Sometimes the unstructured days are the hardest. The day is my own. There’s nothing scheduled today although I have a lot to do. Instead of doing it, I’ve been wondering how one personality disordered man and a group of opportunist congress people are going to cram down the throats of a majority a lot of things they vehemently don’t want? How exactly is that going to work?
Everything I was ever taught about what it means to be an American: that’s all gone. The election was a coup d’etat really. If not within the meaning of the act, then emotionally, viscerally.
The ideals of freedom of speech and of belief are gone: ideals to be proud of, ideals that set America apart. Even as I write this and think about putting it up on my blog, I wonder if it means trouble for me later. The poison has thus already entered the system.
I have a Not My President pin, which I will wear a long as I have to. To civics nannies who say that’s not the way to behave in a democracy, I say this: the contract between us and our government was broken a long time ago. I don’t have to keep holding up my end.
I know I am not alone. We are starting to come out of our crouched positions and find each other. Here’s a quotation from a piece by Adam Gopnick in The New Yorker (I will read anything by Adam Gopnick, anytime, anywhere, even when he writes about baseball. He never disappoints:)
“The best way to be sure that 2017 is not 1934 is to act as though it were. We must learn and relearn that age’s necessary lessons: that meek submission is the most short-sighted of policies; that waiting for the other, more vulnerable group to protest first will only increase the isolation of us all. We must refuse to think that if we play nice and don’t make trouble, our group won’t be harmed. Calm but consistent opposition shared by a broad front of committed and constitutionally-minded protesters—it’s easy to say, fiendishly hard to do, and necessary to accomplish if we are to save the beautiful music of American democracy.”
I am not a reformer or an activist so I have nothing to urge on you but I have made a decision about my own first steps out of my crouch. I now subscribe to the Guardian ( international independent journalism,) monetarily support Planned Parenthood (national, women’s rights) and am a member of the Phinney Neighborhood Association (local, community building.)
I’ve dug out my books on the French resistance to re-read. The stories are inspiring and encouraging. Resistance is possible. It begins in small ways. People turning over magazine covers so Trump’s face is hidden is reminiscent of how the French resistance started. They painted la croix de Lorraine and later V (for Victory) on walls. Eventually people found each other and found ways to organize and to push back. We make jokes about the French surrendering in World War II but they didn’t surrender. The French resistance was magnifique.
Here is a partial list of the books I recommend should you be so inclined:
Code Name Christiane Clouet Claire Chevrillon—an ordinary woman who did what she could
The Freedom Line Peter Eisner –about the Comet line that got downed airmen out of Belgium. Two television series take off from the Comet line story: The Secret Army (drama and very good) and ‘Allo ‘Allo (comedy and really silly)
A Good Place to Hide Peter Gorse–hiding Jewish families in the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon)
Village of Secrets Caroline Moorehead ( also about Le Chambom)
Flames in the Field Rita Kramer—about women secret agents, well researched and well told.
The New Yorker Book of War Pieces Reynal and Hitchcock –some great journalism
The Resistance Matthew Cobb
Between Silk and Cyanide Leo Marks –I’ve already done my book report here.
Resistance Agnès Humbert—Book report here.
Outwitting the Gestapo Lucie Aubrac
Wolves at the Door Judith Pearson
Sisters in the Resistance Margaret Collins Weitz
Inside S.O.E. E.L.Cookridge
Anything you can find by M.R.D. Foot
What are the rest of you doing? Leave me a comment. See you along the way to the liberation!