Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it. — author Philip K. Dick in “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer”
Most of my friends have processed the election of Donald Trump more slowly than I have. They are still a bit shellshocked and unsure what to do. Thinking on it, to be sure, but not yet ready to move. But it’s January 2. The holidays are over. The options for rebellion against all we lost two months ago are endless — as is the need and urgency.
Yes, I will start my Whole30 diet at some point this week (oh sweet carbs, how I miss you already). Yes, I will hit the gym when the rest of my family gets back to a normal schedule. I will sleep more. Drink less. Yada yada yada. But what’s more important than the 40 pounds I need to lose (of which I can only blame about five on the last six weeks) is the progressive rebellion for the next four years.
I am one to overcommit — as is evidenced by the fact that I started a potential four-year commitment while in the fetal position on the couch on November 11. So I’m going to keep it intentionally simple for 2017. I may dabble in more, but I will write these three New Year’s rebellions down on a Post-It note where I see them every single day.
- Tell my story. That is, of course, this blog. The idea for this blog percolated for three days after Election Day and came to life on November 12. My first New Year’s rebellion is to write this weekly blog for 2017. Maybe for four years, but definitely through 2017. This is the mission statement I came up with on November 11:
“To tap into the energy of HRC supporters (and others) who are gutted by the fact that Clinton/a woman was not elected and to focus that energy into more than hating Trump. We need to organize and have our own movement. And with that movement, line up progressives deeply for years to come — including women — so we can start making changes we think America needs.
“I want to focus on women, progressives, and the future. I do not want to start a Trump hate movement. This is passion with a practical slant.”
I had no idea how I would do that. I spent the first two months processing, planning and taking small steps to prepare for battle, getting through Thanksgiving and Christmas with those on the other side, talking to people younger and older than me on both sides of the ballot, considering the upside of HRC’s loss, pondering then giving the middle finger to the Electoral College, and trying (occasionally) to remember there is more to life than our country’s politics.
It is now time to act. And that’s what I plan to write about for the next year or four, in this space every Monday and throughout the week on my Facebook and Twitter platforms. Writing about my journey is therapeutic. Perhaps reading about it will be, as well.
- Learn about similar movements of the past. I am 49 years old. I was born in 1967 and have done little to fight for what’s right other than a few marches, opinion pieces, donations, board positions, and Facebook posts for gay rights, common sense gun laws, and immigration reform. OK, that list actually makes me feel better. Maybe I’m not such a novice after all. But I always had the feeling I could half-ass it — that we were on the right side of history and the progressive movement was on track, nipping at the backward heels of those in opposition.
That fairy tale is over.
Last week, I spent an energizing and hopeful hour and a half with a friend’s daughter — a 22-year-old in her first year at Harvard Law School. She gave me the history of the feminist movement in the amount of time it took me to eat a breakfast taco, along with a list of books I should read. I’ll share more about that next week and am ordering those books this week, as well as renewing my Amazon Prime membership.
- Actively move forward. I am making plans today to join the Women’s March on Austin on Saturday, January 21. I have been to a few political meetings since November 9 and am part of the leadership of the East Dallas Pantsuit group. I will follow my Republican state house representative very closely during the upcoming four-month session. I now know his name (my bad that I didn’t before November 9) and soon, he will know mine. I will also continue my daily tirades on social media against fake news.
Those are my three. I have friends who have other rebellions in mind:
- The Harvard law student is now gearing her journey there toward being a feminist lobbyist instead of a public defender.
- A attorney friend is seriously exploring a run for public office, at a state or national level.
- A teacher friend is toying with the idea of running for school board.
- Friends are going to the Women’s March on Washington while others will join me in Austin (if you can’t make it to D.C., check this list of marches going on 47 states and 15 countries).
- Friends are giving money to organizations vital to the progressive movement that are at risk — from Planned Parenthood to The Washington Post.
- Friends are giving their time to organizations and people at risk.
We are now the change we wish to see in the world (to tweak a quote often found on the back of progressive’s cars that Ghandi didn’t actually say).
So what change do you wish to see? And don’t give me any bullshit about the first woman president in 2020 or even a Democrat victory in 2020. This isn’t a movie, folks, where one is magically transported to the future with a caption, change of hairstyle, and all is right with the world. This is real life and we are in a real mess. If you were pissed off on November 8, there is a hella lot a work to be done every single day between now and November 3, 2020.
So, what are your New Year’s rebellions? It’s January 2. Barack Obama will no longer be our president in 18 days. The Republican majority Senate and House start sessions tomorrow. Tick tock tick tock.