The Women’s March is over. Now what?

Women's_March_Washington,_DC_USA_33Got in the letter below. My answer follows it.

Dear John,

I‘m a 25-year-old female with an anxious personality. So I tend to worry a lot. But I really do feel there is a lot to be worried about right now. We have a president who is sexist, racist, has mocked a person who is disabled, has said that he was considering creating a Muslim registry, who wants to build a wall around America, and who overall is a thin-skinned, tantrum-throwing bully. And he surrounds himself with people like himself, who are against rights for women and minorities.

My pastor preaches about how we shouldn’t worry, that God can take care of the things we worry about. But my anxieties aren’t something I can just turn off like a light switch. When I try to articulate my fears on Facebook, I get the same condescending patronization that I get from my pastor. I really don’t want to go there, but it IS usually white, straight men who tell us “liberal snowflakes” that we need to “Get over it” and “Give Trump a chance!”

Women, racial and religious minorities, and basically everybody HAS given Trump dozens of chances to prove that he has the skills and temperament of a leader, that he can represent everybody, and not just straight, white, wealthy, Christian men. He has consistently disappointed.

I know people are sick of hearing about politics, but more and more it affects people’s lives. People tell us to unify, but they never say under what we should unify. A president who doesn’t represent us? Our concerns are not just something we can turn off and pretend they don’t exist for sake of a fake “unity.”

What should those of us who are concerned with the direction our country is going in do? Please help.

First, real quick: If the pastor of your church is patronizing or condescending to you, find another church. You deserve better than to be passively-aggressively bullied in that way.

I received your letter at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21. I wish I knew that, after you emailed it to me, you went to one of the 600-odd Women’s Marches that happened in cities all across America that day. Because then I could be certain that Saturday afternoon found you feeling better than you felt that morning.

Taking part in the biggest one-day protest in US history can really perk a person right up, can’t it?

But even if you did attend a Women’s March, now what, right? How do you turn the positive energy of that day into fuel that keeps you going until the goals of the Women’s March have been realized? What do you do, when the euphoria of being part of a glorious world-wide movement gives way to the grinding banality of everyday life?

Here’s what: You realize that the phenomenon of last Saturday didn’t just make history, it changed history. It launched what is nothing less than another American revolution. If you believe in that revolution, then you must believe that you have a role to play in it. And it would be a tragedy for you to deny yourself the joy of playing that role. For nothing is more satisfying than knowing that you are actively participating in a movement which seeks to bring justice, equality, and freedom to one and all.

Luckily, unlike during America’s first revolution, you don’t have to make up that work as you’re doing it. Our founding fathers and mothers did all the heavy lifting for you. Because of them, you, an everyday citizen of the country they birthed, have the power to elect into office people who share your values, concerns, and goals. And if a person is elected to the highest office in the land whom you feel is no more suited to that office than would be, say, a coke-sniffing orangutan, then you, working together with other like-minded citizens, have the power to undo any damage that person does, and to replace that person with someone who doesn’t make you lie awake at night wondering how the country you love slipped into the scariest episode ever of The Twilight Zone.

As to what you can do, specifically, to help bring about the change you desire? Well, here is what the liberal lion Michael Moore had to say on that very subject last Thursday night, when he spoke to 25,000 protesters in New York City:

Everybody has to commit to doing something every single day now. Every single day! You don’t have to quit your job. You don’t have to drop out of school. It’s just something very small you have to do. Every day, you have to contact your member of Congress—or one of your two senators. Every day. It takes three minutes. Wake up, brush teeth, make coffee, contact Congress. That’s the new morning routine. The phone number is (202) 225-3121. You call that number any time of the day or night, a human being answers it. There’s an actual 24/7 switchboard. Call that number. If you don’t know who your congressperson is, that’s OK. Just give them your ZIP code. Everybody knows their ZIP code. Give them your ZIP code, and they will go, “Oh, well, your member of Congress is Jerrold Nadler. May I put you through?” And they’ll put you right through. In fact, you can say, “No, I’d like his private line. Can I have a direct number?” They will give you the direct number. Each of you have one representative and two senators. They only work three days out of the week, Tuesday to Thursday. If you can’t do it all five days, on those three days, call your rep one day, call your senator the next day, and call your other senator the next day. And every day we’ll be posting [at 100daysofresistance.org] what we need to be pushing for. … Who here promises to call Congress every day or at least three days a week? Who’s going to do it? What’s the number again? (202) 225-3121. You’re paying for the phone; you might as well use it.

One phone call, three days a week. That’ll get you started, young warrior.

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