Week 207 (countdown)
I’m opposed to the labels, name-calling and emotional arrows. I’ve been countering the president’s assault on my values with constructive activism. This is mainly a blog about action and following my personal quest for good conscience actions.
My media hole is filled with links from the Washington Post, New York Times, The Atlantic, New Yorker, ProPublica, Bill Moyers, George Takei, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver among others.
That’s all the same voice you say. Is it? If the voice of reason and sometimes humor is the same voice, then yes I’m guilty of listening to one voice. I know I need to expand these horizons. I’ll make an effort in future posts to find sources from unexpected voices on the right that speak to logic. Occasionally, I have been known to listen to David Brooks of the NY Times and George Will for their perspectives. But I could do more.
During my critical Facebook reads, I’m also discounting opinions and non-credible sources. If a piece says something inflammatory, non-substantive, and name-calling for the obvious sake of raising blood pressure than I simply turn it off. I’m not listening to that. That serves no purpose than to rile. You have to recognize your sources and their motives. Everyone on the spectrum wants an audience from NY Daily News, MoveOn, and OccupyDemocrats to Fox and CNN commentators.
Sometimes you need a laugh even though they’re cheap shots. On that front Andy Borowitz, the Onion and Boing Boing deliver. It’s the humor that has made the political turmoil not a complete mental firestorm. The Spicer GIFs, the bad lip reading video, the alt facts tweets and alt websites in revolt, the creative signs at last week’s march have all helped to feel satisfied that we are not complicit. We will not roll over.
I’ve been very open to action plans and trying to align myself with sensible, effective action plans. Giving money to organizations fighting for your values is great if you have the resources (as discussed in last week’s post). But there’s more to do.
I’ve heard repeatedly about contacting Congress or various politicians. I’ve been reluctant to explore this path. How does it help if: 1. You already think that Congress is ineffective and simply a piece of the broken machine. And 2. If it’s just a staffer on the other end of the line or worse an answering machine. How does that get your message through and what are you demanding?
On my Hawaiian vacation last week, we walked past an older white man wearing a Trump/Pence hat. And I caught myself instantly demonizing the person. I rationalized, why would you wear that hat after the election during a week of protest and turbulence? Either the guy is pronouncing he’s a “winner”, analogous to a Super Bowl champion fan; Or it’s a conversation piece. It’s an invitation. The fear is that the conversation would be a one-way gloating and pontificating rather than an exchange of ideas. But you risk that outcome at every conversation with a stranger, don’t you.
I could not react quick enough, but I wanted to work up a productive script for the future in case I encountered more of those hats. With my wife’s help, we came up with the following response:
“I’m interested in reaching across the Divide. Do you mind if I ask you about the election and what it was about Trump that appealed to you?”
That type of conversation is mature and I’m encouraged now to engage others I know who voted for Trump in a similar way.
Week 1 I marched. Week 2 I found feasible ideas in this keeping your sanity guide and in two action-oriented movements: IndivisibleGuide and 10 actions in 100 days (a follow-up to the women’s march). Others protested the anti-muslim executive order at airports this week. Thanks to the alliance.
I will continue to pass along helpful resources as I grapple with how to best defend social justice and yes true civilization. -CSR