The Personal is the Political–Standing up Against the First Hundred Days

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Catharsis Blog on Media, Writing, and Art

     Hillary Clinton, the person who should have been sworn into the presidency today, had a book entitled It Takes a Village. Now, as a historically-unpopular man who has repeatedly shown racism, sexism (and propensity for assault), Islamophobia, indifference to the environment, an incredible amount of conflicts of interest, possibly compromised national security, etc. etc. etc. and who is nominating a cabinet that has ideals and intentions to hurt LGBTQ+ interests, reproductive freedom, persons attempting to immigrate, etc. etc. we need to bring the village together. No matter what hard-line Trump supporters say, more people do not want him and his policies than do. He is not going to change his mind about issues (outside of what he simply lied or misled people about what he plans to do) nor will his advisers or cabinet. We have to move forward to get action going in the midterm elections in 2018, and the next presidential election in 2020. But–the more people that stand up to him and make a fuss, the more likely he and his Mannequin-Challenge Congress & administration have to take notice. How it may work, we don’t know. When you have a leader who not only refuses to listen but openly accuses dissenters of being false agents or not actually existing or whatever, it seems impossible. Sometimes all you can do is try. For yourself, for others. For inter/intrasectionality.

     Last night, I was at a rally in NYC featuring Michael Moore, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rosie Perez, Alec Baldwin, Robert DeNiro, Cher,  Al Sharpton, and many others. Mayor de Blasio emphasized the need for cities to be sanctuaries for progressive values. Moore urged the crowd to keep up the fight against the regressive policies by taking action each week, if not every day, of the first 100 days of the administration.

     The first 100 days is a good way to start, if you have not made a habit of getting politically involved and this election has spurred a desire to do something. Studies have shown that at least 66 days are needed to make a habit stick, and in order to effect change, we need the habit of keeping our voices heard. I plan to speak or act every week, and as many days as possible. I hope you will too. 

  • Protest and speaking up is not unpatriotic. If anything, that’s what makes up a democracy. Being intimidated into supporting and accepting policies against human rights values is unpatriotic.
  • Some people are regretting their vote. As Wonkette points out, these people can help. We all differ on various points. Nothing has to be either/or, so you can both protest mightily, and encourage those on the fence and disappointed in Trump to join the cause. When it comes to arguing policy points, there will always be some who will never, ever, change their mind. That also goes for people who are hard line indifferent. However, others are willing to listen, and that is who you engage with in dialogue. In Social Psychology, this is Social Judgment Theory. If your argument is within someone’s latitude of acceptance, they can be encouraged to accept your point of view.  See, as example, how President Obama progressed in his attitude toward marriage equality. 
  • Media and fact-checking: the media has been less than stellar in offering reasonable, measured information. Media outlets live on ratings and advertising revenue. That being said, freedom of the press is incredibly important. More lines will be drawn, and in order to understand what is going on, make yourself aware of what media is and how to fact-check. Here is my post on the topic:  As you pay attention to news–and I’ll have a page of alternate news sources if you are interested, be careful of stories, especially those meant to outrage. Wait and look for evidence and sources. Sometimes you can’t be sure who is a hero or who is a villain, and sometimes you need to check that someone’s previously reasonable stance hasn’t turned or turned out to be something very different.
  • Anger is very understandable. Add to that balancing language. I recommend reading this article by George Lakoff. This can help you figure out how to write most effectively and persuasively. 
  • A good way to start: Get the contact information for your elected officials. Contact them frequently with what concerns you, especially when votes and confirmations are at hand. Calls are more effective than writing.
  • Also see this guide on Google Docs: 
  • Know your rights when demonstrating, from the ACLU: The organization has plenty other info about rights. 
  • More on how to fight–I had found out about a guide to resist the Trump agenda from this article by Dan Savage. It has now been turned into “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda“. Read and share. 


Page last updated 1/20/2017

Copyright Alex Fiano 2012-2016



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