So I wanted to write earlier, but I got about two hours of sleep on Election Night after fruitlessly attempting to drink my ever-increasing sense of panic away. Then I spent all of Wednesday in an absurd state of overtired emotional volatility. I cried at least six times that day. The last time I wept like that, my beloved grandmother had died.
I got a good night’s sleep last night, went for a run this morning and drank a lot of water, so I’m finally feeling better. Physically, at least. Emotionally and spiritually… that’s still gonna take some time. Quite frankly, I’ve moved beyond denial and am firmly in anger, and I think I’ll be there for a while.
I’m not going to write about what I think of Trump. What more is there to say that hasn’t already been said? I could say it again but it won’t change the fact that he is going to be our next president. It also won’t change the fact that a lot of people I know – family members, friends, acquaintances, teammates – were more than happy to align themselves with him. And it really won’t change the fact that other family members, other friends, other acquaintances, other teammates are terrified for their lives.
So I wanted instead to take my tiny little platform and share what I am going to do to fight what’s happening. I am a woman of enormous privilege and I intend to use my privilege to fight like hell for those without it.
1. I’m donating way more money to non-profits. I already donate quite a bit of money, but I’m stepping that up. Those groups are going to need it. I don’t consider myself a massive philanthropist or anything, but I’ve got some disposable income and let’s be real, I’d rather have a healthy planet and intact civil rights for all than a couple of extra lipsticks and scented candles.
2. I’m getting involved in local Democratic politics. I already vote in every dang election – even small local ones – and so this is the next step. Bonus: I’m in one of the swingiest counties in the swingiest state, so I think this could be an effective way to act locally while thinking globally.
3. I’m going to get even more obnoxious about voting. Come 2018, I’m going to be screaming so much about the midterm elections, you won’t even be able to stand me. You’ll go vote just to shut me up. But for real – let’s pack both houses of Congress full of Democrats and lay hard on them to obstruct every damn fool idea that tiny-fingered cheeto tries to push through.
If we want this experiment in self-governance to succeed, we have to, you know, actually self-govern.
(Don’t forget your local and state elections! They matter too! It all matters. And if you aren’t sure why it matters, please use your googles to find out why so you can be informed.)
4. I’m staying involved with my community. I’m two years into my time as a guardian ad litem, and I’m going to keep doing that work. I’m also looking for other volunteer opportunities to go along with it, whether that’s donating to food banks or free clinics or LBGT youth shelters or legal aid for immigrants. The opportunities are already plentiful, and I don’t see that changing. In fact, I only see them becoming more plentiful.
5. I’m supporting good journalism with page views and with dolla bills. I can’t believe how many conversations I’ve had with people about paying for paywall access to newspaper sites, even among my fellow writers and media professionals! Good journalism doesn’t just manifest itself out of thin air. That shit costs money. (And no, bloggers are not an adequate replacement. You get rid of journalists, and what do bloggers have to write about? NOTHING.)
Plus you need your news organizations to have the finances to protect against powerful interests. Look at what happened to Gawker. Immortality fetishist Peter Thiel got upset at Gawker for outing him – although he was certainly happy to trot his sexuality out at the RNC as proof Republicans valued diversity so whatever, Petey – so he bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s libel lawsuit and drove them into bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, Trump threatened to sue the New York Times for libel, and they have enough resources to have their attorneys respond with, “Bring it, you ferret-headed vagina-eyed douchebag.” And that was the end of that. So yeah, give your moneys to organizations that do solid journalism. Our democracy depends on it.
And eventually I hope to be at a point where I can…
6. Have open, honest conversations with supporters of Cheeto Benito. But I’ll be honest, I’m not there yet. Right now I would probably just scream at them for being ignorant fools, and that’s not going to fix a damn thing. So I’m just avoiding them all for now.
For what it’s worth, I’m not sharing these prescriptively. A lot of people are not in the mindset to even be thinking about these things, which I totally respect. I’m just so at a loss right now that the only thing that makes me feel marginally less crappy is thinking of actual things I can do to help make it better. It’s not a lot. It’s not going to save the whole world, but at this point the very least I can do is try.