As we came into the primaries for this election season, I was dusting off the old blog, ready to have lots of online debates with strangers. I eagerly laid out my core beliefs ahead of time as a starting point.
But then, for the first time in my life, the whole political circus just drained me. I honestly couldn't find an intelligent word to write about what our political system has become.
The result of that nightmare of an election season, that Donald Trump is president, left me speechless.
But I pulled myself together and resolved to fight.
To be clear, I am not here to debate whether or not the Trump administration is poised to become a fascist regime or whether our political and economic system has already been primed for just such a power grab.
I am no longer operating under the assumption that the system can be repaired.
My focus is on survival.
Not my personal survival, but the survival of truth, justice, and knowledge, which are the first casualties in a fascist or authoritarian government.
There will always be upheavals in human civilization. There will always be periods of growth and periods of destruction brought on by a confluence of internal factors (politics, economics, war) and external factors (environmental disasters, disease epidemics). When we find ourselves in a period of destruction, those of us with the foresight to recognize when the point of no return has been reached, need to start planning for a different kind of future.
How do we preserve our most sacred ideals in the hope that when the dust settles and we again enter a period of growth, we can start from the highest possible point of truth, justice and knowledge?
Most importantly, we need to recognize that the struggle will be fought on a daily basis in a hundred seemingly inconsequential ways, and we need to understand that giving up any ground at this point will result in monumental losses.
Every attempt to mainstream and normalize the Trump administration must be resisted, even after they have fully transitioned into power and resisting becomes dangerous. Refuse to accept racism, sexism, corporatism, and xenophobia. Refuse to accept the suppression of intellectuals, free speech, human rights and the media. Refuse to accept the increasing militarization of the police. Refuse to accept that might makes right.
Understand that the apologists who want to "wait and see" will be fully indoctrinated, so start distancing yourself from them immediately. These are the people who will quietly look the other way as atrocities happen; they are already normalizing and accepting the unacceptable, and they will continue to do so. Do not believe that when things get bad enough, they will suddenly wake up to the reality of the situation. They are not waiting to choose a path; they have already chosen.
Start identifying people and organizations who already understand what is happening and are ready to mount a resistance.
Know your principles and do not compromise on them.
Be vocal about your principles as an example to others; keep that light alive no matter how dark it gets.
Keeping the light of truth alive is more important than my comfort.
Keeping the light of justice alive is more important than my security.
Keeping the light of knowledge alive is more important than my life.