Watching with horror last Friday I was enraged, frustrated, and disappointed by President Trump’s “Muslim Ban.”Enraged by the banning of Muslims from select Middle East countries based on fear. Frustrated by the apathetic response by too many of our elected leaders who stood by silently, saying nothing to reject it. Disappointed in so many friends and family members who either said nothing or who, even worse, supported it.
The intent of this week’s post was to be about the DeVos confirmation vote slated for this week, and the deafening silence of many of our local elected friends throughout state and national government on her lack of qualifications. Tempering that was the great news that the Senate Democrats were going to vote in unison against her nomination, and it would have ended with a call to action to other elected officials to openly state their opposition of her deplorable nomination.
But the “Muslim ban” has overwhelmed me.
I sit on the side of the field watching the people I love be wounded and feel unwanted. I watch as my family members feel rejected by the country they were born in and love. I realize the subtle bigotry of watching family members being asked "Oh, that's an interesting name. Where are you from?" Umm... Buffalo...
This space could be filled with that angst and rage, but I can’t. I refuse to play role of the powerless. Those protesting taught me that. They have given me the hope and the resolve that we can make things better. We just have to act.
We won’t win tomorrow, but we will win the future. Think. This “ban” and these stupid policies did not spring out of nowhere. They developed over time and incubated in the low reaches of our society and government. They flowered with the election of an ignoramus using fear of a minority to build power.
To win this future, it is in those low reaches of government that we must act. We cannot wait for the hero to show up and save us. The proverbial white knight that will ride in and save the day. We know Waiting for Superman is foolish. We need to be our own heroes. We must dive in.
In building that future we must become engaged to build the ground now for our future victories. From dog catcher to president, we must involve ourselves in all levels of politics. Otherwise we are constantly trapped into seeking and finding weak candidates to carry our values forward because we never created the bench to pull from. Every few fears we are on the hunt for viable candidates for state and national political office. Too often we arrive at sub-par candidates that lack money, experience, and political savvy, and we lose. To win those races, we must create the movement in all branches of government, not just state and national politics. We must build our own political bench like our enemies have so successfully done.
For this writer, that is the message I take away from the Women’s March, the airport protests, and the myriad groups that have formed in the wake of Trump’s election. That is the message I take from my family.
It is time for us show up, dive in, and persevere. It not now, when? If not you? Who?
Let’s show up and dive in together. We must pick up that clipboard, and build our candidates of tomorrow today. We must seek to build in each little race. Demanding that these local candidates carry our values forward, developing a pool of candidates that we want for future office. We must get involved. For only united will we persevere.
No more waiting for Superman. We are our own heroes!