Some Answers and a Pinch

Reading time – 2:15; Viewing time – 3:23  .  .  .

In the midst of your shock, grief and whatever else you felt following the 2016 general election, perhaps you questioned what you can do to mitigate the damage that is likely to be done, based upon the pledges of cruelty and the crushing of our culture of diversity that Trump promised during the election campaign. It turns out there’s plenty you can do and it’s critical that you do it.

Let’s start here: In a statement from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum just days after the election, they wrote, “The Holocaust didn’t start with killings; it began with words.” With the election season over and Donald Trump preparing to be the next President, the haters feel emboldened to lash out with horrific words and actions, so let’s first consider what you can do about that.

Download The Southern Poverty Law Center’s excellent guide, Ten Ways to Fight Hate because the really bad stuff is already happening. For yet more evidence, here’s a list of some of what was chronicled on just the first day following the election and here is an ongoing chronicling of hate acts from around the country. This is the kind of stuff that makes it mandatory to read the SPLC’s guide and take action. And there is more to do.

Download and read Rep. Jerry Nadler’s (D-NY) essay, How We Resist Trump and His Extreme Agenda. It is the job of our elected officials to represent us and they need the muscle of our support in order to be effective. He makes clear what is at stake and offers specific actions you can take.

Watch John Oliver’s final show of the season and review his recommendations for action (beginning about 18:25 in his program). A linked summary of his suggestions of support plus others (courtesy of SG, BW and DH)  is listed below to help you to focus on supporting what you believe in.

Women’s Health: Planned Parenthood

Reproductive Rights: Center For Reproductive Rights

Feminist issues: National Organization For Women and, edgier, Bitch Media

Global Warming: National Resources Defense Council and This Spaceship Earth

Environment: The Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club

Victims of terrorism: International Refugee Assistance Project

Race issues: NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Gender issues: The Trevor Project for LGBTQ Youth and Human Rights Campaign for LGBTQ

Hispanic issues: The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund

Freedom of the press: Subscribe to the New York Times or the Washington Post or your local newspaper; donate to ProPublica

Civil rights: American Civil Liberties Union

Immigration issues: Get your city council to make your town a sanctuary city.

General: Write to your Representative and Senators with your views – often. They count the clicks, calls and letters and that influences their voting. Go to www.senate.gov and www.house.gov for contact information.

Get it? As John Oliver says, it isn’t enough to nod heads in agreement with those in your bubble. You actually have to do something to protect what you hold dear. Here’s a little clarity about what that means.

Our Special Forces are composed of some of the most highly trained and physically fit people in the world. They are pushed beyond any limits they thought they had or might reasonably recognize. When one of them is at the point of exhaustion and tells his team he can’t go on, the response is, “So what?” Exhaustion doesn’t matter for these people because there is a critical mission which must be completed successfully.

It’s hard. Perhaps it hurts. Maybe doing yet more seems impossible. Yet all of that doesn’t matter, because of the imperative of the mission.

We need to be clear that we are at that same point right now.

dante-inferno-moral-crisisWe have a critical mission to protect America from those who would harm her. People will suffer unless we step up and do what must be done. And then do it again and again.

Take action even if it’s hard. Give your money even if it pinches a bit. This is a long term mission – it will take years to do this – so accept that pinch as a confirmation that you are doing your part to do the right thing for this critical mission.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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5 Responses to Some Answers and a Pinch
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    “All that is needed for Evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”

    “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

    There are many other important and helpful quotes that give soothing and direction, that “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” penned by people much smarter me. The first 2 quotes above, I think, may be the most important to remember in order to remind ourselves, motivate ourselves, to not be comfortable, to learn history and make certain it is not repeated.

  2. dominickpalella Reply

    Jack, if you focus on what you believe in, and this turns out to be a delusional bubble of political propaganda, what good would that do? For example, how many calls and letters to Governor Rauner would it take him to stop preying on the poor and disabled to avoid the rich paying more taxes – ten thousand, a hundred thousand, or how about ten million of our Illinois citizens? I’m curious to learn the answer to this question.

    If people want to be involved in our political system, they must stop listening to the meaningless rhetoric from politicians and organizations, no matter how well meaning they are. Voting in elections for individuals who have no obligation to listen or respond to us, and protesting afterward is a 19th century concept that has created the two corrupt private political parties that still exist today. Their members occupy 99% of our elective offices, and we have no effective control over their conduct. This is simply because we fail to ask them, before voting them into office, to actually represent us, instead of their political party or corporate lobbyists. Today, there is no excuse for this irresponsible behavior of our voting citizens.

    TrueDemocracyNow.org

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      Dominick, I must take issue with your opening sentence. What if, “this turns out to be a delusional Bubble of political propaganda . . .?” The answer is that it is what it is, but here is the critical point: If we refuse to take action on what we believe in, we are certain to continue getting what we don’t want. The only hope for something better is to take action.

      While your point about politicians, once elected, have no obligation to listen to the people or to vote in accordance with the wishes of the people is valid, there is plenty of evidence that petitioning elected officials can make a difference. Think: the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts of the 1960s; more recently, gay rights; the Lilly Ledbetter Act for equal pay. None of that happened because the majority of politicians wanted to take a stand on those issues. They happened because the people demanded it.

      The process isn’t perfect – we still don’t have any new legislation to promote gun safety and in some ways we are more threatened than ever by firearms, even as 80% of Americans want universal background checks for sales of guns. It’s what we want; however, we haven’t pressured for it in sufficient numbers. The same may be true for Governor Rauner. The people want their state services that they are not now getting, this because there is no budget. We can bring him to heel with sufficient pressure. The millions of us in Illinois who want him to stop holding a state budget hostage to his union busting et.al. need to lean on him in large numbers.

  3. Steve Grossman Reply

    Excellent work, Jack, and great links.

  4. Kirk Landers Reply

    Thanks for the nudge, Jack. I’m coming out of hibernation.