Liberals: Stop Whining

I have a few friends on Facebook who are asking something from the anti-Trump crowd: stop whining. Trump won, Hillary lost, so shut up for the next 4 years.

I disagree with Trump’s 100 day plan. I disagree with appointing a climate change denialist to the EPA, the agency leading the charge against the biggest refugee crisis of the 21st century. I disagree with taking health care coverage away from millions of Americans (something considered a right in most of the world). I disagree with a president-elect who thinks so little of the American people that he refuses to answer our questions. I could go on… (I didn’t even mention nuclear weapons)

You are right though, and I agree to stop whining.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up. I will still speak up when I disagree (after asking myself these three crucial questions). But I will also act. Action – that’s the difference between whining and change.

The Indivisible Guide has been a great place to start. It stresses organizing to hold your congressional reps accountable (which includes celebrating them when they do right), and making phone calls.

To that end I’ve also just signed up for Daily Action. I hear good things about it and am eager to see what kind of actions they offer. I think I can guess today’s action, since the new Republican Congress’ first order of business was to remove independent ethics oversight.

Finally, I’ll be taking care of myself. I remember the Bush years and outrage fatigue is real. That means working on myself, spending time with my family, friends, and hobbies, and remembering that politics is a means and not an end. We can still be friends even if we disagree.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Where’s the outrage?

What If They Gave a War…?

So why aren’t the streets clogged with angry Americans demanding to know why their president lied and deceived them so he could attack a country that had absolutely nothing to do with his so-called war on terror?

Why aren’t we marching to demand an end to the illegal surveillance of American citizens by their own government, again under the pretext of waging war on terror? Why do we so blithely surrender our civil liberties — the very thing that supposedly separates us from other societies — to the illusion of security?

Why aren’t irate Americans camping out in the lobby of every newspaper and TV station from coast to coast, demanding that the press reassert the right to perform its single most important function, that of government watchdog?

In short, where the hell is everybody?

The answer is that we’ve created a culture where a lack of cynicism is considered naiveté. The response to the NSA spying program is the result of a culture that took the Watergate scandal and internalized it as business as usual.

The culture we’ve created responds “If you’re surprised by it, why you’re not one of us worldly people that knew the conspiracies in popular culture were real. Of course it’s going on. Sorry, I thought you knew that!”

Meanwhile, the idealists have been suffering from 5 years of outrage fatigue and making jokes on the Daily Show that further entrench the cynicism. A culture that perceives permissiveness and apathy as cool will only care when the system gets so bad as to affect people on personal level, like the Vietnam War draft. Sorry, I thought you knew that!