What now?

A little more than two weeks into the Trump regime and it feels like we are at war. The resistance is fortified with a manifesto of daily actions, to attack Trump’s agenda. This is more than a political choice; this is now a moral obligation. Sure we all have other things we would rather be doing but the times have called upon us to pick up our tools of opposition: our voice, our devices, our uniform resource locators and be the change. The sixties and seventies was PEACE and LOVE. Today we are too angry to forgive those who got us here.  We are facing a moment in history that will judge us by how we fight. We have heard it ad nauseam, but it can’t be said often enough, the future of our country is at stake.

© Tish Lampert. All rights reserved.

© Tish Lampert. All rights reserved.

The everyday demands of making the calls, showing up with a sign, getting on a bus, signing petitions, influencing those who are on the fence, even running for office, may loose its import when we are continually blindsided by Trump’s henchmen, in the day to day overthrow of our values. The calls are working if only in that they are jamming the phone lines in Washington.  The confirmation of cabinet members despite the firestorm of disapproval, reflect an overall crisis in our government. The false testimony of Pruitt and Mnuchin alone would have eliminated both men for confirmation in the past. The vote in committee took place without a single democrat in attendance. Those in Congress and the Senate who are enabling Trump’s misguided course are complicit and must be held accountable.

We The People, will not be silenced.

After seventeen years on the trail, documenting dissent, I know how burned out we can get.  The outcome of our daily efforts must be to find a way to get the message out to the broader constituencies who are hoodwinked by the Trump machine. It is clear to me that everything rests in the upcoming election of 2018. And we must get started NOW! We cannot keep preaching to our choir. The greatest example of today’s new activism was found last week in protests outside representative’s offices in states that voted for Trump.

© Tish Lampert. All rights reserved.

© Tish Lampert. All rights reserved.

It’s time to influence those who are up for re-election in 2018.

Let’s bring the fight to the halls of Congress and become so effective that McConnell and Ryan and the Republican triumvirate will once and for all fear loosing their jobs.

I know it’s not affordable for many of us to show up in Washington week after week, but consider applying pressure locally at the offices of those elected officials who will face the ballot box in 2018. This mindset is especially important as we near the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. 

Most of us in the resistance live in states whose representatives do not need the flood of calls to remind them their constituents are not happy. I live in California and my representatives will be voting against Gorsuch and will be demanding retribution for denying Obama his Supreme Court pick.

We need to craft an effective way to reach out across the aisle. Consider how to awaken Trump’s voters, who were also blindsided by his lies, and stand to lose the most.

It is in times like these I am reminded by what Viviette Applewhite told me, in 2012. Her determination helped to re-elect Obama, when she waged her single battle to register to vote, after voting in the same precinct for twenty-five years. Viviette was denied registration when her purse was stolen, in the market, with all her ID. Her case got all the way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and she won. Her one woman stand freed up registration for thousands of disenfranchised voters, in Pennsylvania, and because of her efforts, they were able to vote for Obama.  The power of one voice.

Viviette Applewhite, 2012 © Tish Lampert. All rights reserved.

Viviette Applewhite, 2012
© Tish Lampert. All rights reserved.

“People built our nation. Our republic is in the hands of the people. A word of caution to politicians – you better take us seriously. Because if you don’t believe in us, if you don’t believe in the power of the people, then you’ll loose your jobs. I have lived in this country for almost a hundred years and I have seen what it takes to get the politicians to make laws that help the citizens. I learned this marching with MLK.

We must remind ourselves every single day to fight for our rights. If we don’t back down, if we continue to stand up for our rights, then I have all the faith in the world for our democracy.”

Viviette Applewhite, 2012

 

Tish Lampert