Sunday, July 1, 2018

Lift Every Voice

I will confess to feeling, if not burned out, then exhausted by the massive, deaf wall that is Trump and his supporters. They feign to be doing either what the law demands or what the economy demands or what the American people demand, and when it is proven, by polls or votes, that the people do not demand it but demand exactly the opposite, they purport that the polls are wrong or biased or lie or simply that the people don't really know what it is they want.

But as British columnist Emma Brockes reminds us, 
Trump’s presidency has been one long series of outrages [between] the twin risks of normalisation and outrage fatigue... [Citizens] are reduced to a state of numbness and apathy, caught up in a cycle of responding to each buffoonish Trump tweet while the bigger picture pixelates away to abstraction.
We run the risk by being so absorbed in the latest Trump scandal, insult, evasion, even missteps, that they become a huge Trump lump of just "another example how Trump and his supporters don't care about or pay attention to either the law or other people." As a result, we become that luckless employee who, with each new offense by his employer, rather than working to change it, prides himself on crossing off another day until retirement. 

I understand that because I feel it myself. I become mired in the constant battles with Trump supporters who insist people "like me" either don't understand the law/politics/history/reality or that our only problem with the situation is that it's Trump rather than Hillary or Obama making the policy. And when "people like me" post, over and over, proof in the form of primary sources or analysis by historians or research done by what for the majority of us satisfies the requirement of objectivity, we're told it's fake news, or that its source is biased against Trump, often in the form of a post from someplace purporting to prove Snopes is financed by Soros or The New York Times is a liberal front. There are only so many times we can be told Richard Specter is more legitimate a resource than Paul Krugman.  When everything is true, nothing is true. 

But I have to repress the natural instinct to turn from these blasts against reality because in the meanwhile, real people are suffering and afraid. I can't justify to myself staying out of the fray because it's too hot, it's too exhausting, it's endless, it's frustrating. To do so is to deny the humanity of the people whose humanity I want to uphold. 

I was among the hundreds of thousands of protestors (in the US alone; I don't have figures for the world sites of protests) at the Families Belong Together rallies. At mine, Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin's 4th District spoke, and while I don't remember what she said I was impressed by the passion and indignation in her voice. Such fiery voices, speaking truth to power, are perhaps all we have in our arsenal. Can voices change abuse and evil into something better? It may seem like they can't, but voices after all were all the abolitionists had, and Women's Suffragists, and Civil Rights workers. It worked for them. It will work for us. Si si puede

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