Reflections on 2017 and Activism
Landing upside down in the wreckage of our airplane in the snowy mountains of Idaho with bones sticking through my favorite jeans a few years ago was easier than coping with the first year of Trump’s presidency. I’m not kidding!
The risk of death and year of chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer was nothing compared to facing the political chaos of 2017. I thought retirement from medicine would leave me with a feeling of accomplishment and time be creative, instead I have a new job, it’s activism. As another activist said, “It’s cheaper than psychotherapy.”
I feel fortunate living in the United States and appreciate my wonderful group of new progressive friends who are also Indivisible activists. Although American values have been eroded by this Administration, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard.
Most of us have never been activists, but now we rally, and meet with members of congress and their staff, recognizing this political environment requires our voices & intervention.
The Freedoms delineated in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution are: Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom to Assemble Peaceably, and Freedom to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances.
Freedom of religion does not mean imposing your religious views on others. It means, freedom to practice your religion, and it means freedom from religion.
Free speech and freedom of the press are essential to a democracy, but President Trump has suppressed Freedom of the Press through his lies and acts of calling out journalists who report the truth. Our own Montana Representative, Greg Gianforte, assaulted a journalist and then lied about it, yet people in Montana elected him.
Individual rights are being suppressed through the Supreme Court 5-4 decisions upholding Citizens United and giving corporate stock holders like Hobby Lobby the ability to impose religious and political views on others. Money buys elections, and religious imposition on others was sanctioned by the Supreme Court. Dark money and voter suppression have been a key to Republican success.
We the People, citizens of the United States, are being harmed by this Administration. If you are not happy with the path this President and his GOP followers are taking by selecting Cabinet members to deconstruct the stability of important government programs – to name a few: the EPA, Education, Department of the Interior (Secretary Ryan Zinke of MT, opening monuments and squandering taxpayer money on private/unnecessary flights), and Health & Human Services, (repealing ACA) then, it’s time to become an activist.
You can write letters to your members of congress, letters to the editors of newspapers, run for office and vote. The Indivisible Guide (written by former congressional staffers) is helpful in providing information on advocacy, local organizing, and how to make your voice heard. https://www.indivisible.org/guide/
Please join me in taking action, and making 2018 a better year for everyone, not just the top 1%. Help get out the vote. Contact me, or just show up if you want to join our weekly rallies. We meet every Tuesday for Resist Trump Tuesdays from 12-1 at Second and Main in Kalispell. Be strong and make change with the help of friends.