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Michelle Obama gave the most beautiful speech while she was campaigning for Hillary Clinton:

(it’s properly captioned – click “cc” to turn them on)
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I think it’s important to remember a few things in the framing of our narrative about what just happened with the Presidential Election:

  1. 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 Healthcare can be repealed (did you read Ari Ne’eman’s piece yet?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.

About the Bannon appointment, Pantsuit Nation says:

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.

THANK YOU.

_____________

5.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He won. 

Or rather, he “won”, because I can’t believe that the polls were not actually rigged in his favor. I can’t wrap my head around the hate, bigotry, white supremacy and narrow mindedness that has won out in our country, nor can I believe that the majority of Americans feel that way.

However, things have been simmering for a long time here. Racial and economic divides are real. Schools are in terrible shape. Government systems are archaic and do not function well. We are desensitized to violence and our gun culture is strong. We are drowning in materialism and debt. Religion and spirituality are weak, or if they exist, they are intolerant of others.

It feels like the foundation upon which America was built is crumbling, has decayed. The floorboards are rotten, the walls are infested.

Trump is now President

Trump has a long history of mocking the disabled, being disrespectful and uncaring of issues related to the disability community (good pieces on this are “As a Disabled Person, I Implore You Not to Vote for Donald Trump“, and the “Crip the Vote” project ). With him, we are getting a man who feels comfortable calling people “retarded” (as he did with deaf actress Marlee Matlin on Celebrity Apprentice), who cares so little about access that his properties have been sued “at least eight times” for disability violations. I mean, this, in addition to his rampant misogyny and uneducated, uninformed, unprepared, ignorant self – and we know we are in for a royal treat for the next 4 years.

I want to give us hope though. You see, most of you know that my brother just died. I’ve been walking this path of grief for the past two months and I know a little bit about it.

One thing I know is that it can be an opportunity. Grief can be a gateway to change, it can propel and move you in radical ways to new avenues.

Now, you can sit on grief. You can mull and stew in it. You can let it consume you – and it would be happy to do that, because grief can be a hungry beast.

Or you can channel it.

The government is screwed. But guess what? So are disability systems. The whole piece on Social Security, medical benefits, work? It’s completely messed up. Going along with the system if Hillary won might actually not have been our best long-term option, because we wouldn’t be forced to try and actually rebuild the broken house that is our political and policy system. But now, with Trump, we are forced to work through all of the problems. We know we are absolutely shafted if we sit back and do nothing now, or allow various bandaid approaches, like we would have with Hillary.

So what I’m saying here is that I think that all of us who are feeling the grief now should be talking to each other, and starting to band together to organize.

This video was great in helping me understand the history of the Republican Party:

 

I feel like this information, coupled with Bernie’s message that,

we need a new generation of people actively involved in public service who are prepared to provide the quality of life the American people deserve

Is crucial now. Those of who are grieving, we need to be those people. We need to rise up and become active, NOW. We need to educate ourselves on our systems, how they work, and we need to become a part of the change.

We can channel our grief and start a revolution.

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