Oh, you guys. I am really struggling here. It’s starting to feel really hopeless and when the action-oriented, optimistic idealist says that, it’s time to panic.
I mean, it’s possible that I overdid it. It’s possible that the entire weekend in DC (including all 5 hours of the rally) plus the all-day Examining Whiteness workshop, plus the impromptu protest at the airport all in a span of eight days tapped me out. Or maybe it’s my “can’t stop won’t stop” attitude toward reading Instagram memes, Twitter posts, and Facebook alliance group posts. It could just be simple saturation.
But it also could be the fact that no matter how many emails, faxes, phone calls, and postcards we send to our senators, they’re still supporting a useless, wealthy campaign financer for Education Secretary. In the face of jammed phone and fax lines and overflowing mailboxes, my state’s senator still issued a statement in support of that elitist, ignorant tool. No matter how many hours we stand in the cold, holding signs and chanting, “This is what democracy looks like!” they still detained a BABY, trying to enter the country for a life-saving surgery. A fucking baby. Nobody cares. “We listen to our constituents,” they say. “Call your sentators; it matters.” “Protest and march.” I call bullshit.
Today, it just seems useless. And this from the daughter of bonafide letter-writing, sign-holding, campaign-running activists. I have never felt this disheartened about my voice and its strength and power — or lack thereof.
I vote in every. single. election. And I have since I turned 18. Even when I lived in Massachusetts and I knew that my primary vote wasn’t going to move the needle, I voted. I vote in mid-terms and off-years and special elections and I take my kid with me every time so that he knows that I believe that every voice counts. Or at least I used to believe that. I’m starting to question it.
How in the actual fuck did we end up in this position? With a bumptious, arrogant fascist leader of the free world and a band of unqualified liars falling in behind him. I didn’t believe it would happen. Maybe too many of us didn’t believe it would happen. I am embarrassed by my election-day optimism and horrified by the enactments of the past week and a half.
I don’t know what we’re fighting for. I can’t see what the end game is. I know an 8-year-old who marched in Philly today, holding a sign that said, “Inpeach.” I smiled at both her spelling (it reminded me of when The Who used to call it a “soupcase”) and her confidence that an impeachment might actually solve something. I looked at the Presidential Succession list. It’s not pretty. Mike Pence? Paul Ryan? We’d have to burrow pretty far down to get to someone who’s not just as scary or scarier than who we’ve got.
So, what then? It’s been proven time and again that this president won’t be bullied into submission. What are we hoping to gain by protesting and marching and writing and calling and emailing? Maybe just to stay aware? Stay engaged? As fruitless as this all seems, I can see that complacency would probably be worse. Is it just so he knows how very much we hate him? (He’s got to know that already, right?) If all of this isn’t going to yield something very tangible very soon, I don’t know how long I can maintain it. I don’t know how long any of us can.