Death By A Thousand Cuts

By: Lessa Leigh

Sitting down to write this, my mind is racing with dozens of affronts to our nation, all done by President Trump. Did you know that he claimed that the Constitution was “archaic”? Or that he canceled Michelle Obama’s signature education program for girls “effective immediately”? Or that he’s rooting for a government shutdown? Or that he thinks the First Amendment is too lenient? Or that he’s praised Kim Jong Un of North Korea? Or that he’s invited Philippine President Duterte to the White House for a chat? Or that he doesn’t understand why the Civil War had to happen?

And all of this has taken place in less than a week. This daily barrage, a thousand cuts, is overwhelming.

I’m exhausted. Are you exhausted? I’m totally and completely exhausted. It’s okay, though. Luckily, we have all these checks and balances in our three branches of government to help slow Trump’s roll into being Dear Leader For Life.

::crickets::

::cackles maniacally::

Well, that was fun. Whatever hope I had left in regard to the Republican Party, which I used to fervently support back before they could no longer hide their craven selfishness, it’s clear that the GOP isn’t going to minimize or to oust President Trump. In fact, I suspect that all the damage he’s doing to the country with his claims of building a wall and lowering tax rates to unsustainable levels and improving the military and not being BFFs with Putin would be less horrendous, if we had a Congress that cared about their oath of office or their constituents. It must be terribly difficult to look up from counting all the sweet lobbyist and Super-PAC cash long enough to see that your country is on fire and you’re sitting right next to the fire extinguisher, but here we are. On fire and trying to drink oil because we’ve run out of clean water.

It’s on us. We’re the ones, who are going to have to save ourselves. Our resistance has helped stem the tide of mediocrity and oligarchical aspirations, and we should applaud ourselves for standing up. Yet, we’re tired. When is this nightmare going to be over? How much worse can it get? Unfortunately, we have to be prepared for the fact that it’s going to take a while to fix and it’s going to get much worse before it gets better.

As Timothy Snyder states in his book On Tyranny, “We are still at a stage where protest is not illegal. We’re still at a stage where protest is not lethal. Those are two big thresholds. We are still on the good side of those thresholds and so now is the time you want to pack in as much as you can because you could actually divert things…”

Where does that leave us? If we’re smart, we can build a political movement that eradicates money from politics, overturns Citizens United, removes all misogynists and bigots from office, tries Trump and his pals for treason, and enacts single-payer health insurance for all. Any one of these would be a Sisyphean task as the muck and filth within our system is deeply entrenched, but if we don’t do it, we will die. That’s not an exaggeration; it’s the truth. Whether we die at the hands of a crazed leader, a military junta, or corporate greed, or a poisoned environment, it doesn’t matter. Whichever way we turn, there is a reason for grave concern.

Since we’re all tired, I’ll make it easy for you. There’s an app called ResistBot. Text “resist” to 50409 and follow the prompts. Resistbot will fax your texts in the form of formal business letters to your House Representative and your Senators. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call or protest or send money or organize within your own community, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve got a hundred things going on every day. Faxing Congress with the app is remarkably easy and effective. No one can say that you didn’t speak up or out.

Our current political situation is not normal. It is not right. It is un-American. It is the opposite of patriotism. Arm yourselves with these truths. Hold them close to you. Repeat them as a mantra. And then act.

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