Our Current Situation: Don’t Panic

Wednesdays are for all the political stuff that’s been on my radar the last week. So much! There’s not a single clear spot on my radar screen. It’s all one eerie pulsing green glow. For the non-political weekly updates see the Sunday Spectacle.

EDITORIAL: My state of permanent freakout has been supplanted by an ongoing grim determination. Adjusting the national (global?) balance to something more sane may take awhile. There are lots of calls to take action, or to do something practical, but fewer examples of exactly what that means. Here are a few possibilities to get us started.

Progressive values can only be upheld if there are progressive legislators to advocate for those values. Run for Something is an organization devoted to recruiting and supporting “diverse progressives under the age of 35 to run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future.” Check out their strategic plan. They started this year. Their focus is Virginia, and (tentatively) North Carolina, but they provide a good model for other communities to use. Not sure what to run for? Run for Office will tell you which offices you’re eligible for based on your address. Not sure what to do when you get there? State Innovation Exchange provides model progressive legislation you can use in your campaign, or, once elected, to push through into law.

If you can’t (or don’t want) to run, support those who do. Follow your local office-holders through Twitter or Google News Alerts and reward them when they do something good. Ideally with money, but even a phone call or letter can make a difference for your city, county, and state leaders.

The Nation posted a list of progressive movements worth checking out.

AZTLAN RISING: Even before The Donald jokingly joked he’d send the US military across our southern border I had a paranoid fantasy that one of his many legacies would be losing a war with Mexico.

In this feverish delusion the US is at war with Iran and military engagement is metastasizing across the Mid-East. Something, probably something trivial, sparks a border skirmish along the US-Mexico border. Maybe The Donald gives orders to pursue a bad hombre across the border and the Mexican military objects. Maybe he sends some CBP agents out to get a few late-night burritos. In a hilarious-but-deadly screw-up the US agents are captured. Tensions escalate. Before you know it the US is fighting on two fronts. In a fit of nationalist pride the narco gangs of Mexico form their own militias and launch a series of attacks inside the US border. Mexico claims it is time to re-take the portion of its nation the US took during the last US/Mexico war. War is declared.

The nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean all side with Mexico. Too many resources are are being used in the conflagration of the Middle East and Mexico takes Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California. Trump tries to declare martial law, but is removed from office by Pence. Pence concedes to Mexico so he can keep his eyes on the prize – immanentizing the eschaton. The west coast states secede, followed by the Confederacy states. By the time Pence leaves office, and Trump starts his prison sentence, the US has been balkanized and remains that way for the rest of the 21st century.

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TWITTER TIP: I read the conservative press. I want to know if there are broad concerns about Our Current Situation, or if the freak-out is purely liberal and Democrat. I want to know how the Trump supporters and those Trump-adjacent are interpreting events. One technique I’ve found useful is creating list in Twitter and then adding people to the list without following them. So, they don’t appear in my timeline, but I can dip into the list and get a sense of the conservative mindset. C-SPAN has a list for the House of Representatives which is also interesting.

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LOCAL ACTION: A few events locally. My FL representative, Janet Cruz, led a walk-out when her Republican counterparts brought in bona fide racist to speak about immigration.

Also local, the Indivisible movement is taking root in Tampa.

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SO CHILDISH: Here are some people making fun of Steve Bannon’s looks. If you want more you can Google Steve Bannon Looks Like, or search it on Twitter.

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PUSSYHAT: An interview with Jayna Zweiman, co-creator of the pussyhat.

“…what we noticed is that a lot of these knitting stores across the country work as these really beautiful little community hubs, and so in thinking about these hubs and these really wonderful spaces where it’s predominantly women, these are already active participants.”

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DON’T PANIC: It’s a firehose and an avalanche and torrential and a tsunami and an overwhelming spectacle of lies bullshit halftruth misdirection obfuscation belligerence and reality distortion, but don’t panic. The reserves of love and patience and science and fact and evidence and cogent arguments and good people and deep compassion and human resilience are mightier and deeper than the venal sociopathy currently washing over us.

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OR…, PANIC: We are living in a cyberpunk dystopia.

Read the whole thing here.

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