I admit, I've always steered away from discussing politics on my blog and social media sites because I didn't want to alienate readers or writer friends who see things differently than I. But when it comes to people (whether I know them or not) suddenly facing the loss of their rights, their very humanity, under the country's new leadership, I can't remain silent. Book sales and readership don't mean squat if someone or a group of someones could have been helped by my speaking up about injustice and I kept silent to maintain my neutral position. That's not who I am.
Now, I'm a middle-aged white woman, an atheist, secure in my middle income life. I didn't vote for Trump; I headed for the Hills from the get-go because I honestly believed she was the best candidate for the job and never bought into the smear campaign that has dogged her for thirty years. So, technically, I don't have a lot to lose in the next four years. Except my self-respect if I sit back and do nothing for those who aren't as fortunate.
A few days ago, over on the Authors of Main Street blog, I asked everyone to join me and "Choose Love." Here, on my personal blog, I intend to elaborate on that ideal because, clearly, going around hugging strangers isn't going to help anyone. What is?
Action! Going forward, I'll be fighting in my own ways. I've always donated to my pet causes. Now, I plan to give more. To more organizations. On both a national and local scale.
No longer will I wait for the local Girl Scouts to take up a collection for the homeless outside my local supermarket, allowing me to buy a half dozen items from a prescribed list and leave, after handing over my piddly donation, feeling good about myself. No. I will buy an extra bag of groceries, health and beauty items, warm socks, etc. whenever I go shopping and turn those items over to my local shelters or pantries.
I'll donate time by volunteering. I will open myself up to those who need my help and pitch in wherever and however I can.
And most important of all, I will be watching. I won't tolerate bullies, ignorance, or selfishness from those I know. And when I see our politicians attempt to enact some heinous legislation, I won't just shake my head or chuckle along with my favorite liberal comedians on television and radio. I'll be contacting my representatives. I'll call them, write them, let them know that they don't represent the small sliver of society I'm a part of, but all of society. And P.S. not only do I vote, I post on social media and I name names.
If they try to take away the right to decent medical care for twenty million citizens, I will do everything in my power to fight them.
If they try to delegitimize the marriages of half a million people, based on who they love, I will do everything in my power to fight them.
If they try to deport eleven million people who fled poverty and/or death threats for the chance at a better life, I will do everything in my power to fight them.
If they try to control women's rights to determine our own healthcare needs or worse, criminalize those decisions, I will do everything in my power to fight them.
If they ignore the warnings about climate change and try to create legislation that will do more harm to the planet, I will do everything in my power to fight them.
I will use my voice, my pen, my money, and my vote to fight. And I'll be sharing much of this with you, friends. Here. On Facebook. On Twitter. In real life.
Care to join me? Feel free to tell me (here, on Facebook, on Twitter, in real life) about something you've done to turn the tide, and I'll find a way to reward you. Writers might receive a review, a free edit, a promo opportunity from me. Readers might get free books or their name in a book I write as a character or a dedication. Anyone could get a gift card or a sweet surprise.
Choose Love and Fight Hate.
That's what we do now. We don't leave the country. We get up and we fight to be the country we always believed we were: full of hope, full of generosity, full of love of our fellow man.
Here are some places to start:
National Resources Defense Council
Fair Immigration Reform Movement
Human Rights Campaign
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Find Your Congress Representative
Contact Your Senator
and of course,
The Clinton Foundation
Thank you for reading.