We received a mailing from the United Farm Workers last week, asking for support. I took some time and visited their website, and confirmed what I knew I would find; they are very actively working as part of the resistance to support undocumented people (as well as everything else they do). I thought about the old organizing song with the line that "every generation has to do it again." Then I went to my dresser and opened the infamous Junk Drawer (you all have one too, don't you). I dug around: miscellaneous keys that I have absolutely no idea what they are for, a nose whistle, a small vial of baby teeth, a deck of naughty playing cards my Aunt Laura sent when I was sick - I was probably 12-13 years old, a real sardine embedded in acrylic with a pin on the back that I sometimes put on a sport jacket lapel, an ancient package of Zig-Zag rolling papers (21 cents!), and the button box. The button box has a bunch of political buttons. I also found the small United Farmworkers flag, and pinned some of the buttons to it; here's the photo:
OK, I tend to be a hoarder, but these items each have an attached memory. This grouping brings back a flood of past activism, the teacher's union, the Farmworkers struggle, the car trip to Coachella Valley for a rally where Cesar Chavez spoke, various boycotts, and so on.
There is a point here, and this is why I dug through the junk drawer: our work is not done! So many have struggled for so long, and yet there is so much still to do. Especially now. Especially now that so many of our sisters and brothers are under attack by people and organizations, including the president and the majority in Congress. The onslaught is daunting, and yet we, the people, are fighting back, each in her/his own way. How many rallies and marches have there been in this country since January 20, 2017? How much media coverage has focused on exposing the corruption of this president and this Congress? It's gratifying to see it happening daily.
I am convinced that America will survive this explosion of populism, because Trump has failed greatly over the course of the first 100 days of Trumpism. The Republican Congressional leadership has also failed in big, visible ways, demonstrating that they have no skills for governing, only for saying no. America will be damaged by the time we dump Trump, and the global effects will be huge and dangerous. But I think our democracy is strong enough to survive and rebuild.
Donald Trump is a buffoon, a dangerous buffoon. He has and will continue to ruin many lives, make many people miserable, shake the foundations of both domestic and foreign policy. Hopefully there are a few good men (yes, he has surrounded himself with men - I'll write about the daughter separately) in his circle who have the knowledge and experience to know when to tell him "NO!" and to avert a disaster, such as war with North Korea. He is causing damage on so many fronts that the results will be horrifying and way too real. But I have hope.
So, brothers and sisters, don't get discouraged, don't shrink from action, fight the good fight, RESIST! (And wear those political buttons!)