Yes, He Did. Now What Can We Do?

Of all the things that kept me crying during today's transition from functioning government to proto-dystopia—gut-wrenching fear for my children's future, executive branch corruption and incompetence, Betsy DeVos's staggering ignorance about special education and grizzly bears, ACA repeal—this is what made me cry the hardest:

[image: Tweet from @ObamaWhiteHouse: an image of the Obama family holding hands with Representative John Lewis and other civil rights activists, as the front line of a marching/rolling crowd. Followed by the text "Yes we can. Yes we did. Thank you for being a part of the past eight years.]

My heart cannot grapple with the Obamas being gone. My brain cannot process the extent of the toady- and corruption-scented void the Electoral College dragged into their place.

Confronting this new reality is horrible in an even-kittens-can't-fix-it kind of way (though my current status of living in a one cat household when I'm used to taking my solace under a pile of kitties? That is not helping).

If you find yourself lapsing into despondence like me, please remember what I keep telling myself: there ARE things we can do. Here are a few:
  • Protest, of course -- whether in person, or virtually. While fully embracing our rights to do so
  • Support organizations that will keep our Con-Artist-in-Chief as accountable as anyone that slippery can be, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (They have a 100-Day Plan, too. Check it out).
  • Added 1/21: Stay on top of the damage being done, like the LGBT Rights section being removed from the Department of Labor site, all references to climate change having disappeared from the official White House website, etc. (I recommend following Kerima Çevik's list on this matter.)
  • Continue to call (if you can) your Senators and Representatives. Calling is gold. Gold, I tell you. Keep your public servants accountable. 
  • Rally for top-notch Democratic leadership, so we can dig ourselves out of this manure pile strategically, and effectively.
I have Opinions on that last one. Specifically, I am putting my marker on Tom Perez for leader of the DNC. As I wrote earlier this week at The Establishment:
"We need a leader like Perez, a former civil rights lawyer, if we are to protect the rights and well-being of people with disabilities and push back productively against Trump’s discriminatory beliefs, staff, and supporters. We need a Chairman with Perez’s history as a supporter and enforcer of disability rights. We need his proven ability to engage with his opposition constructively, rather than through ridicule or open combat. And we need to understand that Trump’s brazen cronyism and political strip-mining can be most effectively countered by someone with Perez’s personal understanding of the damage an authoritarian leader can unleash on a country. (Perez’s maternal grandfather, formerly the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the U.S., was declared persona non grata by dictator Rafael Trujillo.)"
I am also trying to learn from Seymour, who is tied into news sources and philosophies that fill him with reassurance during trying times. He has been patting my shoulder, a lot. Bless him (sincerely).

This reality—of living under hateful, bigoted, ignorant leadership—is an awful one. But we will overcome. If there's anything to be learned from the decades of blood, sweat, and tears civil rights progress that preceded this backslide, it's that we cannot ever stop fighting for our rights.

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