On Wednesday morning November 9th, 2016 I woke up feeling like my entire country had been raped. I felt so hopeless, powerless and terrified. So I did what I always do when I feel like that. I called my mom and cried it out. That gave me the strength to call in sick and take a mental health day. I spent time with good friends and commiserated on the horrific state of the nation. That night, I went downtown to meet my boyfriend for dinner and we decided to join the protest at City Hall first. Speaking my mind on CNN felt so empowering. Marching with hundreds of my fellow Angelenos made me prouder of my city than ever. Los Angeles’ diversity is her greatest asset, and it felt so good to be a part of that at it’s best. We all came together to protest this travesty that has befallen our nation.
While I am a champion for secession, I know that this is not an easy battle. But it is necessary. We must move toward independence to show DC that we will not put up with being taxed without representation any longer. The fact that less populous states get more electoral votes per capita than we do is almost as criminal as counting slaves to boost a slaveholder’s voting power. Especially when the electoral vote result is the opposite of everything we’ve always stood for as a State. You can read more about secession from the folks at Yes California, who’ve clearly been thinking about this for awhile.
Engaging in activism has helped me feel empowered, as well as spending time with people I love, talking about all of this. But I thought about what I think is most useful and figured I should share this with you, in case you’re feeling helpless.
1) donate more than you can comfortably afford to ACLU. They have a long history of protecting civil rights and our Constitution.
2) CALL (don’t write, tweet, etc) the local office of your elected representatives. Diane Feinstein’s LA office didn’t pick up all morning so I WENT THERE. When the security guy called from the lobby, suddenly their phone worked.
Say what’s on your mind. Here’s what I told them: I’ve been pointing out that Trump claimed to be self-funded, yet has debts to Russian banks. Putin claimed to have helped Trump with his campaign. Plus I pointed out that Trump’s been inciting terrorist activity against Americans. And reminding them that he lost the popular vote so the Republican electoral college should abstain enough votes to match the popular vote.
3) keep in mind that this whole Us vs Them thing is what Trump & his crew are doing to further divide us. Don’t play into it. The only real winner in this election is Facebook. This WSJ article shows how the site serves as nothing more than an echo chamber. If, like me, you don’t think it’ll be easy to convince a racist that all humans are worthy of equal rights, just meditate on every single one of us being suddenly struck with total compassion for each other, with a deep-rooted sense that we are all one people. As if everyone suddenly went to the space station and experienced the Overview Effect. Now when I’m out in the world, I soak in the delicious diversity that is LA, more excited than ever that I get to live in such an interesting city. I try to exercise more tolerance than usual, thinking about how we’re all victims of this monster. And that we can only vanquish him and his dogma if we’re united against him.
I wish I could convince the good people of the rust belt that their old jobs won’t be back. But that better, new jobs are waiting for them. Tesla has this massive battery factory in Nevada. Elon Musk has stated clearly in Before The Flood that the planet needs 99 more of these, and he is asking other companies to build them as well. Why get blacklung digging up coal when you can assemble lithium-ion batteries- a much cleaner, more pleasant job? Those batteries don’t just go into fancy Tesla cars, they are also being sold to homeowners with solar panels so they can be off the grid, completely independent of their local utility. If that’s not freedom I don’t know what is. They’re also being sold to utilities so they don’t need fuels like coal and natural gas. They can use much cheaper, more plentiful solar power. And if none of that interests you, there’s always drone piloting. It’s like playing with RC toys, only getting PAID to do it. And Obama (yes, the guy you love to hate) wants to pay for you to learn this valuable new job skill. Details here.
These things are good for everyone, not just the shareholders. For too long we’ve been duped by the oil companies who are afraid to change. They call themselves “energy” companies, but oil is an antiquated form of energy on it’s way out. Clean energy is getting cheaper and more plentiful every day, and is better for your kids. Do you really want your kids to sue you?
That’s all I got for now.
EDIT: Well, now it’s August 2020. While I now realize the push toward secession, same as BREXIT, was inspired and fueled by bad people who prey on people’s frustration to deepen divides, push us apart, and make us hate each other. I still know that American government does not even begin to represent the needs of the American people. But I also know we’re all better if we can play nice and work TOGETHER. Still, I’m grateful I was able to move to Spain in January. I’m looking forward to voting for my first female Vice President as a member of Democrats Abroad.