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3 Feb
2017

One Week Later

I am in shock. My head is spinning. I am sick. I am terrified! As a life-long member of the “glass-half-full” club, I keep looking for an optimistic approach to all of the damage to our democracy. There must be a small streak of light behind these enormous dark clouds.

It has been a week!! The man, who shall not be named, along with his Cabinet nominees and the Republican Congressional leadership have taken collective unprecedented action. He and they have frozen, denounced, gagged, lied, censored, defunded, threatened, arrested, discriminated against and destroyed people and programs which serve the vulnerable, defend civil rights, protect our environment, safeguard our Constitutional freedoms, conduct investigative journalism and cooperate with long-time US allies.Dear Mr. President, a Week Later Jan 2017

Then I remember last Saturday. I felt a sense of unity, respect, courtesy, camaraderie, diversity, dedication, enthusiasm. The experience was uplifting and heartwarming…a bright light shining through the clouds. The numbers of cities and towns around the country and even around the world. The latest numbers are between 3.5 and 4.5 million marchers in the U.S. alone. It was a Women’s March. But it wasn’t just women. There were a high percentage of men, and children too,…people of all ages. It wasn’t just white. There were many hues of black, brown and tan. This march suggested, organized and led by women is an expanding streak of light in those dark clouds.

The energy we felt, that we needed to lift our spirits, to focus our resistance and to encourage our actions, is beginning to move us forward. The Women’s March on Washington is encouraging ten actions for the first 100 Days, beginning with sending postcards to our senators. In an effort to mobilize and change the majority in the House, Swing Left is asking us to get involved and organize in swing districts. Senator Warren and Congressman Cummings  of Maryland led an effort to get an audit of T’s finances by requesting emails be sent to the General Accounting Office. The GAO has reportedly responded stating they have accepted the request and will “conduct the work in the same non-partisan, fact-based approach we take with all Congressional requests.” I am sure there are many other efforts underway propelled by the energy that poured into the streets across the country.Women's March Jan 2017 NYC

That streak of light I was looking for is much bigger than I hoped. It is not just in reaction to “him” but he has been the spark that lit the fire that has brought us together in ways we haven’t seen in decades. Winston Churchill said that, “The United States is like a gigantic boiler. Once the fire is lit under it, there is no limit to the power it can generate.” The fire has been lit.  We must continue to add fuel to the flames. Let’s use the power of that fire to transform on our country to a more participatory, egalitarian democracy that provides opportunity, education, health care, choice, freedom, protects our environment and respects all of us regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability.

That vision may be a long way in the future, but it is the future I hope for my grandsons and their children. I am going to follow Robert Muller’s advice when he said, “Use every letter you write; every conversation you have; every meeting you attend, to express your fundamental beliefs and dreams. Affirm to others the vision of the world you want.”

I am going to take action, speak out, write, march, stay informed and continue to look for the expanding light to drive the dark clouds away and move toward my vision. What will you do?

(Originally written the week of January 23, 2017, after the Women’s March)

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10 Comments

  • Bev

    This is beautiful. It represents who you are and your vision for who we all should be to resist whenever our core values are threatened.
    Barb

  • Thanks, Barb. I think it is so important to hold strong.

  • Thank God for the women of the world! My current mantra to all men is find some significant other who is younger and smarter than you. That’s what I did!
    Dump (Donnie) Trump

    • Hey Stokes,
      Thank you for such a strong endorsement of women. We need to continue to build on the March, organize, support our allies and RESIST!!

  • Well said–and encouraging! It’s hard to stay positive with everything that’s happening, and I see anger and frustration popping up in all sorts of other situations–i guess because steam needs to escape!

    I’ve been dedicating every morning to becoming informed, speaking–and writing–to others. It IS time to start looking for “the expanding light.”

    Hugs,

    Peg

    • Peg, Thank you for your morning work. We need it!

  • Great blog. Bev, two daughters and her grand daughters all walked in the Sacramento March. They had a great time, felt energized and hopeful. Keep writing, we need good ideas

  • Thanks For the encouragement, Chuck. I plan to keep writing, speaking out and doing what I can.😊

  • On Feb 20, 2017, at 8:51 AM, Arnold Minors wrote:

    With respect to your glass-half-full comment, the light that i see is that your new president’s actions have mobilized people in the excited states to protest and write and march and fight and talk about what democracy really means in a sustained way, for the first time in a long time – probably since Vietnam.

    I cannot help but point out that black lives matter’s actions and policy statement are recent precursors of this. Black folks understand – because of our experience – that democracy has never been about including us.

    I am reminded of the often-quoted and sometimes-changed speeches by pastor niemoller. Too many people do nothing because marginalized people (the least of these, my brethren) are abused and silenced and killed; because they are not a marginalized group member. But ultimately, because each of us is unique (and, by definition, potentially marginal, if not marginalized at a particular moment), each of us is at risk until all of us experience justice.

    I would argue that it is not democracy (in its more recent definition) that is threatened; it is justice.

    My quick thought for the day.

    all the best,

    arnold

    • (Arnold wrote me the original comment via email, and then permitted me to post it. Here is my reply)

      Arnold,
      Great to hear from you.
      I like your comments. He has indeed mobilized people many of whom weren’t political and didn’t vote. That is part of the light. Black Lives Matter was in the lead of this movement way before the election…doing very important work.

      And with your comments about how we do nothing about the marginalized but are potentially marginal reminds me of the piece about The Hangman who ultimately comes for me.

      I agree that justice is threatened as part of democracy.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Bev

So, what do you think?

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