It’s Up to Us Now

The electoral college has abdicated its responsibility and elected a fascist who is appointing the worst cabinet in history, and has already begun destroying America’s standing in the world. By the end of this – and there will be an end – countless people will be dead, our democracy damaged possibly beyond repair, our rights set back by 50 years or more, racists empowered as they haven’t been since the KKK ruled, the Supreme Court will be ruined for at least a generation, and we may never earn back the esteem we lose in the international community.

It’s not going to be an easy time. Not by any measure.

The next several years, probably the next several decades, are going to be tough, people. We have a hell of a fight ahead. We didn’t ask for this. We didn’t want it, and we tried to stop it, and all we can do now is deal with it.

Image is a screenshot of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. He is facing the camera, but looking somberly off to one side. Beside him is the caption, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
So I need you to do some things with the last days of this year.

I need you to remember that you’re not alone. We’re in this together. We’re going to stick together, and we’re going to get as many of us through it alive and well as we can.

Know that we’re not completely powerless. Even in the worst dictatorships, good people did good things despite all efforts of the regime to stop them. Right now, we still have our institutions, and we have our civil rights groups, and we have people who’ve been fighting adversity all along and know how to get shit done in the face of opposition and apathy. We may not have a lot of power, but we will use what we have to best effect.

Remember: you are not small and weak and useless. Even if you can’t do much due to health or life circumstances, you can do something. Find that thing you can do, and do it wholeheartedly. If all you can do is make art, bake cookies, or give hugs, you are still doing something and you are so necessary. We have a tendency to focus on a few big heroes. Our stories forget that heroes would never succeed without the dozens and hundreds and thousands of people each doing their little bit to help the heroes on their way.

Hope matters. Determination matters. So do what you need to in order to fill your reserve tanks full of both. Watch the movies and shows that get you primed for fighting Nazis. Read the books that remind you of the importance of persevering through impossible odds. Listen to the music that fills you with energy. Get yourself fired up and ready to go.

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Fill your life with as much love and laughter and beauty as possible. They are the things that make doing the right thing worth it. Take the time to enjoy your chosen family and friends, to smell the flowers you’re not allergic to, enjoy nature, play a game, or enjoy whatever else it is that enriches your life. Remember it’s still possible to enjoy a strawberry on the edge of the abyss.

Take care of your medical needs as much as possible. As someone with no current access to healthcare, I know it’s not always possible to get that checkup, get the meds you need, or have that suspicious mole looked at. But if you have insurance and time, please do get your checkup. Take your meds. If you can exercise, even if it’s just a walk or some vigorous rocking in your chair, do it. If you’ve got an addiction kicking your ass, get help and ask your friends to help you get better. But don’t let ill health you can’t kick stop you, either. Even if you can’t manage much, you can do a little. You matter. Some of the bravest, best, most necessary people I have ever known have tons of mental and physical health issues. You don’t have to defeat your disabilities to contribute to the cause.

Take care of yourself. Pull back and regroup when you need to. You’re not alone: you’re not carrying the entire fate of the world on your shoulders. We’re all doing the work together, so if your oxygen mask slips, take the time you need to adjust it.

Stay informed. Stay aware. Never forget that this is not normal.

We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re going to get it done. I’ll have a post up within the next few weeks that will have oodles of suggestions for resisting. It will have something for people of all skills and abilities. None of us are completely helpless. None of us has to do everything on the list. We just have to pick one or a few things, and do them, and stay together.

It’s up to us now.

We can do this.

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It’s Up to Us Now
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