“Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.” – Arthur Koestler
The election of Donald Trump murdered all my illusions of what kind of society we were living in. I saw the hate, bigotry, racism and misogyny out in the mainstream and on full display. I was devastated. I grieved as if I had lost a loved one. I wanted revenge.
I was not alone. January 21, 2017, the day after the inauguration, saw the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Approximately 500,000 people participated in the protest in D.C. and about 5 million participated worldwide and on every single continent. But to say that the Women’s March was a protest is misleading. The participants were protesting the hateful agenda and rhetoric of Donald Trump but were also advocating for policies and legislation to support human rights, women’s rights, immigration reform, racial equality and LGBTQ rights, to name a few.
Indeed, several of these issues went on to have their own marches. We marched for the climate, science, immigration, truth and the release of Trump’s tax returns. But, more importantly, we organized. The Indivisible Guide started as a sharable Google doc but quickly went on to be the “bible” of the resistance movement. Groups organized using the strategies in the manual and now there are over 6,000 Indivisible groups nationwide. Other grassroots organizations sprouted up also, including Women’s March Huddles, Swing Left, Action Together and Flippable. These groups are now working with more established organizations to bring about real policy change.
And we’ve had some successes. After Trump signed the first “travel ban,” thousands of protestors took to the streets and the airports in opposition. Furthermore, we have supported immigrants in our own communities by attending rallies, making phone calls and writing letters in support of the Safe Communities Act.
Our success in stopping Trumpcare 1.0 was so effective that Trumpcare 2.0 is being worked on in secret. We called, we wrote letters, we attended town halls and we made our voices heard. Whether or not we succeed in stopping Trumpcare 2.0 remains to be seen. But make no mistake, we will make the GOP pay for it if they do.
We made dozens of phone calls, wrote dozens of emails and letters to pressure:
- Jeff Sessions to recuse himself.
- Rod Rosenstein to appoint a Special Counsel.
- Fox News to fire Bill O’Reilly.
- advertisers to withdraw ads from Breitbart and Sean Hannity.
- MSNBC to renew Lawrence O’Donnell’s contract.
The Resistance has raised more money for progressive and Democratic candidates than ever before. In May, it was reported that house Democrats raised more money in the first quarter than in all of 2015. The DCCC raised $20 million and ActBlue raised $111,329,027. To compare, during this same quarter in 2015, ActBlue raised $27 million. The average donation is $27.
And, our momentum is on the upswing. In May, we won some local congressional seats. Democrat Edith DesMarais won a New Hampshire house seat and Democrat Christine Pelligrino won an assembly seat (NY’s equivalent of a house seat). Both women won in districts that were previously under Republican control and that Trump won in November. Regaining control of state legislatures and governorships is crucial in redrawing congressional lines.
We are keeping an eye on congressional races in GA06 and South Carolina District 5 where Jon Ossoff and Archie Parnell are running for Congress. We have made phone calls, written post cards, texted constituents and donated money. We may lose, but it has been a hard-fought campaign.
We have lost some battles and we will lose some more. But we will not give in to Trump’s tyranny. On our side, we have organizations like the ACLU and SPLC who are fighting gerrymandering and voter suppression. In addition, Trump’s GOP is falling apart. They have had no real legislative victories and those they may accomplish will likely hasten their demise. Every day, more of Trumps lies and corrupt behaviors are exposed and his approval rating is historically low, and getting lower.
We will never normalize Trump’s authoritarian ways. We stand for equality, tolerance, integrity, dignity and love, these are the values that truly make American great. And we will continue to fight for them, every day. We will RESIST every time they want to dismantle our institutions. We will RESIST every time they want to take away a civil liberty.
And yes, we will win.
“I USED TO WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD. TO END WAR AND BRING PEACE TO MANKIND. BUT THEN, I GLIMPSED THE DARKNESS THAT LIVES WITHIN THEIR LIGHT. AND I LEARNED THAT INSIDE EVERY ONE OF THEM, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE BOTH. A CHOICE EACH MUST MAKE FOR THEMSELVES. SOMETHING NO HERO WILL EVER DEFEAT. AND NOW I KNOW, THAT ONLY LOVE CAN TRULY SAVE THE WORLD. SO I STAY, I FIGHT, AND I GIVE, FOR THE WORLD I KNOW CAN BE.”
-DIANA (Wonder Woman)