Thank you. Thank you to everyone around the country and around the world who poured into the streets today and sent a clear message that we will not go quietly.
Yesterday felt like one gut punch after another. Seeing Barack and Michelle Obama forced to receive Donald Trump at the entrance to their home of the past eight years … seeing Hillary Clinton demonstrate the kind of fortitude it must have taken to stand there and watch a hateful, undeserving, sexist pig take the office for which she received 3 million more votes … hearing that same petty, petulant, insecure man-child give the darkest, most divisive Inaugural Address of all time … listening to him lay verbal waste to President Obama’s many accomplishments by spoon-feeding to his ignorant, gullible and hateful base of supporters one hollow, jingoistic slogan and bald-faced lie after another … it was physically painful, and it left me feeling beaten.
Seeing you all take to the streets less than 24 hours later to stage one of the largest protests in human history was exactly what I, and many others, needed.
But let’s be clear: Today’s protests must be seen not as a standalone accomplishment in and of themselves; they must serve as the shot fired from a starter’s pistol at the beginning of a marathon. Showing up for the race is a far different thing from pushing yourself the 26.2 miles to the finish line. The former will mean little if we do not persevere through the latter.
In so much as the message we sent today surely will bruise Donald Trump’s wafer-thin ego, the real message was the one we sent to each other: We are the majority and we have the power to make change if we’re willing to do the work required.
Make no mistake: When Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all of the other feckless, spineless, self-serving, two-faced Republicans in Congress take to the floor in the days, weeks and months ahead, they will give precisely zero fucks about today’s protests as they write into law one shitty piece of legislation after another in what essentially will be a massive cash grab aimed at plundering all of us in order to benefit the 1%. The good news is: They can only win this war if we let them.
The bad guys are counting on our collective apathy and our historically short attention span. Why wouldn’t they? Our failure to mobilize and rise up in the past is exactly how they just claimed the entire federal government. Yes, Russia and the Comey letter and all that, but if we did in November what we did today, chances are we’d currently be celebrating yesterday’s inauguration of the first female president. As I said in my recent letter to President Obama: In the big picture, this one’s on us.
We can not go back in time and make right that which we’ve let go so horribly wrong; we only can move forward and do now the things we should have been doing all along.
It will not be easy. A group of Republicans who throughout the presidential campaign disavowed Donald Trump and everything for which he stands already have made clear they are devoid of both integrity and shame. In the weeks since the election, they have again and again demonstrated that they will not hesitate to choose party over country in order to further their own selfish and despicable agenda.
Between now and the November 2018 midterm elections, things are likely to get very, very bad. It is incumbent upon us to do as much as we can to support those members of Congress who are representing our interests and to loudly voice our dissent to those who are not. Protests like today are a good start. Regularly calling on and/or visiting your senators and representatives—both the ones doing right by you and the ones selling you down the river—is a cumbersome-yet-necessary part of the long game.
Also: PLEASE go HERE to avail yourself of the information provided by Indivisible, a group of former Congressional staffers who have worked hard to give us all the information we need to most effectively make our voices heard, and HERE to find out how you can help Democrats reclaim the House in 2018.
Today was an amazing show of strength. Tomorrow, we need to start using those muscles instead of just flexing them. Yes, exercising is a pain in the ass … but only by working out can you get the results you want.
We have the power to change the course of history. We damn well better use it.
Let’s do this.