Friday, November 18, 2016

Weekend Reading: Looking for Light in Dark Times Edition

I'm still oscillating between hope and despair, and I imagine I will be for quite awhile. I'm working on how to be OK in this new way of things. And, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm working through some personal emotions of what this election was like to experience as an ambitious woman.

I'm sifting through what news I need to care about and follow and what I can filter out in the interest of my own sanity. I've decided I will not read any analysis or punditry about "what went wrong." I will not read any article arguing about what strategy Democrats in Congress should take now. I don't care which groups Trump did well with or why. He did not hide what he planned to do, and as we're seeing with his first picks for his administration, he's following through on what he said his administration would be like. I'll leave it to other people to analyze why people signed up for this. I don't care.

I will stay informed about how the Trump administration is taking shape, mostly so I can know which elected officials I should be contacting to remind of their Constitutional duty, and why. I may call or fax the House Oversight committee weekly until either they provide some oversight on Trump's conflicts of interest or Trump himself acts to resolve those conflicts. As I wrote yesterday, the situation Trump has created is unprecedented and his current plan seems to be to just ignore the problems this creates. Here's another summary of the issue, if you need one. This is the one little bit of strategy in which I am indulging. I suspect that if something takes Trump down, it will be this, similar to how it was tax evasion that brought down Al Capone. Also, I fear that if we allow this situation to continue, we will corrupt our republic in a way that it will take generations to repair.

I will keep speaking out about the rise in hate speech and crimes and the appointments of unacceptably and openly bigoted people to the Trump administration. I think that people of color are going to suffer profoundly under this administration, and that is a moral blot on all of us. Hard won protections are going to be stripped away and we already know that preventing this is not a priority for the majority of white people, because Trump's campaign was not subtle on this point and they voted for him anyway. This breaks my heart more than anything else in this post-election mess.  All I know is that I cannot be a silent witness to this, so I will keep speaking out.

Beyond that, I don't know. I'm working to build my own source of light to keep next to my moral compass and my panic "flee now" button.

So anyway, some links.

If you read only one link this week, I'd say read Liel Libovitz on the lessons of his grandfather about Trump.

If you want more advice on how to approach the age of Trump, Sarah Kendzior's advice comes from a unique intersection of knowledge or authoritarianism and of Trump's base. Her advice to write a list of things you won't do rings true to me.

If you're looking for something to give you a bit of hope we'll come through OK, Heather Cox Richardson's history of the late 1800s might be what you want to read.

But then Matt Yglesias' article about the risk of systemic corruption will probably crush that hope.

Baratunde Thurston tries to explain that empathy needs to go both ways.

If you're still trying to understand that nice people can do racist things, this thread might help:

This interview with a man who has made a fortune off of fake news makes me want to scream. He has built his company off of lying to people. That is wrong, and was always wrong, even when the only effect was making people feel bad about being duped. That he recognizes he might have influenced the election to elect a President he says he hates and then says that he's going to keep publishing fake news anyway is pretty amazing. He is hurting people for money. Surely he can find a better way to pay his bills.

This essay about talking to our daughters now made me cry. I am so grateful for all the heroines I can point out to my daughters.

How about some happy news: remember Batkid? He's doing great.

One of the things I'm doing to hold on to my own source of light right now is appreciating art more. Look at the motion in this beautiful painting.

And of course, there are the bunnies:

Bunnies always bring light.

Now I'm off to rollerblade. Wishing you all a great weekend.

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