Michelle Obama gave the most beautiful speech while she was campaigning for Hillary Clinton:
(it’s properly captioned – click “cc” to turn them on)
I think it’s important to remember a few things in the framing of our narrative about what just happened with the Presidential Election:
Hate and bigotry, etc – did not win.
Trump won the vote by winning the Electoral Vote. He did not win the Popular Vote; Hillary did. That means that if if our vote counted like the TV ads all say it does, if the Electoral College system did not exist, he would not be the President-Elect of the United States of America.
If we focus on the types of qualities that had to exist in a voter in order to elect Trump – namely, fear, hate, bigotry, misogyny, etc – we’ll sink cesspools of depression. That the majority of our beloved country could feel that way is too sad to bear. But this is the thing: THEY DIDN’T. He DID NOT win the popular vote! It is NOT the majority that feel that way!
Feeling the positive here is crucial, I think, in energizing our spirits for change.
2. “Going High” Does Not Mean “Stay Silent”
We can be powerful, positive agents of change and upholders of justice and still “Go High.”
Look at Martin Luther King, Jr. Or look at Gandhi. Look at any leader in a non-violent, peaceful movement that worked towards civil rights and justice. Everyone one of them “went high” and yet still affected change.
“Going High” doesn’t mean to roll over. It simply means to not stoop to a level that promotes values that you are not aligned with. Which brings me to my next point:
3. We Get What We Tolerate
This what I am personally most afraid of.
I’m scared that we will all become used to what was formerly intolerable. It’s like the slow squashing of civil rights: if it happens slowly and incrementally, you don’t notice it until one day you wake up with none.
Some people think this can’t possible happen in the USA. Guess what? They are wrong. Healthcare can be repealed (did you read Ari Ne’eman’s piece yet? You should: I’m a Disabled American. Trump’s Policies Will Be A Disaster For People Like Me), leaving millions without care. The right to choose what happens with your body can also be revoked. Conservative Republicans now control all aspects of this country, and that has not been seen in my lifetime. There is also an open seat in the Supreme Court.
With everything pointing to conservative and republican, with people like Rudy “Stop and Frisk” Giulani and Sarah “I Understand Special Needs” Palin being consider for key roles in the new government, we must be vigilant.
We can’t adjust to the new normal that the new administration is about to create.
4. We still live in a democracy and have the power of action
This is a great article, “How to Make Your Congressman Listen to You.” She really spells out how to get their attention, and it seems as if the phone is the best way. As a deaf woman who lives off the grid (- which means without phone lines), this isn’t exactly thrilling news. But I’m going to do this – I’m going to figure out how to make those phone calls to my representatives and demand action and change.
Call your Representatives and Senator, Paul Ryan (202) 225-3031, Majority Leader McConnell, (202) 224-2541 to stop the Bannon appointment. Per this congressional staffer’s advice (http://bit.ly/2ga5nOs): FB, Twitter, Letters, emails are ignored, but if enough of us CALL, they notice. Program your representatives and the above numbers in your cell phone and call whenever you can. You can look up your reps here: http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/.
Regarding the repealing of Obama-care, my friend Ingrid created a great script to follow:
How to DO something to save healthcare: Step by step.
The gist: Call the LOCAL offices of your Democratic Senators EVERY WEEK DAY from now until Thanksgiving. The aim is to gear them for immediate battle on 1/3/17 when Congress reconvenes. I know this from DREDF — calls work.
Please read the article for more information and for your Senator’s numbers.
If you have a Republican Senator, please see the instructions for calling Reid or Schumer. Or wait for the next article on calling Republicans.
Ingrid goes on to provide an easy script to follow:
Hi, this is ________, I’m a constituent from _______County.
I’m calling to urgently request that once the new Congress opens on January 3rd, that our Democratic Senators protect us from the incoming Republican SuperMajority with the one tool that can SAVE the PPACA and stop them from Destroying Medicare.
I want the Democratic Senators to start using the Filibuster AND the Cloture Rule to obstruct every action of the Republicans which could take away our hard-won benefits, like Healthcare.
I am terrified of what will happen to us if the Democratic Senators don’t protect us.
The Republicans used Cloture to obstruct Democratic GOOD for eight years, NOW, we need the Democrats to use Cloture to prevent the Republicans from doing harm.
Channeling our grief, sense of helplessness, fear and anger into direct action that can prevent healthcare losses and certain appointments to be made is the most productive use of our energy and emotions now.
Create a plan. Commit. Show up. Learn. Challenge yourself. Do the hard things. Walk the talk.
We can do this, because we’re going high.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.