This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.
Commit yourself to the long haul, because that’s what’s needed to un-bork the country.
Waking up on November 9, 2016 was tough and bewildering, and not just because Trump won. It was tough because many of us were shocked to discover that the Democrats—the opposition party—was weak and in piss-poor shape to reign in Trump and his minions.
All this was made exponentially worse by the behavior of the Republicans, who have consistently favored their party over the greater good of the country since the current Congressional session began.
Let’s be painfully honest. There’s only so much the Democrats can do when the Republicans own everything and show no interest in fulfilling their obligation to check Trump’s power. The Democrats are trying, and in many cases, trying valiantly to curb the worst excesses, but the Republicans hold all the cards right now (in 2017).
Do not lose sight of the fact that the Democrats are stepping up, and the Republicans are not.
Trump will leave eventually. We won’t take bets on when. But never forget that this does not end when he’s gone. In the immortal words of God, speaking at the end of the classic film Time Bandits (which you really need to see if you haven’t yet): You need to stay here and carry on the fight.
The good news of the 115th Congress, such as it is, is that sitting Congressional Republicans are showing us who they are–unfit to govern, and incapable of governing.
We need to remember this, take down their names, and work to remove members of Congress who rolled over and surrendered to Trump. We need to work to elect Democrats, and we also need to work to elect Republicans who are sane and responsible.
Yes, you read that right. You need to work sane, responsible members of the opposition party, too.
One of the big reasons this country is borked right now is that we’re polarized. We used to be able to tolerate, and even befriend, people who disagreed with us on key issues. Somehow, without any of us really noticing, too many of us lost this talent.
You can argue about the hows and the whys, but it’s a fact. One of the ways to fix it is to go out and befriend people who don’t think like you all the time, on everything, but who are responsible and sane and have backbones.
You’re probably thinking by now, “Yeah, but what one thing are you asking me to do?” Fair enough.
Read this past post about recruiting friends in red states to call their MoCs:
Pay attention to the bits about cultivating friendships. Get to work, if you haven’t yet. Build up your network so you can support your red state friends during elections and perhaps help them ID and support sane Republicans (assuming the Democrats are feckless or the Republican candidate is actually better).
And be on watch for future posts about sane Republicans, and consider following those folks on SoMe.
In addition, look at your state and local reps. Do you see any sane Republicans? Keep tabs on them. Maybe support them. Certainly support them if their Democratic counterpart is feckless or worse.