I am writing this from a state of confusion and anger and the tiniest bit of hope, one of those things did not exist for me two days ago, but the reaction of the American people to the disgusting (unconstitutional, morally bankrupt, un-American) things coming out of our executive branch right now has brought back the hope a little bit. I had a conversation, and a slight political disagreement with a friend the other day and I said some things that do not and will never line up with anything that I have ever believed in. I don't really need to go into it, because it's neither here nor there, the anger came out and the agreement with extreme measures was brief. (Although I still think it's okay to punch Nazis, and I will not apologize for that)
But it got me thinking about an interview with Masha Gesson (click on the quote), and how she tells us to write down a line we refuse to cross. I've done this now, because the way things are going I wouldn't be surprised if she's right about what's going to go down in the next few years. I would recommend hanging it somewhere where you can see it every day. Remind yourself every day that no matter what you won't cross that line. Even if your safety is in danger you will not cross that line. For those of us involved in active resistance it might be hard to turn that mirror on ourselves, because right now we believe that we would never (turn in a neighbor, call immigration on someone, give up resisting) but a toxic, authoritarian, fascist government has gotten it's citizens to do that and so much more. We have to be willing to resist the propaganda, do the research when it comes to lies (alt-facts) on BOTH sides. And possibly put our own safety on the line to protect those who are going to be severely affected. Because I've seen just as much left propaganda as I have from the right, the biggest difference is the outright lies from the right are being said by the person in the highest seat of government.
That brings me to my next point, there was a twitter thing #thanksdonaldtrump or some bull like that, but if I could thank the man for one thing it would be the serious look at my own privilege, and figuring out how to harness it to take him down. I like to think of myself as an educated and openminded person, but I don't think I've ever sat down (until last week) and seriously evaluated the privilege I do have, like not having to know how many people still exist in this world that consider themselves Nazis. Or knowing that my family will not be deported. Or "passing" as straight. Or having an invisible illness that no one needs to know about (if I didn't talk about it on the internet a lot). So yep, this entire election and the first week of Mr. Trump being in office has made me an even more open minded and welcoming person. It's also lit a fire under me, to join the resistance in more than just words and posts on facebook, to do what my brother is doing down in Tennessee (I will ALWAYS take advantage of a chance to brag about my awesome brother) , join the protests when I can, call my congressman and my senators. To not give up, to not become cynical and angry (okay maybe to not become cynical, not being angry is a hard sell)
So I guess my advice (mostly to myself):
1. Wake up and tell yourself "this is not normal", as soon as we accept this as "normal" we are in trouble.
2. Read a lot, from various sources so we can continue to know what is real and what isn't, not knowing what's real and what isn't is an excellent tactic for a confused distracted populous.
3. Maybe turn your phone on airplane mode after x hour of the day, the 24/7 news consumption is not safe for anyone's mental health. (if you have trouble doing this, read the reports of how much DT consumes media and it will definitely help you unplug) SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT TO THE RESISTANCE.
4. Go back to making art, whether it's political in nature or not, we need art right now. We need some beautiful stuff, we need some gross stuff, we need distractions, and we need work that makes us seriously consider the state of the US.
5. Talk to your friends who agree with you, they will help keep you on track. Talk to your friends who disagree with you, they will help you understand the struggle of the other side.
6. Don't be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake, but don't cross that line.