Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
It’s been seven weeks since Hillary beat Trump by nearly 3 million votes but lost the presidency to him. So if your head is still spinning from that mindf***, or you can’t quite believe a malignant narcissist will now sit in the Oval Office, or if you are simply still working your way through the 17 stages of grief, then I am here to say to you, “There’s no crying in TrumpLand — Let’s get to work!” All hands on deck! Brush yourself off and let’s get busy because: a) All hope is not lost; b) There are more of us than there are of them; and c) The roadside is littered with the ended careers of self-absorbed, narcissistic politicians whose arrogance led them to do things that caused their early resignation or impeachment. Don’t think that can’t happen here.
I do not say these things because I am filled with optimism. In fact, I think the first thing we all have to do in order to move on is to admit out loud what we already think privately: As bad as we know it’s going to be, it’s actually going to be worse. A lot worse. Now cheer up and read on…
THE FIVE THINGS EACH OF US MUST DO THIS WEEK
1. MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN. Your Senators and Members of Congress are home right now, in your town (or a nearby town), for their holiday break. Their office is open! You don’t need an appointment. Just show up (to find out where the local office is click here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and type in your zip code). Go there (take a friend!), walk in and say “I’m a constituent and I’d like a few minutes with my Congressman/woman.” He/she may be busy, so tell them you’d like to speak to someone on the staff for a couple minutes. Most local congressional offices are LOATHE to turn anyone away because to them you are that one vote who could vote them out of office. Tell the person you get to speak to why you want the Congressman to block all the damage Trump is going to do (cite examples). If he/she is a Republican, they will explain why they “support the new President.” You then must politely tell them you and everyone you know will work to unseat them in 2018 if they don’t act independently from Trump. The calmer and cooler you say this, the more they will believe it. If your rep is a Democrat, tell him/her that you expect them to AGGRESSIVELY fight the Trump agenda — and if they don’t, you will work with others to support a true progressive in the Democratic primary in 2018. Tell them that millions of us will do what the Tea Party did to the Republicans: primary them and toss them out of office. Say it politely, thank them, then leave. You actually showing up in person to do this is as powerful as 100 letters or a large demonstration on the street in front of their office. Do this and post it on social media. Post it on my Facebook or Twitter and I’ll try to re-post/tweet as many as I can.
2. WRITE TO THE DNC TONIGHT. It will take 5 minutes. Send a quick email to the Democratic National Committee (http://my.democrats.org/page/s/contact-the-democrats) and tell them you want them to elect Congressman Keith Ellison as the new chairperson of the Democratic Party. He is the future and everyone else is the past. Here’s what the old guard gave us: TWICE in 16 years the Democratic candidate WON the vote for President but LOST the White House. Incredible! This has to stop! Ellison and the progressive wing of the party must take us forward. Keith has the backing of Bernie Sanders and myself, but also the endorsement of some of the old guard who’ve come around to see the error of past ways (Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, etc.). In addition to being born in Detroit, spending his adulthood as a community organizer and now representing the Twin Cities in the House, Ellison is also the only Muslim member of Congress. He was one of the few members of Congress brave enough to back Bernie. He will fight to turn this around and, as a son of the Midwest, bring that part of the country back from the dark side. Let’s flood the DNC with emails tonight (and cc: the your state Democratic Party, too – you can look up their email address on Google).
3. FORM YOUR OWN RAPID RESPONSE TEAM. By New Year’s Day this Sunday, I want you to ask 5 to 10 friends, family members, co-workers, classmates or neighbors to be part of your Rapid Response Team. Pick a name for it — the “Doyle Family Rapid Response Team”, the “Oak Street Rapid Response Team”, the “Seabrook High School Rapid Response Team”, the “Gilmore Girls Fan Club Rapid Response Team”, etc. Set a plan to contact each other online as soon as word goes out on any given day to oppose what Trump and Congress are up to. Your Rapid Response Team will agree with each other to email elected reps, make calls, post on social media, go to protests and/or organize others at work, school or in the neighborhood. Through my own social media sites, as stuff happens, I will send out instructions immediately as to what we all must do. Sign up now to follow me on my Facebook (facebook.com/mmflint) and Twitter (twitter.com/mmflint) if you don’t already. Form your team this week. I’m personally organizing a Rapid Response Team in the apartment building where I live. We need to get prepared and be ready now. If we wait til late January to organize, it will be too late.
4. MAKE PLANS NOW TO BE AT THE INAUGURATION WEEKEND PROTESTS! We need millions in the streets in DC — and that’s what it looks like it’s shaping up to be. The big march will be the day after the Inauguration – the Million Women March on January 21st. Click here for details https://www.facebook.com/events/2169332969958991/. On January 20th – Inauguration Day – a call has been gone out to non-violently disrupt the proceedings. Go to http://www.disruptj20.org/ and learn about civil disobedience on that day. Planes and trains are already selling out, as are hotels. Contact the above sites to get info on buses and housing (or charter your own bus from your town). Everyone who can should be there. If you can’t make it, find (or organize) a local protest in your area. Take the day off. No one should be silent that day.
5. YOU SHOULD RUN FOR OFFICE. Yes, YOU. Why not? Who else do you think is going to do it? I’m not saying you have to be the next Senator from Michigan, but why not run for State Rep. or school board or city council? At the very least, run for precinct delegate in the local Democratic Party. It’s time to stop carping about politicians and become one. But a different kind of one! I ran for and got elected to the school board at 18-years old. Form your campaign committee now for the elections in 2017 and 2018. (If you need me, I’ll even offer to be your honorary chair!) You know you can do this. We have no choice. We’ve left it up to others – yes, Democrats – and they are inept and continual losers. Haven’t you had enough? Run for office, any office!
There you go. 5 Easy Pieces. Start tonight. And spread this around. ALL HANDS ON DECK!
Copyright 2016 Michael Moore