Time to invoke the 25th Amendment.
It’s all been said already. The GOP bill, TrumpDoesn’tCare, sucks. And frankly, I am unable to find the funny in the fact that the current leaders just sold us down the River Styx, on our way to hell.
I feel it personally, deeply. I honestly fear for the future of myself and everybody like me with a preexisting condition. Everybody with a chronic condition that requires expensive medicine. Mine costs $26K every six weeks. Over the 5 years of the “pool” the GOP added to the AHCA, I’ll use $1 million just by myself. Because of poop problems.
Folks keep telling me that I’m over-reacting, that this bill will never pass the Senate. And that’s true. But I have no faith that the Senate version will be much better, only different. After all, it is run by the folks who literally stole a supreme court seat. Does anybody really believe that these guys will do the right thing?
So clearly there is only one response that I have to Donald Trump and the House GOP.
If you hear about somebody doing this at the White House or on Capitol Hill, just pretend you don’t know me.
Feeling down in the mouth? Discouraged? Hopeless?
You’re not alone.
When I’m suffering with something-or-other, it really helps to know that I’m not alone. Since November 9, 2016, there’s been a veritable epidemic of misery sweeping the nation. Relax, though. Because your misery now has a name, an actual diagnosis:
We’re all suffering from PESD. Although frankly, I don’t know why they needed a new diagnosis. Because if the election of Donald Trump doesn’t represent a traumatic event, I don’t know what does.
The only treatment is action.
It’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And so, of course, Putin’s President, with the irony born of someone without a soul or a keen eye for history, chose today of all days to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
Naturally, that means anybody who “looks” Muslim will become even more of a target than they have been since Trump took us all down the gold escalator into hell. It is now open season on “others” here in our nation of immigrants.
So what can we do about it?
I will admit that the safety pin movement left me feeling decidedly unhelpful. It’s a nice thought, but it never made me feel like I was actually standing up for anyone. Or like I was doing something to help people being targeted.
But a while back I saw this article that offered some practical suggestions that have some meat on the bones. Really! Click on the link. Cause I’m not going to tell you everything it says.
Anyway, I like to think that I would be the kind of person who would stand up in any situation to protect those in need. But frankly, I’m overweight, slow moving, and cowardly. They don’t make superheroes who look or act like me. So the odds are NOT in my favor. Besides, when something happens around me, I never have a clue what’s happening. I generally stand there, looking around, confused. Immobile. Saying “WTF” with my mouth hanging open. Quick witted I may be with words, but actions? Not so much.
But the Vox article showed me a way to help when someone is being verbally assaulted, in situations where I am most likely to see it happen. It’s brilliant. And relatively safe. Win-win.
Here’s an example. Say you’re in Target, passing by the children’s section, when you hear a man harassing a woman in a hijab. He’s big and burly, and you want to help. You also don’t want him to target you. Still, you can’t just walk away, turn a blind eye. You’re a good person! You wouldn’t be able to look yourself in the mirror if you didn’t help. But how?
Why, act like an idiot, of course. Me, I’m a natural! At acting the idiot, that is. Not being one. That’s the role of the racist.
You interrupt the jerk. Wander in between him and his victim as if you’re looking for something, and can’t quite find it. Request his help. Be totally oblivious. Give the poor target the opportunity to get away. Think Roseann Rosanna Dana.
Or, in an equally ditzy way, pretend to be the friend/shopping buddy of the woman being mistreated, and in an oblivious way whisk that woman out of the children’s department and into the table linens.
“Sylvia!” said in the most nasal tone imaginable, “THERE you are. You were supposed to meet me in the shoe department … you come with me right now before they’re out of the size 7s…”
Read the article. Learn steps you can take to help folks who may really need your help. Because it’s a Brave New World out there. And it helps to be prepared.
Today of all days, it’s important to recall these words, from the U.S. Holocaust Museum:
The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words. The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.
