As a principled DC resident, I have a new Sunday normal: up early; feed, walk, and play with the dog; brunch; march.
Years from now, when the history books come out, I want to be the funny old guy in the coffee house regaling the college kids with my 2017 battle stories, proudly pointing out my mug in the photos of rallies and marches. I don’t want to be in the chapter detailing those who went to the beach, or sat on their hands, claiming they were just “too busy” to oppose the first fascist elected to the White House.
We live in interesting times. And it’s exhausting, but that’s why they invented coffee. We have work to do, but there are signs of cracks in the armor: 25 GOP Congressmen are now on record opposing the blanket ban on immigrants; 20 more are waffling or ducking press calls. And this after just 30 hours and a couple dozen well attended marches.
This is DAY NINE of the Trump Administration. The honeymoon is over in Trump Tower.
We need to be relentless. We need to make protests and outrage the new normal. And we need to be smart. Republicans, going onto forty years, have proclaimed they are party of family values. They aren’t. And we need to call them out on it. We aren’t looking to change the votes of the Tea Party; loons will be loons. Ignore the Internet trolls, online loons will be online loons. But there are thousands of GOP members, mostly women, who are increasingly uncomfortable with the direction Trump is taking their party. We can drive home a wedge between Trump and the remaining sane members of his increasingly fractured party.
A lot of friends have messaged or emailed me asking what they can do to help. A lot of you feel like you are running out of options. After you call your Senator 17 times on the same cabinet appointment, the staff start recognizing you, and tiredly retort “You’ve already voiced your view.”
So, we need a legitimate reason to call EVERY DAY. Alter your tactics. Call your GOP Senator or House Representative. Tell him (or her) for you to ever consider voting for ANY Republican ever again, you need a strong commitment to family values. Ask them if they will publicly condemn Trump’s statements on women and if they will take a moral stand against a blanket ban on Muslims from countries whose only crime is fleeing oppression. Nothing wussy. You want something in a media interview or in writing that a man who “grabs ‘em by pussy” doesn’t belong in the White House, and a man who stereotypes folks from entire nations is not a hero, but a racist zero. Yes, they will hedge. They don’t want to go on record. They still fear Trump. And as long as they hedge we have a reason to call, EVERY DAY for four years, if we must, to keep the pressure on. Your follow up calls carry an easy, endlessly repeatable message: Get on record, or get out of Washington.
Yes, I can be a broken record, but language matters. Progressives were stupid to let the GOP co-opt “Family Values.” I support family values. So do you. Don’t cede the moral high ground: RECAPTURE IT. Demand all GOP elected officials come out in the open: Do you unequivocally condemn Trumps “grab ‘em by the pussy” comments? Do you condemn Trump’s portrayal of all Muslims as terrorists, yes or no? Pose the question as a proud progressive and make it clear that an artful dodge, or a media “hem, haw” is not an answer. If your Member is Catholic, hit even harder: The Pope opposes Trump’s immigration policy. Are you with the Holy Father or the unholy President? Jesus was an immigrant, after all.
If you are a university professor, especially if you teach religion, philosophy or history, challenge your Congress Critter to a public debate on morality and ethics. If you are a member of a student group, ask a representative from the office to come address family values. If you attend a church, invite your Congressman to show up to the Sunday breakfast to chat about Trump’s alarming morality. It’s up to us to take a sharp stick and poke ‘em in their Achilles Heel for electing a President who wants to “grab ‘em by the pussy.”
In the meantime, I’ll be rising early, waking and playing with the pup, and hitting Pennsylvania Avenue, every weekend day, until further notice. Sorry, Netflix, your revenue is going to take a hit. Interesting times call for really tiring weekends.