Monday, May 8, 2017

Soul Searching

"I didn't do enough."
~ Oskar Schindler, "Schindler's List"

The more I do to voice my displeasure and dismay with this political regime, the more I realize that I didn't do enough to help prevent it in the first place. 

I had thought I'd done enough.  I voted, as I have every presidential election since I cast my first vote for JFK.  I consider voting a privilege as well as a responsibility.  I am, relatively speaking, informed.   I've read the Constitution, not only in high school, but as recently as two years ago.  I continue to read a variety of material across a wide spectrum of political belief.  I've never been reluctant to talk about politics nor unwilling to listen to others' points of view.  

But I left the heavy lifting to others, even when I sensed, as early as a year ago, that he could win.  Even though, I believed he would do exactly what he is trying to do.  Even though I called him narcissistic and unwell from the get go.  I know I could excuse my sitting on the sidelines with "what can one person do" or "my vote won't count anyway as I live in a red state" or "John needs me more."  I could fall back on believing what the media was predicting (I didn't).  I could blame everyone else, and heaven knows, there's plenty of folks to blame.

I don't excuse myself.  However, I also do not mean to chastise myself, but rather to let this awareness fuel taking action.  I am beyond feeling guilty, but am committed to look for ways to encourage others to take action and to support those who do.  I've been calling my (theoretical) representatives, almost daily. I've e-mailed and continue to engage with staff as long as they stay open to alternative points of view. I've signed so many petitions that I suspect I've signed some more than once.  I've spent hours on FB, probably too many, but strive to interject a call to action wherever I can.  I take time to acknowledge the efforts of others who are marching, deciding to run for public office, moderating groups (what a job!), offering new ideas, standing up in their own party, etc.  

And, yet, I continue to ask myself, "What else can I do? Tonight, I'll read the next chapter in Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff and keep recommending it. Tomorrow, I'll send another check to ACLU - they have the lawyers, they have the grit.  Next week, show up to the nearby coffee shop to help write postcards of appreciation as well as postcards of protest.  I'll post this.  What else? What works?  What could work?

If, as you read this, especially to those of you in France who are learning from our mistakes, you have other ideas for effective resistance and change, I would be delighted and ever so grateful to receive them.  I will pass them on wherever I can.  I will do whatever I can. 

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