☯ Silence Is Dangerous
Where do we go from here?
This election hit me hard. I had planned on writing a piece about what strategy Progressives should take when dealing with a center-right Clinton Administration. Needless to say, that piece went straight out the window around 9:30ish Tuesday night. 11/8/2016. It's a night I don't think I'll ever forget. I sat and watched in horror as the most dangerous demagogue to ever run for President of the United States received the necessary number of electoral college votes to claim the office. I honestly couldn't believe it was happening. How could we elect this spray tan monster to the highest office in the country, and arguably the most powerful position in the world? I'm still not quite sure.
To be honest, this whole election cycle was about so much more than a Trump victory and a Clinton loss. This election was about lies, manipulation, hate, fear, anger, ignorance, and hubris. The thing that really stood out to me, maybe above all else, was the stunning way in which the Democratic Party simply ignored the voices of millions of people. They did this willfully and with full knowledge of what they were doing. They thought they could coast to victory on rhetoric about Donald Trump, while intentionally not discussing or highlighting policy. Some of the reason they may have done that is because half of Clinton's policies would have been very beneficial to party and financial elites. I'm positive she would have pushed for TPP, and more intervention in relation to foreign policy.
Countless pieces have been written about the policies of the Clinton campaign and the horrifying and non-existent policies of the Trump campaign (now administration, I suppose) so I don't want to relitigate the election. I want to focus on where we go from here. After a couple of days of wallowing in the mire of the reality of th situation, I began to see small slivers of hope in the future. This is not the way I hoped things would have played out, but I do believe there can be a small island of good in this ocean of darkness.
First: let's dismantle the establishment of the Democratic Party and rebuild it. The Clintons, and even Obama (to an extent) have spent 20 years talking the party to the right. That time has now passed. Their way was an abject failure. There is no way around that truth for the remains of the party now, so this is our time to change it.
Second: We need to organize and make our voices heard. There is one truth that rings louder now than ever before: SILENCE IS DANGEROUS. We cannot be silent. Every group that is non- white, male, or christian is going to be under vicious attack and we cannot stand by and allow it to happen. We need to continue to protest, we need to continue to speak out, but most of all we need to get out and fucking VOTE. Vote for progressives in local, state, and national election. If you can, go out and run for something. Work to change local governance, and work to build a real progressive movement to take back the Congress in 2018, and the White house in 2020.
Third: This is the most important one, get money out of politics. Real change will be nearly impossible as long as there is an unlimited flow of money into politics. Trump has said he wants to "drain the cesspool" of corruption in Washington, but anyone with half a brain knows he won't do a damn thing about it, but we can do something about it. We can change the status quo. For more in depth information and an action plan visit www.wolf-pac.com .
Of course, I am sure many people have a million other valid ideas as well, these are just a launching point. I find them to be a good motivator to keep me from losing sight of the goal of a more fair and just society.
Now that all of that is out of the way I want to leave you with these thoughts. This is going to be a tough time for those of us who do not fall into the traditional power group of white christian men. It is also going to be hell for anyone with a conscience, but life does indeed go on. This whole election and its aftermath have reminded me how much I love this country and how much I hurt when it doesn't live up to the ideals I have always attributed to it.
I want everyone to remember how powerful love is. No matter how much hate is thrown our way, we must continue to love one another. To those in the African American community, I love you and will stand proudly with you as we go through these next few years. To those in the LGBTQ community, I love you and will stand and fight with you to make sure you keep your rights and are respected as you deserve. To the Hispanic and Latino community, of which I am a member, we must stand together with the other communities and I believe they will stand with us, because they love us too. Together we can persevere, we can be the change that we so desire. Together we can make the world a little less dim.
As a parting gift, I'll leave you with my favorite scene from Synecdoche, New York. I'm not sure why, but it always makes me feel better.
Post by: Austin Colón: musician, activist, freelance writer