As I struggle to figure out what happened to our country that allowed Donald Trump to become president-elect, I hear people around me saying such things as "How did we let this happen?" and "What will happen now?". I was stunned. I dressed in black the day after the election, and went to my physical therapy session, where several of the other patients were dressed in black as well. Many people are frightened, alarmed, worried, concerned, but don't know what to do with those feelings. The election is over. There isn't another presidential election for four whole years, so how do we deal with our feelings of betrayal, anger, fear, sorrow . . . ? Trump has already made his bigotry clear. He wants to exclude people from immigrating based on their religion. He treats women as sex objects. He wants to proliferate nuclear weapons. He is a climate change denier, and plans to reverse all efforts to save our planet from extinction-level cataclysms.
Many people have taken to the streets of our cities to participate in protest rallies, a form of political expression Americans have frequently turned to. For those fit and healthy enough to participate, those protest rallies are a powerful tool, and they should continue. People should respond in any way that they are physically and emotionally capable.
I am too old and infirm to go out and march. I'm not very good at leading groups or organizing people. But I'm very scared about the future of our nation and indeed of the world. I am from a family of German Jews, and many members of my mother's family perished in the holocaust, including my maternal grandfather. What can I do to prevent America from going the way of the Third Reich? My way of responding to the threat to our country and our planet is to help finance an organization dedicated to fighting against the Trump threat. My wife and I are not wealthy, but we are relatively financially secure, so we are choosing to donate what is to us a sizable sum each month to MoveOn.org, which states on its website:
"MoveOn is the largest independent, progressive, digitally-connected organizing group in the United States. Launched in 1998, MoveOn pioneered online organizing and advocacy techniques that have become standard in politics, nonprofits, and industry in the U.S. and worldwide. We combine rapid-response political campaigning with deep strategic analysis, rigorous data science and testing, and a culture of grassroots member listening and participation that allows us to consistently and quickly identify opportunities for progressive change–and mobilize millions of members to seize them. MoveOn members step up as leaders by using the MoveOn Petitions DIY organizing platform to create their own petitions and campaigns to drive social change." To learn more, go to MoveOn.org
Let's all do what we can to fight this!!!
From my own perspective, it's complicated. Short-term objectives such as fighting persecution of minorities is just superficial, election reform would be more powerful and far more difficult. I think we need an actual revolution, cultural as well as economic and political, to rebuild. Destroying by riling up hatred and cheating people out of their votes is fast and easy. Rebuilding and addressing problems require maturity and it's hard.
But the real roots of this manifestation must be recognized before they can be addressed. The list of needs seems overwhelming, just to move forward, but progress in any area would help.
It's facile, in my view, to blame people for being stupid or greedy. The problems are systemic, not personal character flaws. Responsibility is a better language than blame, which disrespects people. People can be nudged toward responsibility or toward rage by the institutional frameworks and media within which they're embedded.
Thanks for those concise summaries of areas where we need to move forward!
You wrote in more detail about our monetary system being incompatible with a finite planet: "Our money system is killing us"
And how do we get our primitive reptile brains to somehow buy into the idea that NOT making as many babies as possible is essential to our survival?
I feel overwhelming anger that our country has come to this; we have so much potential, had such powerful words that declared, "all men are created equal". Never mind that the Founding Fathers did not intend to include women, nor all people of races other than European descended, and certainly not GLBTQ. The intent to get away from the politics and religion of the "Old" countries never has been realized even as we make some progress on opening opportunity for women's emancipation. The race issue never was completed either; fear and hatred of women and race just went underground. It sizzled under a cover of polite acceptance only to explode to the surface with the likes of that hate-filled Trump. His hatred looks as the hated of people who claim to love everyone while holding in so much hatred that one can smell it.
MoveOn offers a means to express my anger, it knows how to mobilize people and uses data to make their points. I, too, am no longer able to march, picket, go from door to door; however, I have my mind and computer and can do some work through that medium.
Let's not forget that in two years there are elections! Seats can be kept or switched in the senate, not to mention on the local level. Perhaps that the next step of action to take as we keep our eye on Trump.
I have also hears folks discussing the idea of moving to red states/counties to gain influence in the next election. I don't know how possible this is for many of us, but it's an interesting idea.
A change.org petition to the Electoral College has gotten over 4.3 million signatures (including mine) and counting!
From the detailed petition under "Read the letter":
The Founders created the Electoral College to balance two important values: the will of the people, and the need for a President who is fit for office. [...]
In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton explains that the "sense of the people", must be expressed in the outcome. But, "Men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice," should make the final decision. [...]
Casting your ballot for Hillary preserves majority rule - the "sense of the people" - and prevents the most unqualified candidate in history from taking office. Never in our Republic's 240 years has our President had no previous experience in an office of public trust, be it elected or appointed, civilian or military. Never has a President admitted to sexual assaults. Never has a President encouraged violence at campaign events.
There is no reason electors cannot vote with their conscience. They are not taking away the majority vote, and are not violating the Constitution. [...]
This petition notwithstanding, electors may be wavering. This Texas Republican elector is considering not voting for Trump -- especially if we write our electors, could there be enough others who'll reject a manifestly unfit and dangerous candidate, who'll live up to the "safety valve" function some see in keeping the Electoral College?
Thanks for this link, Bergen. I'm still stunned by the outcome but I imagine it will hit me full force sometime in January or February.