs: What century is this? What country is this? How in the actual f^(% is this happening in America?
It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around everything going on in Washington, and even harder to pull your shit together and actually do something about it. The Women’s March was a no-brainer. Of course I wanted to march with about 750,000 of my closest compatriots; of course I wanted to stand up for women’s rights and human rights. Even when it appeared to fall on deaf ears in the White House I still felt it was an absolutely worthwhile event.
But now living in the harsh reality of the alternate-reality in this trumpian regime, it can all seem like too much to face. I felt that way for about 2 days until I realized the only way I would feel better about what’s happening is if I actually did something about it. I had to call, call, call.
Sitting in my car, palms a bit sweaty, I dialed the DC office of one of my Senators, Dianne Feinstein. A staffer answered, sounding a bit frazzled (unsurprisingly as it took several attempts to even get through), and listened to me rant for about 30 seconds. Everything in my head came rushing out, and not in the calmest demeanor. I sounded angry, I sounded panicked, and I sounded a little bit insane.
When I got of the phone, a wave of relief washed over me. I had done it, I made the call and now they knew how I felt. But that relief was short lived. With every passing minute it seemed there was something else insane happening. They want to sell National Parks land for oil drilling? They banned all people from 7 nations, nations which have never had citizens commit acts of terror against the United States? They’re keeping children from their families because of this ban?! The imbecile thinks Frederick Douglas is still alive?!
Once I made my first call, it became like second nature. The numbers were programmed into my phone, and it was a breeze. Call, calmly speak to the staffer either using the scripts from Five Minutes, or something that comes to me, then return to my desk (after the first call it was easier to not vomit up some logorrhea).
But now I felt that panic creeping up again. Horrible shit is still happening, and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything being done that can curtail it. What can I do now? Oh, how about (nicely) badgering my friends and co-workers to call, too! It’s hard to talk to people you know about politics. It’s one of the most divisive topics for conversation…ever. But this isn’t the time to be a wallflower about these things.
With your friends, it’s easy, usually you will agree about these atrocities; so just speak up and tell them about this blog. Hell, you don’t even have to tell them to come read it (though you should), just give them the phone numbers they need and tell them if they hate what’s going on they don’t have any other option than to call and let their legislators know how they feel.
On Thursday, I sent my friend in Maine a message with all the numbers and scripts in opposition to DeVos, and guess what? Senator Collins flipped! OK, it probably wasn’t that one call, but common! You gotta feel good about that right?! Yes, DeVos will likely get confirmed unless we get one more to flip, but this is proof calling absolutely makes a difference!
With co-workers this can be trickier. The tactic I’ve adopted is I will bring up an article, or just start talking calmly about something the Commander-in- Cheetos and his lackeys have done. Usually, the person I’m speaking with will get just as enraged as I am and start ranting about how they hate what’s happening to this country. That’s when I write down the url for the blog and tell them they can find all the phone numbers and scripts for what to tell their legislators right here. Then tell them to forward along the information. I even ask them if they would like to hear me make a call so they know how it goes.
But I don’t stop there. I check in with my friends and co-workers. I ask them if they want any suggestions. I ask them how it went, and if it made them feel better. Then I ask them if they know anyone in states with Senators on the fence about certain issues and appointments. Tell them to call too!
The only way we can keep #TheResistance going is if we all communicate with each other. Share your fears. Share your stories of fighting back. Share a moment to reflect on how, despite how scary this time is, it’s been a unifying force for people like us. It’s so important to share these things with people around you to keep each other going. This is going to be a long hard road, but together WE will make this country great again, like it was only days ago.
I’ll leave you with this beautiful quote from Dan Rather, whom you should all be following on Facebook. He posted this on Thursday about the battle we are fighting, and it gave me hope. Hope that just as our past has shown, we can and will rise up for what’s right. That we will fight for a better future for everyone no matter their background. We will rise again. We will weather this storm:
Those who are signing up, amidst a flurry of dissent, for what is euphemistically being called ‘The Resistance’ have a long, hard row to hoe. Turning a flurry into a groundswell is difficult. But that said, there is something emerging in this frosty air…which we can see with each inhale and exhale, a visual reminder in the breath one takes that there is life in this cold.