Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year!

I find myself looking forward, warily but hopefully, to the new year. The year past has been ugly: Trump and his Republican enablers have done their best to make this country less kind, less honest, and more fearful. They have done a lot of damage. I don't need to list it out here. And they will do more, until we the people remove them from power, power they will not surrender without experiencing thorough, widespread repudiation.

Through it all , resistance in 2017 never quit. We even had some notable successes in hamstringing the GOPer majority in Congress and in elections. And we are not going to give up on this country in 2018 either.

This is literally a matter of life and death for those who need healthcare, for immigrants and refugees, for workers, for everyone who is at all "non-standard" or who loves such persons, for women who strive to be whole people, all of us who need peace, justice and equality. That ought to amount to an overwhelming plurality of us all.

So we have to find ways to live in ongoing resistance without becoming overwhelmed or demoralized by a grinding struggle that is sure to contain set backs as well as high points.

Here are some ways I personally intend to weather the new year:

1) I will continue to make myself aware of and available to efforts to protect immigrants and refugees. Several times in the last year, I've joined others to pack immigration court rooms in support of people facing detention and deportation. We've even been part of winning a few reprieves. I will financially support a local nonprofit law firm that represents people in desperate need of assistance through the morass that is immigration law.

2) I will support and work for campaigns by Democrats who can win Congressional seats from Republicans in November. I will not be picky about candidates: we need people who want to win and who will help Democrats organize the House and Senate. (The latter body may be more than we can achieve, but from this moment, let's go for it.) I don't care if these Democrats have been Bernie bros or Hillary devotees. Some may be more to my liking than others, but this isn't a time for indulging our perennial intramural arguments. There will undoubtedly be candidates at other government levels who deserve support too.

3) Speaking up for international peace will matter in the new year. Cornered animals are dangerous and insofar as resistance hobbles the Trump-train, the crook-in-chief is likely to lash out. We know how hard it has been to curb the military enthusiasms of more conventional presidents. Hopefully some of the citizen skepticism and war-weariness left over from those struggles will persist in this dangerous time.

4) Community nurtures and requires nurturing. When collective decency seems under threat and institutions are failing, the connections we form with each other are sometimes our only ballast. This item is hard for me: I am inclined to solitary study and introversion. I am fortunate to belong to multiple communities and I know this year I need to appreciate and tend to all of them as I am able.

Fortunately, in the midst of the 2017 shit-show, I have repeatedly met creative resistance in unexpected quarters.

Just today, I mentioned to football-watching friends my enthusiasm for Stacy Abrams' campaign for governor of Georgia and came away with two checks for this superb politician running for office a continent away. Wow!

Millions of us are hungry for an outlet for our ongoing resistance. Where do you intend to focus your resistance in the coming year?

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