Since Trump was elected, well-meaning, left-leaning folks like me have been wondering how best to fight the evils of the incoming administration, the flow of which is already rolling in and threatening to drown us. While we’re all trying to figure out how best to battle the baddies, we’re all sharing ideas. Often, these declarations include not just what we can do, but what others can’t do. I have one word for those people:
The last time I checked, none of you Facebook philosophers and Twitter talking heads held a degree in policy. You haven’t yourself come up with any guaranteed Donald-defeating defenses–if you had, the bloviating blowfish wouldn’t be moving into office. You have a suggestion for moves you think might just save the world? Fine–by all means, share them with the other members of the resistance so we can incorporate your brain gems into our gameplan. However, you should think twice (or three times) before you send down from your high horse proclamations that the measures other people are suggesting or taking are bullshit.
In the past week, I’ve seen several posts and heard myriad conversations saying that talking about X is frivolous, or doing Y is pointless. Screw. That. Just like we defeated the Axis of Evil (you know–the original Hitler, not the one we’re facing now) with an insane amount of weapons. We hit those bullies with planes, tanks, ships, jeeps, bullets, torpedos, bombs, nuclear shit, surveillance, spies, codebreakers, and all sorts of other means of attack and defense. Imagine if one general had said, “No, we should just stick with airplane bombs because studies have shown those to be the most effective,” we’d have been frakked. It took a whole bunch of solutions to solve the problem of Hitler and his special brand of awful.
Now, we’re hearing we shouldn’t spend time talking about Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech, because it’s not the most important thing. We shouldn’t talk about Trump’s tweets, because they’re ridiculous. Now, we women shouldn’t don pink kitty hats to show solidarity when the Women’s March on Washington (and Chicago, and other cities) rolls around, because it distracts from THE REAL ISSUES.
Here’s the thing, though: all of these things add up to a solid wall of defense against Trump, the GOP and all the shenanigans they’re trying to pull. This war won’t be won on one front. Yes, we need to keep the pressure up politically. We absolutely need to pick up the phone and call our elected officials to let them know we will not accept the fraud these charlatans are perpetrating. That’s not enough. We need to share things like Streep’s speech, because the inspiration will be the catalyst to get one person to act. Anger over the latest bit of nonsense Trump vomited all over Twitter will be the spark that lights another person up. And those ridiculous, adorable hats could be the symbol of unity and defiance that shows another person that she is not alone, motivating her to join the fight, too. We need all of it.
And as for dismissing any acts of dissent as “silly,” remember that Superman defeated the Ku Klux Klan–not on the newsprint pages of an old comic book, but in real life. After World War II, a wave of xenophobia took hold and provided the dying KKK with a fresh breath of life. With the help of a few brilliant minds and this nifty invention called the radio, the hateful organization was sent underground again. Read more about it here.
Take a page from the improv community. Don’t ever say a flat-out NO to something spoken or done by another performer. Say, “Yes, and….” i.e., “Yes! That thing there is good! What about this, too?” Don’t demotivate anyone from doing anything–validate, and inspire them to do more.