What I Feel I Must Do

I have never been a politically active person. There have been moments, perhaps, like my brief fascination with Marx and Engels in high school, which also coincided with my reading of the Socialist Worker newspaper, and then later—after I’d dumped all that socialism nonsense—a brief stint as a political blogger, by which I mean I blogged about political news. It was mostly poorly regurgitated Hitchens. All of them brief moments, no actual protesting, or other political action, just a small voicing my opinion. I’ve always felt that, that work was up to others. People with more connections, a less hot—or at least more restrained—temper. People who were more equipped socially to take the monumental task of working for a better future. Voting was the extent of my political action. I feel I can’t afford to be that way anymore.

Over the last two weeks (yes it has only been two weeks) there has been one thought in the front of my mind: that I can no longer afford to not be politically involved. The erosion of our civil liberties will/ is coming quickly, as the president-elect appoints his known racists and big brother types who believes in unfettered spying. One Washington State Senator is already moving to make some forms of speech criminal by labeling it terrorism. A word that raises the hair on the back of everyday people and makes the radical right giddy with fascists fantasies of delight; nothing tents their shorts faster than a shadowy, undefined, and undefeatable ideology parading an actual enemy. They are right in one sense of course. We are under assault by an enemy, and that enemy is them, the incoming Trump administration.

“…pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database.” — Mike Pompeo P-E Trump’s pick to lead the CIA. Quote pulled from The Intercept, quoting a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed co-written by Pompeo. The WSJ story is behind a paywall.

Now, some of my fears—namely the warrantless spying on everyone—have been realities for some time with the blessing of fearful Democrats and Republicans alike during the Bush administration, and then endorsed and expanded by the Obama administration, whose surrogates then lied about it, without facing any repercussions. With that in mind, one could rightly ask me: “Where the fuck have you been?” and “Why now?” Here are my reasons. First and foremost is that this world is no longer mine. It belongs to my daughter and at four months old, she is too young to fight for her world, and so I must stand up and do it for her. The second is the most self-interested. I simply like living in a free and civil society. Selfish, yes. Does it matter? I don’t think so, and I hope you don’t either. For those of you who have been on the front lines for a while I applaud the work you’ve done, and I hope to join you in this important fight against our impending fascist future.

Having never been politically active I have no idea how I can stand up for the America, and world, I want to live in. As a political act, I feel that protesting is useless. At least as an ongoing, airing of the grievance. Trump, and his collection of crypto-fascist cronies don’t care that a majority of the American people voted against him and we may soon find that continued protests are just what the Trump administration wants, fuel for his fire. There’s even a chance that continued protest could be used as justification for crackdowns on our most fundamental of freedoms—the first amendment, without which our whole democracy falls. One Trump supporter, WA State Senator Doug Erickson (R Whatcom County, his contact info is here) plans to introduce broad legislation that will make it a felony to commit acts of “economic terrorism”. Now his denial of the Oxford comma aside, it is this type of legislation that could become more common in under a Trump administration.

I am serious when I say this: We are in dangerous times, and everyone who loves this country needs to rise-up and defend ourselves against the coming assault on our democracy. The possible effects that the incoming administration will have on America will last generations, and not only set back our lives, but also the lives of people the world over. There are already too many dictators making their people live in a constant state of fear, where they must watch what they say, and to who they say it. America is —due to the spinelessness of Congress post 9-11—dangerously close to being one of those countries.

One could argue we already live in that state—and indeed that some Americans have been living under that state for quite some time—the difference is that now we have a leader who is a small, petty, orange school yard bully. A stark contrast to the calm pragmatic fellow who has resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I may disagree with his tacit acceptance of our surveillance state, but I do like the man.

If we aren’t vigilant, and willing to fight oppose this wave of extreme right-wing ideology then our children will grow up in country that views women and people of color as second class citizens to be either exploited, removed, or placed on “registries”. This isn’t right. We know this isn’t right, and we must do everything we can to make sure this country stays great, and continues to work on its failings.

As I said earlier: I’m new to this game. Even still, I am ready and willing to do everything I can to help in this fight. I will give what little money I can spare. I will volunteer my time, and skills to candidates I support. I will call my representatives and senators to voice my opposition to Trump’s fascist brigade. We must do all we can to advocate for the overthrow of this dark future by all legal means at our disposal. We must carry on this fight for our children, our future grandchildren, and for those who have been so disenfranchised that they can’t fight for themselves. We must carry on this fight to make this the country the Founders envisioned it could become; we must improve upon that


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