Definitions of rejoice include showing great joy or delight. For me personally this is something I find impossible following the results of the presidential election on November 8th. I refuse to look for any silver lining and do not accept Donald Trump as my president. To accept the fact that he is now the country’s leader and that this requires support with an effort to get behind him for the greater good would mean to me at least a passive acceptance of all that is so odious about him.
It is no consolation to me that he may very well not have any firm beliefs or policy formulations around anything that he is not capable flipping and flopping on. He is definitely dragging into positions of power lots of folks who are very sure of their beliefs: misogyny, racism, xenophobia and homophobia. I also fear the influence and power of Mike Pence maybe more so that Trump. Trump is a showman and con artist, Pence a zealot.
Though I do not rule out street activism on my part, those days are mostly decades gone by. I am thinking about how best to engage in active resistance to this pestilence. Compromise only congers up the great Jim Hightower and his observation that the middle of the road is only for yellow stripes and dead armadillos.
Now nearly two weeks out from the catastrophe of November 8th I am still waking up thinking maybe this was all a bad dream and then it hits me that it wasn’t and the miasma sets in again. One of my greatest fears is that something untoward might happen to Trump or more likely that he will resign for some trumped up reason or the other before his first term ends. Lets face it the actuarial tables for a 70 year old, overweight, habitual steak eater are not really very good. Those have got to be some gummed up president-elect coronary arteries.
With Trump out of the picture though Mike Pence becomes president and it might then really be time for all women of reproductive age and queers of all stripes to head north for the Canadian border. Despite the disheartening estimate that about 14% of LGBTQ voters actually voted for Trump we may though be the one minority with a unique opportunity to stay in the country and resist.
Over the past 40 years we queer folk have become quite uppity and unlike many other minorities, especially religious and racial, we truly are everywhere. Even if we don’t live in large numbers in rural rust belt settings we still might have biological family there and the coming out process has and will continue to usually have positive impact on the hetero family members left behind. Having lived for years in Manhattan perhaps Trump has realized the power of the queer community and that is why he was interestingly silent on trashing us during his campaign. That analysis though certainly begs the question when you look at his selection of the likes of Bannon, Pence and Sessions.
So I am actually emerging somewhat from the funk and looking about as to how I can productively resist. A free press remains vital. I am donating again with a bit more this year to Democracy Now and I hope to have enough at the end of the year to send a few coins to Paul Jay and The Real News based out of Baltimore. And of course a donation to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name. That gets him a note from Planned Parenthood thanking him for his support.
And finally, though I am sure many other ways to be a resistance fighter will appear, I am renewing my personal commitment to a vegan way of eating, something that has proven very difficult for me to stick with in the past. The biggest blow to the planet and the survival of much of sentient life in the not so long run may come from Trump’s denial of climate change and the carbon binging hordes he is going to unleash. I will encourage other friends to take a look at the meatless option as a great personal action that does more to decrease one’s carbon footprint than any other action – we really don’t need to be eating one million chickens an hour in this country – really a million an hour.
Please take the time to watch this You Tube video by Neil Barnard my longtime diet guru. I hope to see you all at the barricades chowing down on a veggie-burrito or at least on occasion in the fruit and vegetable aisle of any grocery store.