First, mourn. Then organize.
First, heartbreak & mourning.
For the America we thought where at least a majority was too menshlich,
too compassionate, to turn its own real pain and fear into imposing
nightmare on “the Other.”
For Mother Earth, who now without a vigorous defense from the USA is more
likely to fall irredeemably into climate disaster;
For the poor, for immigrants, for Muslims, for Blacks and Latinos, for
many women, for GLBTQ folks, and even for the white blue-collar workers who voted for Trump but
will not in fact be redeemed by huge tax cuts for the hyper-wealthy and by
canceling broader health insurance;
For our children & grandchildren.
And then, organize.
I think we need two things:
A Platform for America that is shaped by progressive/ prophetic activists
& is lifted up by Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabth Warren, Kamala
Harris, Catherine Cortez Masto, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
A focus on alternative communities, bubbles of decency and empowerment:
How do we support them, how do we expand them? For example:
1. It’s very likely that Planned Parenthood will quickly be defunded. It
will take a little longer, but a right-wing Supreme Court may reverse Roe
v. Wade. That will probably leave some states where abortion will still
be legal — at least NY & CA. How do we create an effective network of
health support for women, including abortion? How do we mobilize MD’s who
now have a moral/ ethical stance very different from what most MD’s had in
2. No hope now for a carbon tax or even the Clean Energy Plan that Obama
tried to institute. We will need to organize neighborhood solar co-ops
that will save householders money (though the Federal subsidies will
probably disappear), reduce CO2 emissions, and provide a democratic base
for further struggle. Can we win support from city & some state govts for
doing that? Can the environmentalist organizations shift their agendas to
focus on that?
3. If/ when deportation campaigns begin, can churches, synagogues,
mosques, become Houses of Refuge for the undocumented?
4. Major effort to shift money from big banks to credit unions (much
better than even neighborhood banks because there is at minimum the
possibility of democratic involvement and control). Can existing food
co-ops become bases for strong credit unions? Can religious congregations
become centers for “free-loan societies,” like those that emerged in
5. Should we press Obama to issue “Christmas pardons” for tens of
thousands of Federal prisoners who have been convicted of nonviolent drug
offenses, and bring them into neighborhood support groups?
6. How do we deal with a triumphant right-wing FBI, NSA, CIA, with
rejuvenated local-police “Red Squads”? Will Trump really have his Atty-Gen
(?Giuliani?) bring charges against Hillary? What do we do then? What if
armed “Brown Shirts” appear?
7. I think it is even clearer than before that it will be valuable to draw
on the symbolism & legacy of Martin Luther King as we move into the 50th
anniversary of his last year of life and the need to address the
“triplets” of racism, militarism, & materialism that he named in his
Riverside speech, April 4, 1967, exactly one year before he was killed. The Shalom Center has already begun working on that. More to come.
First, mourn. Then organize.