If the last–what, two weeks(!?!)–are any indication, it’s going to be a long four years. There are going to be plenty of set-backs and, more disheartening, plenty of near misses (the DeVos squeaker just now not the least of them). Progress is slow, because by design these wheels grind exceedingly fine.
It is easy to lose faith, so remember these five things:
- Resistance works. As I write this, carefully vetted refugees are finding sanctuary here, the rights of LGBTQ federal workers have been preserved, the repeal of Obamacare has stalled, the great Federal Lands Rummage Sale is on hold—all things you accomplished with nothing but phone calls and poster-board signs. We don’t need to shed blood or set fires or take up arms; we are doing this with cellphones and markers. That is amazing and beautiful and the true cornerstone of this nation’s foundation.
- You can switch it up. Calling your members of congress is important. Showing up at the big protests is important. So is hitting those town halls. But they aren’t everything. There’s a quieter undercurrent to social action, the part where you simply chat with folks in your community, letting them know you have each other’s backs. I especially like the notion of “truth advocacy”—take time off from putting out energy (hitting the phones, hitting the streets, etc.) to read and research on your own, and to disseminate what you learn.
- You can take a break. Take a day off. Take a weekend off. You’ll be shocked how much you’ll feel like diving back in after giving yourself a 24-hour break from talking politics, calling reps, reading the paper, or looking at social media.
- You can join at any time. If you’ve never called your rep, you can do so for the first time right now. If you can’t call daily, you can call weekly. You are picking up the slack for someone who has reached that burnout point and needs a day off. We need subs like you just as much as we need those every-single-day every-single-protest power players!
- We shall defeat them, one by one.☝️ Remember: The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice—provided that we keep putting our weight towards bending that mutherfucker. It ain’t gonna bend on its own.