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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 25, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 48
AFTERSHOCK - WHAT'S NEXT?
Section One
ALL STORIES
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AFTERSHOCK - WHAT'S NEXT?

by Janice Van Cleve - Special to the SGN

At first we were shocked. The unfathomable, the incomprehensible had happened. Donald Trump took the most electoral votes and became the President-elect. Stunned and hurt, we stumbled around in a daze. Some gave vent to their dismay by protesting in the streets. Others soaked their anguish at the Hothouse Spa. We passed through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Hillary expressed the pain we all were feeling ten days after the election when she said, 'There have been a few times this week when all I wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book, or our dogs, and never leave the house again.' She has given so much for so long and to face a blunt rejection in favor of a narcissistic racist demagogue is just too hard a blow from which to get up again.

I admit I am still numb. Yet as we struggle to come to terms with this disaster, we see three dangers into which we must not fall:

1. Surrender and hunker down and hide from the awful reality. We cannot allow ourselves to do this. Germans did this in the 1930s and their own narcissistic racist demagogue destroyed their country and most of Europe.

2. Pretend Trump will change or at least surround himself with better people. This is a fool's hope. His first appointments show he will open the door to the most loathsome rightwing nuts. Lt. General Michael Flynn will be the national security advisor. He was fired by Obama for bad management and ruthless hated of all Muslims. Mike Pompeo will be the CIA director. He wants to expand domestic surveillance by creating a universal database combining phone records, finance, and lifestyle information (Washington Post). Jeff Sessions will be attorney general. He is an outspoken racist. Stephen Bannon will be Trump's strategist and senior counselor. He was the head of Breitbart News, an Alt-Right publication outspokenly racist and sexist. Trump's list of potential Supreme Court appointments will radically turn SCOTUS into a right wing bastion for decades.

3. Argue among ourselves about what should be our priorities and undercut each other in self serving squabbles about who has the right answer. Our leaders urge us to organize, but too often that means creating yet another organization when we already have perfectly good ones currently doing the work.

So what can we do? Senator Elizabeth Warren had an answer on Rachel Maddow's show: 'Choose one issue that you really care about and then get involved with local organizations that fight for that issue.' It shouldn't be hard to find an issue, since Trump has attacked so many of them. There's LGBTQ protection, Immigrant support, Homeless sheltering, Climate change, Reproductive rights, Freedom From Religion, and many more. Go to Standing Rock to protest the oil pipeline. Donate to Planned Parenthood. Get involved with Equal Rights Washington. With just a little Internet research you will find a local organization fighting for issues you care about. If a friend is passionate about an issue different from yours, don't try to convert them, encourage them. Our local progressive organizations are on the right side of history and we will survive and succeed caring for each other right here at home.

Above all, do not be silent. Silence still = death.

Janice Van Cleve
PCO 37/1875
www.jvox.doodlekit.com

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