Remember sitting in history, thinking “If I was alive then, I would’ve…”
You’re alive now. Whatever you’re doing is what you would’ve done.
— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) January 28, 2017
President Trump’s executive order on immigration is cruel, unconstitutional, unnecessary, discriminatory, and ineffective for reducing terrorist threats. I notice the ban does not include travelers from countries where he has substantial business interests, nor does it include travelers from countries involved in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless in the face of the perceived authority granted by the office of the presidency. How should I express my dismay at this turn of events? How can I make a difference? Simply tweet and post on Facebook? That seems a bit… ineffective, too easy, and unworthy of the situation. What else can I personally do to lift the voices of those who are being oppressed?
I’ve decided the best thing I can do right now is to support those who have agency, standing, and expertise to truly be of service to those at risk. So this is what my wife and I have decided to do now:
- Subscribe to the Washington Post and NY Times
- Increase our contribution to the ACLU
- Renew our contribution to Planned Parenthood
- Increase our contribution to NPR
- Subscribe to the social media feeds of our local mosques in order to become aware of opportunities for support. Here are the links for those in Indianapolis:
- Seek opportunities to demonstrate solidarity with vulnerable and at-risk populations
- Engage our faith community at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and encourage their activism on these issues
Will this make a difference? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is I have to find some way to actively engage on behalf of my principles and morals in order to stay true to myself. These are our own first steps to resist government’s actions which violate our beliefs. Maybe these ideas will resonate with you; maybe you have other suggestions.
Whatever the case, it is important that those of us who find these steps immoral and un-American, speak out about it. Passive resistance is not really resistance at all; it’s just whining. Be better. Do more.
Michelle Obama just gave one of the most powerful speeches I’ve ever heard. I won’t even selectively quote it, so important is the speech in its entirety. If you haven’t seen it, take time and watch it now:
It is an astonishingly well-crafted speech, one that eviscerates Donald Trump and exposes his immorality and lack of character for all to see, without ever once mentioning his name. Michelle Obama appeals to the goodness she believes is within each of us, hoping to reach all of us, regardless of our politics.
At the same time, she makes plain for all to see Trump’s crassness, vulgarity, and violence towards women. She refuses to accept his explanation of ‘locker-room talk’. She speaks of the personal experiences of women who must endure daily the comments on their bodies by men who refuse to acknowledge them as fully human. If only this inappropriate behavior was limited only to language. Trump has made it clear some men see it as their right to be able to do much more than comment.
Maybe you think we need a wall, or that Trump tells it like it is, or that he will finally be the outsider we need in Washington. Reasonable people can disagree about policy, and do. However, Trump repeatedly demonstrates his infantile view of the world. He has no curiosity, no interest in anything unless it boosts his already outsized ego.
His views are simplistic at best, his policy proposals virtually nonexistent. There is no indication he has ever done anything to help anyone else, despite his enormous wealth, unless he personally benefitted. He is only now discovering that he cannot have what he wants simply by declaring he wants it NOW, like an adult male Veruca Salt.
Today, Mrs. Obama reduced Trump to little more than a grotesque set of impulses which, due to his luck in the birth lottery, have until now always been indulged. She declares him unfit for the presidency; unfit as a man. I agree.
You want to know why no one can get anywhere in Indianapolis in a reasonable time-frame safely? Because no one pays the slightest attention to their driving. I’m not talking about people weaving in and out of traffic or hurrying to the detriment of others. I’ve made my peace with those people because at least they are trying to actively drive.
Too many people now see driving as a secondary activity. Their primary focus? Reading texts at red lights. I swear, we are losing tens of thousands of hours to these jackasses who crawl to a stop six car lengths behind the car in front of them, only to get absorbed in hunting for a new kale recipe or a text asking what they’re doing. They then proceed to sit through a green light until someone honks, whereupon they floor it through the intersection, leaving everyone else to sit through another light.
This cannot stand.
Put your goddamn phone down and DRIVE. You’re in control of 3,000 pounds of hulking metal traveling at a rate of speed sufficient to kill you or someone else, so act like it. If you can’t be bothered to actually pilot your vehicle, then STAY HOME.
This isn’t just directed at the kids, either. Lately it seems Grandma Jackass can’t drive a half mile without checking for photos of her precious young’uns. My car was parked this this weekend when Grandma JA struggled to pilot her own car into her own space, phone in hand, and hit my car.
If you can’t pull into a parking space without hitting the stationary car next to you, I would like to encourage you also to STAY HOME.
We’re living in a society, people. You only have to pay attention for a few more years and then you can drink to excess, text your little heart out, read a magazine, or change clothes while Google autopilots you all over town. Until then, you still have to actually drive your own car.
To paraphrase Winston Wolfe: Pretty please, with sugar on top. Drive your fucking car.