In the past few days, I have shared some stuff that is down right scary. Stuff about Bannon, and Conway, and the Trump clan. Some of it was 100% fact, straight from their own mouths, some of it was just informed speculation by intelligent people.
I will continue to share these things, because I firmly believe it is important that we shine a light into all the dark corners and know what has been done, and what is still possible. We need to look to history, a history none of us were alive for, to see parallels in what is happening today.
Some of my friends dismiss these fears and claim that it will never happen. Some of my friends have taken this scary stuff very much to heart, and perhaps sunk deeper into despair. Some have thrown up their hands and claimed, “We are all screwed, there is nothing we can do.”
I choose to see it from a different point of view.
11 days ago I was right there with you, I was in despair. For the past two months I have wanted to throw up. I did not realize how ignorant and hateful such a large portion of Americans could be. But after the events of this last week, my faith in humanity has been fully restored. I do not see doom and gloom on the horizon. I see hope.
Dictators rise to power when institutions capitulate, when no one rises to stand against them. When people turn their backs on their neighbors. When people project the best in themselves on the worst of us all, and assume they will govern like we would.
We aren’t turning our backs this time. We are standing up and shouting. We are reaching out and helping people get back up. We are standing firm and saying, “Not this time!”
Millions of women all across the world marched on the 21st of January to show that they would not be silent. They know that all the rights they have now are because their ancestors did the exact same thing, and they know that together they are unstoppable.
The press, when told to sit down and shut up, laughed and said “Not this time!” And they worked together to do their jobs, perhaps now even more determined than before to hold the administrations feet to the fire.
Scientists, environmentalists, conservationists, when ordered by their new boss to be silent, shrugged off those demands and found other ways to reach the people. Twitter, his preferred mouthpiece, has been taken up by others and used against him.
Federal judges stepped in and did their jobs, staying a possibly illegal order till it can be litigated in the courts. That right there is the system working.
The acting AG, Sally Yates, held firm to her oath to uphold the Constitution over the whims of the President, knowing she would be fired for it. She was, but she did what was right anyways. She showed that the President has to answer to others. He cannot enact his will by dictate alone.
All across the government people have held their ground, pushed back, and faced the punishment for doing so. But he can’t fire everyone. Governing is not like running a company. Being President is not the same as being a King. Even know, Senators and Representatives in his own party are breaking ranks and saying, “Not this time!”
Foreign leaders have reached out and schooled him on the Geneva Convention, expressed their displeasure at his ill informed actions, and stepped up to start filling the shoes of moral stewards to the global community.
But more important than all that, is the fact that the public is still protesting. They swarm the airports to express outrage, they boycott the companies that support him, they shout out in solidarity with those being oppressed, and they make sure their voices are heard. Not in four years, not in eight years, but right now.
Lawyers—who we all universally despise—a veritable army of lawyers stepped in and fought for the rights of people they have never met, for free, simply because they knew it was wrong and they knew how to fight back.
Democracy is still alive, people. And it is working.
This gives me hope. The ball is rolling, and eventually it will be too big for even him to ignore.
But if somehow, he and his toadies win, if somehow the system collapses, and our rights disappear; we will know that this time we did not give up without a fight.
If we fall, we fall with grace.
If we rise, it is because we lift each other up and shout together, “Not this time!”