Tomorrow will be a day of mourning for many of us, as we head into who knows what is to come.
It is time for the peaceful opposition to start in earnest.
There will be protests and marches to join, petitions to sign, letters to write and calls to make. We must keep it up.
But here is one of my favorite tactics —
It’s not enough to not watch the inauguration.
You must actively turn on your TV to something else.*
Me, I plan to turn mine on to Comedy Central, home of oh so many left wing folks.
[You can also set your DVR to another channel, but the way ratings work, you must watch the recording the same day or the ratings are shown for the day you watch, rather than the day you record. ]
Of course, this is not all I plan to do as one member of the Loyal Opposition. It isn’t all I will suggest/bug/pester you into doing over the years, either.
But it is going to be hard to do anything else on January 20, 2017 through the tears we’ll all be shedding.
For those of you planning to attend the Women’s March in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 21, here is some important information for you:
For those of you who want some ideas of how to help, or need to get some comfort from the fact that there ARE and WILL BE things to do, here’s some ideas.
We’re all gonna be busy.
* Thanks to Karen for the idea.
Sometimes a metaphor actually plops into your lap. Or your hands. Or into someplace you hope you don’t drop your cell phone.
That happened to me today, when I read an article in the Huffington Post about one of the, ahem, priorities, of the folks setting up Friday’s Inauguration of Donald J. Trump. And really, it is a metaphor for what is to come.
You see, whenever there is a big event here in the DC area, there’s a lot of shit going on. Literally. Lots of people = lots of pee and poop! So port-a-potties line the Mall, surround the Monuments; and ring the Capitol itself. And in the DC area, one company has the scoop on poop.
But, according to the Huffington Post,
When I saw that headline, my first thought was, “Of course they are. They’re covering up all kinds of shit.” But this time they’re not covering up the shit, but the name.
Photo Credit: Michael Showalter for the NY Post
Of course folks are covering up Don’s shit. But it’s up to us to pull off the tape and show the world Don’s Johns. That will be our job for the duration of Trump’s presidency — whether that is for 2 weeks or 4 years. To pull off the tape on Don’s Johns. To expose every breach of law, each unethical behavior, all threats to the rule of law.
THAT is how we will survive Trump. Because you can’t paper over the truth for long.
If you were a news junkie during the George W. Bush era, you’re already experiencing deja vu. That sinking feeling already makes your eyes roll automatically when Putin’s President appears. It settled into the back of your neck from the whiplash as you shake your head and shout “no, no, no, no, no, no, no!” over the latest outrage or tweet. And it’s there in the pit of your stomach, when you try not to vomit whenever you see the color orange.
Yup, it’s started. The Deluge. The Flood. The Trump shit storm.
During the Bush years, I would just be ready to pounce on one issue, when another hit the fan and took the wind out of my sails. Resistance is hard if there is just so much to resist.
How, I worried in the days since November 8, will I survive Trump. I feared a heart attack. A stroke. Getting so scared I’d shit in my pants. Of course I worry about the last one sometimes during a scary movie.
Anyway, I’ve come up with a strategy for a hybrid Resister/Surviving Human. I’m going to become a political centaur!
I’m going to take my mother’s marital and parental advice and apply it to my activism. She said:
Me, I’m going to try to focus on issues I know about and/or that are closest to my heart. The ones I write about here on FiftyFourAndAHalf.
But that won’t be all I do. I will look for and follow the lead of others who are knowledgeable about other issues, and I will try to help to the extent I can. It’s not hard, really, to make calls to Congress and the White House. Really, it just takes a minute. You or I can even just cut and paste and hit “send.”
But I will try my very best to keep my blood pressure — and my outrage to livable levels.
George W. Bush kept us all off balance because there were so many things to be outraged about, that we couldn’t keep it up. Different bad presidents need different tactics.
And Trump will make the Dubya years look like a walk in the park. And that park is in Baghdad.
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