I’m So Angry – A Rant

I have not written here much since the election. My disillusionment was too great.  So I thanked Secretary Clinton for her awesome service and inspiration, celebrated as much as possible for my birthday and over the holidays, and thought about next steps.  As so many of us are, I am writing and calling and showing up as often as possible to make it clear that this administration is just.not.okay.

thhdynv06tBut that’s not even what I am most angry about. What makes me so damn angry is the absolute denial of those who are still saying “but Hillary” and “Bernie would have”.  You know what?  The house is burning down here, and you are worried about a leaky faucet.  Every single damn non-Republican who voted third party, or stayed home, or worse, voted for 45, brought this on us.  And you need to own it.  No more “Bernie would have won”.  Or “the Primary was rigged”.  Or “I just couldn’t vote for Hillary”.  You screwed up.  And you screwed up for all of us, not just yourself.

No candidate has ever been perfect – even Saint Sanders – but anyone who looked at HRC vs DJT and still did not vote for her is wearing blinders. And yes, it makes me angry every.damn.day.  And no, I’m not going to stop saying so.  I can actually be angry about this and still fight the fire you brought upon us.

And I will hold close to my heart and mind what Hillary said, in that wonderful speech that she was forced to give after you stole the Presidency from the only qualified candidate in the race:

“Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

Dear Secretary Clinton

Thank you.

I know that not winning this election is probably one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things you have ever survived, but that you ran, and that you are clearly surviving, helps me.  It helps all of us.

Thank you for setting the example that a woman in the United States can go further than we believed – for fulfilling a large part of my childhood dream.  At my age, I have lost most of the strong, loving women who raised me.  Thank you for being there when I needed to know there are still those women “raising” us.

Thank you for showing the world, for so many years, what a smart, talented, professional woman looks like, even if they refused to see.

Thank you for being imperfect,  but still fighting on.  We are all imperfect, and your courage as you dealt with consequences gives me courage.

I will always be with you, and as the amazing Amy Ferris wrote, in many ways, I am you, but this may sum up my next steps best – I wrote it on Facebook shortly after the election:

Dear friends:

This may anger some of you, and I admit I am still processing what our country has done to itself. But no, I will not join in with the #NotOurPresident chant. Do you remember when that charge was leveled against our current President? Do you remember how it deepened the divide?

The divide in this country is clear. I do not think any of us really saw it for what it is, and we need to work hard going forward not only to mend fences, but to prevent our President-elect and those around him from making it worse with the type of policies he outlined in his campaign.

Taking to the streets, but without a plan to action, can be incredibly satisfying, and I would never say not to do so. But I will say that without a plan, such energy often dissipates quickly and leaves more bitterness behind. I wrote much the same about my concerns during the Democratic primary, and it boils down to one sentence: Revolutions are hard fucking work.

I am ready to do that work. I hope you are too.

You helped me see the necessity of those words, while still fighting the good fight.  And while I feel sad and scared and angry, you showed me we can go on.

So thank you.621951848_hillary-clinton-zoom-5bf026cb-ebbc-4a1b-b647-4614139b82a3

Love,

Me

You Say You Want A Revolution?*

(*Before you read this, know that it might make you angry.  Or you might agree.  I moderate the comments on this blog, and any courteous discourse is welcome.  Any other type will be addressed.  And know that whatever you may take away from what you read, I will #votebluenomatterwho because #neverTrump.

P.S.  Apologies in advance to the Beatles for what they (or their fans) might see as a heinous misuse of their words…)

True confession:  I’ve never cared that much about politics.  It’s not that I haven’t paid attention, but I’ve never before invested the emotional energy that the current Presidential primaries have drawn from me.  And I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process.

Given my commitment to the labor movement, you may be surprised to know that I am not really a “joiner”.  And in 2008, I did not bother to register as a Democrat to vote in the New York primary, because really, they were all kind of fine with me.  In 2015, though, I did register as a Democrat.  Now, I don’t really give two shits about any political party, but I also know that you can only change the system if you know (and participate in) the system, and I honestly though Bernie Sanders was the answer.

The clown car of Republican candidates that resulted in Donald Trump (DONALD TRUMP!) as their presumptive nominee was both amusing and terrifying to watch, but I read with great care every scrap of information about the Democratic candidates; I watched every debate, every town hall, and every interview (okay, I’m sure I missed some, but I really, really, really tried).  As of the second debate, I became uneasy.  Remember the timing?  We had just seen a great tragedy in Paris – a terrorist attack leading to much death and destruction – and the candidates agreed that they would each get one minute added to their time at the top to talk about that.  And Senator Sanders did not.  He gave the tragedy what seemed like ten seconds, and pivoted to his stump speech.  I was stunned and dismayed.

I’m all for revolution.  I’m in favor of much of what is in that stump speech.  But what had been mild concern during the first debate about ability became full-fledged fear as time went on.  I lost friends and was often attacked as I voiced my opinions on line, but hey, I’m nothing if not stubborn.

Revolutions are hard fucking work.  They take leadership and time and planning and direct action and on the ground operations and flexibility and – well, you get the idea.  I’m not much of a historian (actually, my friends who are historians would probably say I’m not one at all), but you know all those stories we all learned in our history classes about those who took direct action and made change?  Did you miss the part where many of those actions were part of a larger plan, and even if sometimes the timing was driven by the moment, they were ready for that moment?  My favorite example on this is Rosa Parks.  She was part of a movement.  The movement had a plan.  She took her moment.

Failed revolutions start with grand ideas – and often, direct actions – with no plans.  Occupy Wall Street is a great example of a failed revolution.  I know there are those that disagree with me on this, but hey, it’s my blog, and what I saw was a great moment wasted because not only was there no plan, they refused to try to create one.  A plan was too “establishment”, I guess.  All that momentum and energy left us with…a hashtag.

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out?…

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan

Did you know that the New Left and the counterculture denounced this song?  They felt it displayed fear.  Well, I think it’s damn smart, and I think history shows that incremental change brings lasting revolution.  The kind of revolution we can believe in.

To go back to the beginning…I did say this primary had led to me to learn a lot about myself, and you may ask what.  Well – I knew that I believe in change.  I revel in change.  And I knew that change requires a long, hard slog (and a plan).  I knew that most people don’t actually agree with me to the point that they will fight change with every tool at their disposal, while at the same time, disavowing that that is what is happening.  They claim they are being “cautious” and “responsible” and “thoughtful” and “analytic”.  And I am sure all of that is true.  But regular readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of the gut decision – and interestingly enough, that the gut decision, in hindsight, always involved all of those traits.

So, what’s new?  I’m getting there, I promise.  And when I can express it in a way that makes sense to anyone but me, I’ll get back to you.  But for now, I can say for sure that I learned #ImWithHer.

 

(And just for fun…http://)

 

 

 

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