Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Resistance

Employees of NASA and the National Park Service have gone rogue, tweeting established science despite the gag order.  They’ve setup private accounts so they can continue. 

The entire top management level of the State Department has resigned.  This is not the usual shuffling of staff that comes with a change of administration.  These are career foreign service professionals who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Some Republicans are daring to break ranks and disagree with new policies.  Nevada governor Sandoval has publicly disagreed with the border wall and highlighted Nevada policies supportive of immigrants.
The press is stepping up, with headings like “Our president is a pathological liar”.  Yes, it is their job, but intrepid with such a vindictive administration backed by right wing zealots who think nothing of attacking anyone who dares disagree, facts be damned.  Six journalists were arrested while covering protests, and charged with felony rioting.
Millions of people marched, all over the country and all over the world, while 10 states have proposed legislation criminalizing peaceful protest.
These are the resistance.  These are people who are risking their livelihoods and their safety to speak up for what they believe in.  Do not squander their courage. 
Now is not the time to give up.  It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of reactionary changes in our government.  Science and the press have been labeled our enemies.  The propaganda machine justifies “alternate facts”.  Press that dares to report honestly is attacked, said to be left wing liars.  If you ever are tempted to consider the Trump administration credible, just remember the faux debate over the inauguration crowd.  They repeatedly told us that the crowds were huge, while we all stared dumbfounded at the photo evidence to the contrary. 
There will be trolls who get on posts and attack.  I’ve had someone threaten to use their right to punch me in the face.  Block them.  This is not discourse.  Don’t waste your energy on these people.
Remember that not even 60% of the eligible voters went to the polls, and Trump lost the popular election.  Fewer than 30% of eligible voters supported him.  And I’m pretty sure some of them are starting to question their choice.  Give them quiet reasons to question.  Check your facts first, then ask a pointed question.  Be polite.  Try to draw from them their reasoning.  That alone may be enough to get them to question themselves.
March, call your senators and representatives, speak up when you hear racism or discrimination of any kind, be ready to support targets of bigotry, run for local government, get involved in organizations like the ACLU, buy subscriptions to mainstream news like the NYT, Washington Post and the Guardian so they can afford to keep good journalists working, support NPR.  Don’t whitewash your language.  Lies in support of a political agenda are propaganda.  Euro-centric groups and the alt-right are white supremacists.  Social conservatives are bigots. 
Don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Find a way to keep yourself grounded as this is not a short term battle.  Pace yourself.  Make a realistic schedule to call a lawmaker every week, review and comment on political posts during certain times of day, or only on Fridays.  Join a protest march each season.  Whatever it takes to fit your personal methods of resistance into your life without consuming or exhausting yourself.
Remember the scientists, foreign service officers, prominent Republicans, reporters, and others who are taking significant risks to fight the Trump administration.  Do not squander their courage.  They are leaders.  Help form the army that fights for our constitution, our values, our country, and our planet.  

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