Thursday, July 11, 2019

Now Is The Time To Act

I am writing this at a nice coffee house in the small college town of Canyon, located in the Texas Panhandle. I am here to visit a dear friend, and later we will be driving up to Colorado for a reunion of our grad school circle. I am very excited about this, but also feeling overwhelmingly fear and sadness.

The president is expected to announce that he will add a citizenship question to the census, in direct defiance of the Supreme Court. Not only is the president declaring himself above the law, he is doing so in order to intimidate a large portions of the country to avoid the census, thus undercounting areas that oppose him so their representation in Congress can be reduced. There are also raids imminent on thousands of immigrant families. The president has also invited right wing internet trolls who spread hate to the White House.

All of this is happening on top of children being put in cages and separated from their families.

And what has the opposition party done? Jack shit, that's what they've done. I do not chalk it up to incompetence or fear, but rather that Pelosi and her ilk simply have no clue what to do. We are in uncharted territory here.

It would be easy to blame people like her, but what are the rest of us doing? Complaining about it on Twitter? Living our day to day lives like nothing has happened?

Two weeks ago I went to a protest at a detention center, and was lucky enough to see some of the activists who were willing to be arrested there days before. That is the example we must follow. Only by preventing the machine from operating, as Mario Savio famously said, will anything change.

That actually happened, not so long ago. The Trump administration's so-called "Muslim Ban" was met with massive protests at airports that directly challenged this administration, and forced it to back down. Nothing did more to undercut the new Trump administration than the first Women's March, which immediately blew apart media narratives of Trump's popularity.

A lot of that energy got put into the 2018 election. While that was successful in ending the Republican stranglehold on power, it has accomplished nothing else. In fact, it has created a deadly complacency, of people handing over the reins to those in power. This was the same mistake of the Obama years, and its being repeated again.

Remember, this is an unpopular president. He and his GOP allies are manipulating the system to maintain minority rule, but they are the minority. Stop being afraid. Stop expecting someone else to do the job. Now is the time to act, and time is running out.

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