These are trying, hard, painful times.
I’ve come to understand that people (even those without a financial stake at the highest level, like the Dean of Corruption Scott Pruitt) don’t want facts anymore. They want to be right, no matter what the cost or real truth. They want power. They view race and politics as a zero sum game. This explains their silence in the murders of black people by police, by prison guards, by disease caused by a system designed against them.
Even people who are supposed to be on the “left” have been deluding themselves for a very long time. They told themselves it’s ok to ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton was under a criminal FBI investigation since 2015 before supporting her and more recently that it’s ok to ignore the fact that Bernie Sanders didn’t renounce the Russian trolls who helped his campaign and lied about how the campaign handled it when they found out (and the fact that his wife is under FBI investigation for bank fraud and he might get swept up in it.)
But there’s some good news in this world of ours: the positive things we do for ourselves and our environment have a positive feedback cycle. For example: riding your bike to work saves you money and allows you to donate that money to the candidate and/or cause of your choice. Getting solar panels saves money and energy. Same with energy efficiency upgrades. You get the idea.
It’s not just environmental action either: it’s sticking up for your neighbor if they’re in danger of being deported. It’s taking part in a Black Lives Matter rally. Racial solidarity is a buzzword, it only has meaning if white people aren’t silent when racism happens and use their privilege to hire, work with and empower people of color, to tell their stories, to tell a story of a better future.
It’s these small victories that we need to hold onto during this time. Trump’s downfall isn’t around the corner. It will take many more months of investigation before the truth about Russia comes out. The midterms are more than 200 days away.
I find myself inspired by the ending scene of Rogue One, that spinoff Star Wars movie which came out in 2016, right after Trump was elected. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it, but basically in order to take down something indestructible (the Death Star) it took a team to start the process. It took small sacrifices on the part of countless individuals, sacrifices that added up and gave birth to hope and possibility.
We are in the middle of making those sacrifices now: everyone who leaks at a federal agency or blows the whistle like the brave man at Cambridge Analytica, they’re heroes. Everyone who spoke and showed up at any Black Lives Matter rally, the Women’s March, the March for Our Lives, the March for Science to let the Trump administration know that they will not be cowed into silence, they’re heroes. Everyone who donated money and time for candidates running against the status quo, everyone who called a Congressman to stop attacks on our health care, everyone who has reported a story that spoke the truth in a world where liars are attempting to create a dystopia for profit, all heroes.
I don’t know how this story is going to end. But based on the unity, the force and the passion I’ve seen on our side, I like our odds.