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The entire world is facing the Covid19 pandemic. When I last wrote about activism, I urged us all to contact our members of Congress to somehow take the power from The First Toddler and have Congress make some rational decisions about the pandemic. Now, it appears that the Governors of the states are coming together to do this.
We in the United States are also facing another huge crisis: The destruction of what remains of our democracy. Actually, TWO huge crises. The first one is political, the second economic: The total handover of the economy to corporations and destruction of our hard-won and carefully built Commons, like such institutions as the U.S. Post Office.
This is such a bummer to write about. I DON'T WANNA DO IT! I want to write about fun walks and silly poodles.
Last night, I talked to my niece Rose and her boyfriend Lawrence in Boulder. It was our first Face Time conversation, and I loved looking at their beautiful young faces, but I wasn't so crazy about the wrinkled old woman stuck in the upper right corner. I mean, ok, I'm OLD! I accept that. I'm grateful to have lived this long! Really! It's a blessing! But do I have to look at my face all the time on Face Time?
ANYHOW, I apologized to both of them for the mess we're in, the political mess that our generation somehow allowed to happen and is handing to future generations. And, although neither said "I accept your apology," they acted as if I was doing something appropriate. It felt good to apologize.
The point is, democracy is a hell of a lot of work. It is not just about voting, as we have been led to believe. Voting is the LEAST of it, the teeny tiny tip of the pyramid of work. I have done a fair amount of that lower-in-the-pyramid work in the past, volunteering for campaigns and running for office twice. But clearly, not ENOUGH work.
I was talking to Carolyn about this last night, and she said, "Remember after the 2016 election, we said maybe we should just forget about theater and work on political issues?"
I have felt for a long time that my generation got stuck in protest. Rather than doing the (very) hard work of acquiring actual power by electing progressive people, most of us chose to stay on the outside, protesting the evil being done.
Protest has its place, yes. Protest is important. People like to say "All those protests against the U.S. in Vietnam ended the war." The protests were important, but the war ENDED when the House of Representatives cut off funding for it. Very simple. No more money. Everyone's gotta get out of there.
In the buildup to our country's invasion of Iraq, we saw what happens when there's enormous popular protest WITHOUT having enough elected representatives in Congress willing to stop a war-mad President. Nothing. NOTHING.
It's not that we good women and men have done nothing. But the evil men (yes, mostly men) have been VERY busy for a very long time. Now we good people must associate, as Edmund Burke describes, and work like hell.
But doing what? And what CAN we do without leaving the house?
1.WORKING NOW TO DEFEAT TRUMP IN NOVEMBER:
YOU CAN DO THIS NOW!
This idea comes from Daily Kos via Gail Lynch, VOTE FORWARD: