Author Archives: mrswhatsit9

Would You Rather Be Right Or Effective?

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With LGBT Pride events happening all over the country this month (other, of course, than in the White House, where so-called President Trump couldn’t even be bothered to acknowledge Pride month), a group called No Justice No Pride has been staging some protests, parade blockades, and alternative events.

NJNP contends that Pride events have gotten away from their radical protest roots (remember, Pride originated to commemorate the Stonewall uprising, when drag queens, butch lesbians, and other LGBT patrons of Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn fought back against police harassment driven by NYC’s anti-gay laws) and have devolved into corporatized, shallow parties that cater primarily to well-off, white, cisgender gay men. And they have a point.

This column isn’t specifically about arguing the merits of either side, though. I wanted to use a timely example to illustrate some key points about learning how to work together for change.

The Resistance has many streams and eddies and tributaries. We’re all working with some strange bedfellows these days, and those marriages of convenience are not always particularly comfortable. But there are some good practices that we can all follow to try to ease those relationships and stay focused on what we’re really trying to accomplish.

First, and probably most important: Remember who the real enemy is. I’ve written about this before, but we on the left are pros at attacking each other first for insufficient purity, eating our young, and losing track of what we’re really trying to accomplish. Don’t do that.

Relatedly, you need to focus on what’s relevant to the group you’re trying to ally with. Different organizations work on different issues, so pressuring a reproductive rights group to invest resources protesting DAPL, or pressuring an LGBT rights group to invest resources protesting Trump’s moves to privatize our public infrastructure, or pressuring an immigrants’ rights group to invest resources protesting Trumpcare is just trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

You also need to realize that the group you’re allying with on one issue may not agree with you 100% on every issue. Asking Pride groups to forbid military personnel in uniform from participating because your group happens to be pacifist is not appropriate. You might not approve of military service, but gaining the right to serve openly was a HUGE win for the LGBT movement. I disagree – STRONGLY – with “pro-life” Democrats, but I still supported Tim Kaine for VP, because while he might be personally against abortion, he strongly supports my legal right to have one.

Know your history. You might think that defense contractor sponsorship money should be refused, but many defense contractors were early adopters of employment non-discrimination policies and domestic partner benefits. From the other side of this particular dust up, Stonewall was led by drag queens and butch lesbians. They weren’t necessarily transgender, but they were definitely gender non-conforming (and thus were early and obvious targets, because it was much harder for them to “pass”). Look at your leadership, your volunteers, your participants and make sure everyone’s history and contributions are being acknowledged and honored.

Be aware of timelines. As someone with professional experience putting on large-scale events, I had to laugh when NJNP talked about giving Pride event organizers “plenty of time” to respond when they first showed up with their list of demands…in April. In most major cities, Pride is a multi-day, six to seven figure budget, hundreds of volunteers type of deal. Six weeks is NOT enough time to make any sort of major changes to an event of that magnitude, which likely took the better part of a year to plan, that’s about to step off. Don’t come in asking for major new efforts related to anything in the 11th hour. Don’t try to get the organization’s attention for something on your activist wish list while they’re in the middle of their board elections or largest annual fundraising campaign or a major technology upgrade. If your childhood taught you nothing else, you should’ve learned that sometimes WHEN you ask makes all the difference in the answer you get.

Offer solutions, not just demands. Correctly identifying problems is important, but if you want to get traction on fixing them, being able to offer some specific, concrete plans of action helps. And make sure the solutions you offer are reasonable. Many LGBT people of color have reasonable concerns about police presence. And again, going back to the roots of Pride, the Stonewall protestors were fighting the cops that June evening in 1969. But one year out from the Pulse massacre, asking Pride events that draw thousands of people to public gatherings to “scale back” police presence without offering an alternative that has been proved to work for security and crowd control is just foolish.

Have some skin in the game. Think about how your organization would respond if some group of virtual strangers who had no existing relationships or history with you showed up and started making demands, no matter how just and “right on” they seemed to be. Probably not all that well. So don’t you be that person either. You want a group to change? Get involved first. They’ll be WAY more likely to listen to the ideas of someone they know.

Assume the best until proved otherwise. Don’t make the relationship adversarial unnecessarily. Sometimes people we’re trying to work with will show themselves to be ill-intentioned or untrustworthy or dismissive of your concerns or stubborn or uncompromising. But don’t walk in assuming that they’re going to be those things.

Be willing to compromise yourself. You might want ten things. But you’re not necessarily going to get all ten. Know what your real bottom line is, what’s really most important to you, and be willing to give a little to get a little. Negotiation doesn’t mean “I get 100% of my way all the time.” It might mean “I get X but not Y.” Or “I get X today, but we can’t act on Y until next month – or next year.” That’s OK. That’s how this works. And it shouldn’t result in either party grabbing their marbles and stomping out. Marbles and stomping may satisfy your ego, but that’s probably not what you’re really trying to accomplish. I mean, if it is, stomp away, but if not, remember: you care more about being effective than being “pure.”

Treat each other with respect. Actually, you could just do this and skip all the other advice, and you’d probably come out at about the same place.

In the months to come, you’re probably going to find yourself working with people you never would have guessed you’d ally with. But in trying to protect our country, our Constitution, our fellow citizens, and the planet from the depredations of the Trump regime, getting shit done is WAY more important than remaining ideologically pure.

Image found here (and isn’t it perfect that it’s a Rock Hudson movie, if I do say so myself?).

Don’t Get Distracted

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#ComeyDay was pretty exciting for most of us. Former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath in an open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee that so-called President Trump is a lying liar who lies and that he attempted to obstruct the investigation into Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia and what impact that may have had on the 2016 elections, even making Comey’s job contingent on ending that investigation (which so-called President Trump himself had already confirmed in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt on Thursday, May 11).

In case you don’t remember, Article 1 of Nixon’s Articles of Impeachment was related to….obstruction of justice.

Admittedly, Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) doesn’t seem to understand what it means when your boss talks about whether you want to keep your job or not, then gets you alone and says he “hopes” you’ll do something for him, but every woman in the world knows exactly what that shit means. Given the fact that so-called President Trump is a known sexual predator, none of us should be surprised at his facility with that maneuver.

Interestingly, the GOP line of defense here seems to be “Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing!” Well, duh, but ignorantia juris non excusat. Secondly, if Trump wasn’t aware that what he was about to do was totally inappropriate, why was he so fired up to get Comey alone (see above RE: sexual harassers)? And three, if Trump has no fucking clue what he’s doing then MAYBE HE SHOULDN’T BE POTUS?!?! Just a thought.

What was even more telling in the Comey hearings was what WASN’T said. If you’re reviewing recordings or transcripts, take note of the times that Comey declined to answer questions in an open session. Based on the topics he couldn’t talk about, it seems clear that Trump is now personally under investigation (although he was not back in February), that the feds know – or at least strongly suspect – that his campaign was colluding with Russia, and that so-called AG Jeff Sessions is in big trouble, too.

On that front, watch a master at work as Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) questions Comey.

Not for nothing, girlfriend is a former prosecutor and state AG, and it shows.

(Sidebar for any Republicans reading this post: Comey is not an “illegal leaker.” After he was a private citizen, he released personal, unclassified notes he’d written of an unclassified conversation he’d had with Trump to the media through his friend and attorney. If that’s illegal, we need to throw every person who’s ever written a White House memoir into the hoosegow. And you are all a bunch of dumbasses.)

And that’s all very exciting. $10 says every single person connected in any way with the Trump administration is currently frantically searching for an exit ramp and/or lawyering up. (Somehow, I doubt I’ll get anyone to take that bet.)

But the GOP is still trying to kill the Affordable Care Act and  pass the despicable American Health Care Act, which will kick 23 million of our fellow citizens off their health insurance, kill the highly effective Medicaid expansion, replace the subsidies that allow people to afford care with insufficient tax credits, allow insurance companies to charge astronomical sums of money if you’ve ever used your health insurance for anything more serious than an annual checkup, end the individual mandate which means the young, healthy people who help keep rates lower overall will exit the risk pool with no penalty, and allow states to basically say, “nah, those ‘policies’ don’t actually have to, you know, COVER anything” (adios, essential benefits). And they’re doing this in secret, without hearings of any kind or any actual public debate. Probably because they know what a turd it is, but they’re damn well going to shine that turd as best they can.

Yesterday, WHILE the Comey hearings were going on, the House, on a pure party-line vote, voted to kill the Dodd-Frank protections put in place to try to prevent another economic crash like we saw in 2007. You know, the Great Recession that’s still impacting our economy a decade later, with Boomers unable to retire and Millennials struggling to find good jobs?

They’re coming after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau next, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s baby, instituted after the crash to try to prevent banks and other lenders from ripping people off. Caveat emptor, y’all!

North Carolina and other states are still fighting tooth and nail to protect those gerrymandered seats that have kept Republicans in power at the local, state, national, and presidential levels DESPITE repeatedly losing the popular vote, thus clearly subverting the electoral will of the majority again and again.

And 20 states have passed laws restricting voting by people of color, poor people, young people, and the elderly since the SCOTUS decision in Shelby v. Holder that gutted the Voting Rights Act. And if you think the Dems can win at the local, state, and national levels with increasing numbers of our base prevented from voting, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

In other words, the Comey testimony was titillating, and could be the beginning of the end for so-called President Trump, but even if he is impeached, the work of the #TheResistance is far from over. Don’t get distracted.

Image found: Everywhere. Seriously. It’s a meme.

Where Do We Go From Here?

As pretty much everyone who isn’t utterly deluded about Daughter-Wife’s purported “goodness” and “influence” foresaw, and after trying to gin up fake suspense (will he ever realize that this is NOT A FUCKING TRASH TV REALITY SHOW?), so-called President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord yesterday.

Best tweet:

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Best headline:

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Of course, his “rationale” was based on lies, lies, and more lies. Oh, and US Chamber of Commerce? Go fuck yourself.

So what do we do now?

Step 1: States (and counties and cities) Leading the Way

What seemed like mere moments after Trump’s announcement, the governors of New York, Washington state, and California had an announcement of their own: the formation of the US Climate Alliance (which already has its own Wikipedia page!). Member states pledge to uphold the Paris Accord targets the US set for itself (another one of Trump’s lies), regardless of what the federal government does.

“What will that accomplish?” you might ask,

Well, the three founding states comprise 20% of the US economy, so probably quite a bit, particularly considering that when it comes to things like fuel economy standards, California holds quite a bit of leverage, seeing as it’s also the most populous state.

By yesterday evening, seven more states pledged their support as well, and at least one more is on deck.

Meanwhile, the mayors of 105 cities (and counting) have also pledged to uphold Paris Accord standards. State pre-emption could become an issue for some of them, which is why the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions that I wrote about earlier this year also remains an important project.

But if the feds refuse to lead, states and cities will step into the breach.

Step 2: Take Direct  Action

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: INDIVIDUAL ACTION ALONE CANNOT STOP CLIMATE CHANGE.

This is a major global problem, and no matter how much you recycle or walk instead of driving, you can’t fix it on your own. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Start by checking the lists. Is your state part of the Alliance? Yes? Send your governor a nice note – or make a call – to thank him or her. No? Start lobbying your state legislators. Is your city part of the mayors’ group? Yes? Thank your mayor and city council. No? Start lobbying.

Then start assessing changes you can make in your own life.

Does your state, county, or city offer financial support (rebates, tax incentives) for greening your residence (rain barrels, solar installations, tree planting, rain gardens, green roofs, energy audits, insulating your house, upgrading your storm windows, air sealing)? Is there a local solar co-op you can join that will allow you to rent your solar installation rather than having to buy?

“But I rent!”

So do your research to find out what’s available locally, talk with the other tenants in your building, and put in a formal request to your landlord.

And do what we all did in the 1970s – lower your thermostat a few degrees in the winter and put on a sweater and warm socks, open your windows on nice days rather than always being climate-controlled, and raise your thermostat a few degrees in the summer and install and use some ceiling fans.

See if wind or solar offsets are available from your local electrical utility, and if they are, sign up for them.

The next time you’re looking for a place to live, think about things like proximity to your work, proximity to public transportation, and the neighborhood’s Walkability Score. Be willing to sacrifice a little living space – or a little yard – in order to reduce your commute or increase the percentage of your daily errands you can accomplish on foot, bus, subway, or bicycle.

Also think about how much space you really need and don’t overbuy/over-rent. And consider existing construction rather than new construction. Often, you’ll get a better-made house, condo, or apartment, where the infrastucture (roads, sewers, other tax-funded services) already exists.

The next time you buy or lease a car, get a hybrid. For your second car, get an electric vehicle. And think carefully about whether you REALLY need that second vehicle.

The next time you’re changing jobs, consider the commute in your decision-making process. Ask about telecommuting – hell, ask your CURRENT job about telecommuting. All the cool companies are doing it.

Join a CSA or visit the weekly farmers’ market.When you’re at the grocery store, look at where the produce came from and think about what’s actually in season, and buy accordingly.

Dig up a small patch of your lawn and plant a few herbs and a tomato plant or two. Or get really ambitious and get rid of the lawn all together (Sarah Stein’s book Noah’s Garden provides excellent inspiration about how to do this).

“But I rent!”

So ask your landlord if it’s OK to plant a little garden. Or see if there’s a community garden nearby where you can get a small plot. Or plant a determinate tomato plant in a large pot on your balcony or porch.

Start composting your vegetable food scraps and yard waste. You *can* do this safely in a city that has a rat problem. I know this for a fact, because I have been for almost ten years. You can’t just have an open pile – you’ll need something like this – but you can totally do it. Seems like too much hassle? Many cities are now doing municipal composting – sometimes it’s just yard waste, but some collect food waste as well, or there are services like this one in many places, where they’ll even come pick up your scraps.

Get serious about recycling. First, double check your municipal standards. Many locations are accepting far more items for recycling than they might have a few years ago. Make the effort to take the soda can or the scrap paper or the cardboard TP roll to your bin rather than lazily dumping it in the trashcan. Bin’s too far away? Get a few more and put them around your house or office.

When you don’t want or need something anymore, whether it’s a shirt or a pot or a table or a smartphone, if it’s still usable, find a way to donate it or give it away. Don’t just toss it out. Hold a yard sale. Freecycle items through your neighborhood listserv or online community, or by putting them out on the curb (if that’s a thing in your neighborhood). Give the household goods to your niece who is just graduating from college and setting up her first apartment (we still have the coffee table we acquired that way about 25 years ago). Take the shirt to the local Dress For Success drop point. Take the pot to the local Goodwill. Take the table to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. There are MULTITUDES of charities that will take used smartphones to give to soldiers or domestic violence victims or homeless people or sick kids or kids in developing countries or the elderly….you can actually choose your favorite/preferred group to help.

Likewise, before you buy a new shirt or a pot or a table or a smartphone, think carefully about whether you really need it. YOU DO NOT NEED THE LATEST IPHONE THE MINUTE IT COMES OUT. I know it FEELS like you do, but you don’t.

Stop drinking bottled water. Buy a Britta pitcher or a PUR faucet filter and a reusable bottle to carry with you.

Stock up in advance on LED bulbs for your lighting fixtures so the next time you need to replace a bulb, you have the correct ones you need on hand (because the exact right ones can sometimes be hard to find at the local Home Depot when the bulb has just burned out).

Pick one thing. Look for something in the list above – or the myriad lists online – that you’re not already doing, and commit to doing it.

“I’m going to talk to my HR department about the possibility of creating a telecommuting policy.”

“I’m going to walk into the next room – at home and at the office – to put my recycling in the bin rather than the trash.”

“I’m going to make a list of all the different types of lightbulbs all my fixtures use and stock up on LEDs.”

“I’m going to buy a cute reusable water bottle and start carrying it.”

Turning off the AC and opening the windows on a nice day won’t stop climate change, at least not all by itself. But since we can’t depend on our so-called national leaders to do the right thing, we’re going to rely on each other.

We’re All Sluts

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And we deserve whatever happens to us.

By now, you may have already read about Maddi Runkles, the Maryland high school senior whose christian school is not letting her walk for graduation as punishment for getting pregnant.

Well, of course they’re not.

A story: in my tiny, substandard christian school, in my senior year, fully half of my female classmates had pregnancy scares. But it turned out that none of them were pregnant, and none got caught. In our sophomore year, S wasn’t so lucky. She was dating J, the class bad boy, and the rumor was going around that they had gone “all the way.” Had they? Honestly, I don’t know. I *do* know that S and J got called into the principal’s office, and their parents got called in, too – and that only S got expelled.

Another story: a dear college friend, an accountant with a “big four firm” background and nearing 30, announced that she was “finally” (her words) getting married. None of us were all that fond of her finance – he was controlling and religiously doctrinaire – but she was happy, so we were happy for her. Several months later, she shamefacedly announced that she was pregnant. Remember, this is a well-employed, financially-independent, already-engaged woman with a college degree in her late 20s.

The day of the wedding, the minister spent the majority of the ceremony haranguing the visibly pregnant bride (and the groom) about their “sin.” Of course the reception was a dry one, so the appalled college crew repaired to our car in the parking lot, where we’d set up a full bar in the trunk, to plot if there was any way to salvage the JOY OF THE DAY AND OF THE IMPENDING BIRTH from this catastrophe. While taking turns swigging from a bottle of vodka, we came up with the idea that, after we’d all eaten and the reception was as swingin’ as a dry event was likely to get, we’d commandeer the mic and announce that, to celebrate the doubly happy occasion of their marriage and their SOON TO BE BORN, BLESSING FROM GOD BABY, we’d be collecting one potential boy’s name and one potential girl’s name from each table, at which point we’d draw one of each, and the selection would be binding, so maximum creativity was encouraged. Several tables, stone-faced, refused to participate, but most got into the spirit of things and it lightened the mood, at least somewhat, from Imminent Stoning of Hester Prynne to Wedding Reception, No Booze Edition. (Later, when the baby died shortly after birth, several wedding guests were known to comment that it was God’s punishment, and no, I am not making a sick joke.)

For evangelicals, all women are forever tainted with Eve’s “original sin,” so any and everything bad that ever happens to us is 100% our fault.

Husband raped you? That’s actually not possible, since any time he wants sex, it’s your wifely duty to submit to him, no exceptions.

Husband beating you? Also your fault, for being insufficiently submissive (that is actual, verbatim “pastoral counsel” given to women in the church I was raised in).

Acquaintance or stranger raped you? You must’ve done something to tempt your attacker, and he couldn’t control himself because of your short skirt or your smile or the fact that you talked to him or you didn’t talk to him or rode the bus or walked down the street or were In Public (on In Private) While Female.

Does that sound oddly like the way women are viewed and treated in repressive Islamic regimes? It should – it comes from an identical mindset.

Maddi is apparently suing to be allowed to participate in her graduation ceremony. That’s a good first step in standing up for herself, but I hope it *is* only the first step out the door of a worldview that is based on hatred of women and has absolutely nothing to offer us.

Image found here.

Onward Together!

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The news has been unrelenting this week. It feels like if you step away from Twitter for five minutes, so-called President Trump might decide to nuke Canada or institute martial law of defect to Russia and in the flood of ADDITIONAL bombshell stories AFTER that in the following four minutes and 37 seconds, you’d miss it. I saw a tweet of the famous scene from I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel are in the chocolate factory and can’t keep up. You know, this one:

Caption: live footage of the NY Times and Washington Post newsrooms. It’s been like that. We’ve all been counting down to 5 pm ET every day with one hand over our eyes, the other clutching a bottle of brown liquor.

Given that, I thought I’d close the week with something that’s full of awesome: Onward Together.

For those who missed it in this week’s deluge, Onward Together is Hillary’s answer to: “So what’s next for you, Secretary Clinton?”

Or as she put it on Twitter on Monday:

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And as always, rather than making it all about her (unlike some Bernie Sanderses and Joe Bidens I could name), she’s remained focused on her Methodist creed:

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When she was younger, that looked like helping kids with disabilities get access to education and, when the Health Security Act of 1993 (her run at creating single payer almost 25 years ago) failed, picking herself up and securing health care for 8 million children through SCHIP.

Now that looks like using her platform and fundraising power to help other small but mighty organizations amplify the good work they’ve already begun.

She knows she’s not the one to organize Millennials, many of whom still appear to be, inexplicably, under Bernie Sanders spell. But Run For Something is.

She doesn’t need to write the definitive guide to effectively lobbying Congress – the team at the Indivisible Guide has already done that.

Swing Left is already hard at work doing the grassroots organizing Democrats will need to take back the House of Representatives in 2018.

The Color of Change is already organizing around issues that affect the lives of people of color every day, like criminal justice reform and representation.

Emerge America has a terrific and comprehensive program to train Democratic women to run for office.

What do they all have in common? They’re relatively small or new groups that have done amazing work with not a lot of resources.

So Hillary’s going to use her star power to fix that. As she does.

What can you do?

If you can give, give.

If you can’t, spread the word on social media. Or sign up for updates. Or volunteer for one of the above groups Onward Together is supporting.

Or as Hillary put it:

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Main image found here (of course).

Methodist creed graphic found here.

It’s Working

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To all my sisters and brothers in The Resistance,

I know it feels like this sham of a stolen presidency has been going on forever. I know it can feel like we’re calling and emailing and writing and donating and marching and working magic and NOTHING IS CHANGING. Not fast enough, anyway, as we watch so-called President Trump burn down our democratic institutions and international reputation and piss on the ashes.

But take heart, Dear Ones. It’s working.

There have been many comparisons to Nixon this week, but the most important one may be that when Deep Throat’s identity was eventually revealed, it turns out he was Associate Director of the FBI Mark Felt. So-called President Trump’s administration has been leaking like a sieve already, and now he’s pissed off the FBI. If history is any indicator, that’s not going to end well for him.

Meanwhile, Trump has also publicly and on Twitter attempted to intimidate witness (and former Deputy Attorney General) Sally Yates and soon-to-be-witness (and former Director of the FBI) James Comey. That’s a felony. Two, actually.

Both of those witnesses testimony relate to Trump’s ties to Russia. Trump also fired US Attorney Preet Bharara, much like with Comey almost immediately after praising him. Now, he had fired ALL the Obama-era US Attorneys, but guess what Bharara was looking into? Trump’s ties to Russia.

Trump’s lawyers have said he has no income from Russia “with few exceptions.” While the income is relevant, what should really concern us all is the debt.

So here’s a little story about getting a security clearance. The feds care about any secrets you’re keeping (susceptibility to blackmail) and who you owe money to, and how much (susceptibility to bribes). I would say our so-called President fails on both counts.

NPR interviewed more idiot Trump supporters this morning. One guy from Georgia was bitching about how he’s “so over” the whole Russia thing. Gee, it’s nice for him that he doesn’t care if Russia is trying to subvert our country, but THE REST OF US DO, so maybe he should shut the fuck up. (And maybe NPR should stop interviewing Trump supporters who believe the same thing on Wednesday they believed on Monday, regardless of what happened on Tuesday? Just a thought.)

This is not, however, a time for us to slack off, to rest on our laurels, to assume that our institutions will take it from here, to trust that a SINGLE GODDAMN REPUBLICAN might consider putting country before party. (Goddess knows, they were eager to impeach Bill Clinton over a goddamn blowjob, so you might THINK some of them might care a LITTLE BIT about treason.)

Rather, this is a time for us to redouble our efforts, to keep the pressure on, to do what we each need to keep ourselves strong for the fight. Feed your body with nourishing food, enough sleep, and exercise, preferably outside. Feed your mind with truth and knowledge and the wise counsel of good friends. Feed your soul and spirit with art and music and dancing and joy and beauty and prayer and magic. And know in your heart: this is a fight we will win. It is only a matter of time.

Image found here.

 

Now That The Damn Tour Is Over, Maybe We Can Create Some Actual Unity

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Dear DNC,

Look. I get it. Bernie Sanders generated a lot of heat in the primaries. Thousands of young people showed up at his rallies and gave his campaign $27 and made a lot of noise on social media and got tattoos they’re likely to regret within the next few years (fortunately, ink can be covered with more ink). They didn’t exactly set the polls on fire, but whatever. They were young people excited about supporting their candidate, and that was nice to see.

Which is probably why the DNC brain trust decided that Tom and Bernie’s Excellent Adventure would be just the thing to bring all the fractious factions in line (and I apologize for sending you to CNN with their damn auto-play videos, but I was trying to get a link to a news announcement about the “Unity Tour” without commentary).

One problem: MILLIONS more of us did NOT support Bernie Sanders and, in the wake of everything he’s done over the past year to damage the eventual nominee and the party itself, the LAST thing we want is to unify WITH HIM.

I know – we didn’t show up at rallies.

We DID show up at the local campaign office, bearing home-baked brownies, to do data entry and filing. We DID show up at the supermarket parking lot every weekend to register voters. We DID show up evenings, after dinner was over and the dishes were done and the homework was done and the laundry was washed and folded and the lunches were packed and the permission slips were signed, to phone bank from our dining room tables.

We didn’t make a lot of noise on social media.

We DID have private communities MILLIONS strong of people – mostly but not entirely women, mostly but not entirely middle aged and older, of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and religions – who passionately loved and respected our candidate (she was always “Hillary” to us) and were tired of being relentlessly trolled, attacked, threatened, bullied, and shamed in public spaces, many times by St. Bernard of the Snows’ supporters.

We DID get together in each others’ living rooms to craft Suffragist sashes to wear to the polls and fundraise and organize and canvass and support each other and our girl Hillary.

We didn’t give $27.

We gave a HELL of a lot more. That’s one of the advantages of having a few more years in the workforce under your belt. We can afford to max out our legally allowed donations.

And we see you, DNC. We see that women are leading The Resistance, and your “Unity Tour” was a sausage fest. We see that women of color voted for Hillary in MASSIVE majorities, but St. Bernard thinks that we need to abandon the “identity politics”  he doesn’t care about in favor of HIS preferred hobbyhorse of the white working class. We see that “working class” in reality is mostly women and people of color, but not in the small, insular world of 93+% white Vermont, where Bernie has spent the overwhelming majority of his life. We see that Jon Ossoff, who’s in a very close race to turn Tom Price’s *Senate* seat blue, isn’t sufficiently “progressive” for Bernie, but that pro-life Heath Mello, standing for *mayor* in Omaha, is.

We see you. And we don’t like it.

Now you are right about one thing. Women and people of color and LGBT people probably won’t abandon the Democratic party in large numbers in a fit of pique over having someone who is avowedly, loudly, stubbornly not one of us (other than temporarily when it suits his own personal ends) constantly pushed on us, will we or nil we. We don’t have that luxury. We choose and vote like our lives depend on it, because they do.

But – and this is an important but – women, and particularly women of color, have been the unpaid, unappreciated, we’ll show up and do the boring grunt work while you fellas make all the speeches and get all the press and take all the glory and credit, labor force of every progressive social movement going back to the abolitionists. And we might not be there next time around if you keep this shit up.

Signed,

Mrs. Whatsit

Image found here.