The past couple of days, thinking about the death of Justice Ginsburg, and how the trumpists didn’t even wait 24-hours before declaring they would fill her seat.
As they made this declaration, their hypocrisy was in full view. When there was an open seat during Obama’s last year as president, he nominated Judge Garland to fill the seat. There was a respectful amount of time that had passed before doing so, and it was within his constitutional rights to nominate someone. The Constitution has no time frame or limits on when a president may fill a vacant seat, therefore a nomination can come at any time.
However, Mitch McConnell decided to take it upon himself to withhold having any hearings or meetings on Judge Garland, feeling he is the sole arbitrator of what the Constitution means and when a black Democratic president may act. McConnell set, what many thought, a precedent moving forward on Supreme Court nominees: A president may not nominate during an election year, the people should have their say, then the newly installed president may fill that seat. The Senate left the seat open for over nine months in this instance.
Now, with a white supremacist “Republican” president in office, these same people are saying the president can nominate, and the Senate will hold hearings and vote, even though the election is already in process with several states voting already. The hypocrisy almost makes one want to gag. The shamelessness and lies are pushing many of us over the edge.
We have to make a choice: Despair or Rage?
It would be so easy to just throw our hands up and say what is the use. The trumpists have won. They’ve stacked the deck because they are so bent on maintaining the white status quo they’ve decided not to follow the law, not to use their power of check and balance, not to ensure safe and fair elections, not let everyone who is eligible to vote to vote, not to follow norms that have been in place for decades, even centuries, and because the Democrats continue to think everything is status quo. It would be so easy to just. give. up.
We have another choice, which is to rage. Not in the sense of screaming, shouting, loosing control, and reacting without thought.
No, it must be a controlled rage. Rage in which we know the hypocrisy, the lies, the lawlessness by the current administration and Senate, must stop, and then taking action to ensure it stops. Voting is what most people shout out, which in the end will make the most difference. However, there are many things to do now, today, this very moment. Things in which we all have the power to do at least, two or more, even in the midst of earning a living, taking care of a household, and dealing with a pandemic.
Yes, you can do one or more of the following things, most within the comfort and safety of our own homes:
- Register to vote, check to make sure you remain designated as an active voter, then actually vote in whatever manner you are able (but remember to vote only once). Go to iwillvote.com to register, check your status, and see the dates for voting in your state.
- Volunteer to be a poll worker (in some cases you might actually be paid).
- Use resist.bot. It can help you with checking on your voting status and will help in sending letters to your elected officials with ready-made templates about specific topics. It is accessible at the link provided or by texting a specific keyword or letters, such as RBG, to 50409.
- If you don’t want to use resist.bot, then call, e-mail or write your elected official succinctly stating what you would like them to do, such as defer the vote on Justice Ginsburg’s replacement until a new president, whomever it may be, has been installed into office on January 20, 2021.
- Donate to a Democratic candidate of your choosing. ActBlue is a great organization to use, and signing up is quick and easy. Even if you can only donate a single $1.00, please do it as it all adds up when everyone sends whatever they can afford.
- Call the local Democratic Party and volunteer for a campaign making calls, sending postcards, or another way in which you feel most comfortable.
- Volunteer to be a “taxi” for people who don’t have a way to their precinct to vote.
- Watch for any peaceful protests happening where you live and participate.
- Call out lies and disinformation by reporting it on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media, whether it is coming from this administration, any politician, neighbors/friends, and even the media in all its forms. Don’t let a lie or disinformation just live in the open, report so at a minimum it can be labeled appropriately. Be brave and bold in responding to a tweet in a factual and respectful way so the truth gets out.
- Blog, podcast, vlog, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, or whatever to get the word and your thoughts out into the public sphere so others know they are not alone as they take the first step to resist.
Don’t despair, because that is what trumpist’s want us to do so much that it paralyzes us to do nothing. Inaction is not a choice we can make if we want to save our country.
Rage instead in a determined, laser-focused manner to help effect the change we need.
But, if you can do nothing else, make sure you vote. Sitting on the sidelines cannot be the choice you can make this election. Not if you want to be able to vote freely in the next election.
Personally, I’ve chosen rage and invite you to join me in this decision.
Choose: Despair or Rage?