“Trying very hard not to let the weight of it all drag me down. I will not let this administration steal my belief in the goodness of people.” — Donna Lutjens
I read this tweet by a friend and thought of the Quaker saying, “this friend speaks my mind.” Like Donna, I find the daily political news draining. As my frustration with current White House action grows, anxiety follows and I find myself wondering about some of my fellow citizens. I question their intelligence, their compassion, their judgment. When I think of all those Trump voters, it feels as if I am living among strangers.
There is no Trump policy with which I agree. I think that the new president is ignorant and arrogant; in that position to feed is ego and his bank account. I feel that his advisors are dishonest and uninformed. I think that some of the Republican leaders in Congress willfully ignore the damage their party and their president are doing to our nation because they are winning and victory is all they care about. There is seemingly no end to the daily news of national cruelty brought to us by Donald Trump: immigration raids on hard-working, undocumented people; a trade ban on people coming to the United States in search of the freedom and opportunity that we have historically been proud to offer as a beacon and comfort to the world; attacks by the president on the court system, as if one branch impugning the integrity of another is just politics-as-usual, not a deadly threat to the very core of our constitutional system.
I could go on and on.
But in the midst of this, I sense a power in the community of resisters that is real and good. My friends at work have an e-mail chain with action steps we can can take now. They are small but meaningful and remind us that we are in it together. Whereas I once would avoid political discussions with strangers, I find myself speaking my mind and finding community. It’s happened too often to simply be happenstance. When I picked up my new glasses, the clerk in the show and I shared our pride in the Women’s March. At the gas station, the attended heard NPR on my radio and commented that it’s a sea of reason in the insanity; we agree that the Muslim ban is cruel and wrong. At the Latin American grocery in town, the checkout has jars collecting for immigration lawyers to work for people detained and when I add a dollar the clerks nods and so I say, “we are in this together,” and she smiles.
After the election, as it became clear that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, I kept saying that fact mattered. It matters right now more than ever, There is a majority and it is those of use who see our nation as a beacon of hope; a place where our differences make us stronger. I believe that America is still here. It’s in the protests and the donations to the cause we believe in; it’s in the community we find with one another in gas stations and grocery stores; on street corners and at school. It’s every day for as long as it takes. The stakes are too great to let the weight of it all drag us down. Each act of resistance and protest brings us closer together and makes us more powerful. We are the good that we seek and we will not be silenced.