Taking action

You simply can't believe the wind today. It's a never-ending current of gale-force bluster. Leaves whip through the air so fast you wonder if you really saw them. The trees' flexibility gives me yet another reason to respect and treasure them. The boys are high in the branches of one, and I am vaguely concerned they'll be blown out. The sky is marbleized in shades of blue, gray, and white, and my home is groaning and squeaking in unfamiliar ways. It's all a bit wild which feels appropriate really, given the state of much of America since the election.  

I have made more calls to state and national representatives this past week than in any other time period in my life. I called the House Oversight Committee (202-225-5074) to plead for a bipartisan review of Donald Trump's financials and apparent conflicts of interest. It took just a couple minutes, and the HOC is tallying calls - the more they get, the more likely the Committee is to demand ALL of Trump’s financial information. 

If you, too, are concerned about Trump's complete lack of transparency, please consider calling. The HOC will likely be closed most of Thanksgiving week, so I suggest trying tomorrow/ Monday. A decision will be rendered shortly thereafter. If you don't reach a person, feel free to leave a voicemail or keep trying. 

Unsure about what to say? Here's a starting point:

"Hello, my name is ________, and I live in [city/state]. I'm calling you today to ask that you request a thorough review of Mr. Trumps widespread business interests around the globe. I have deep concerns about a financial conflict of interest and what that means for our country. I am especially troubled by the fact that he never released his tax returns and that his children, who run his businesses, are on his transition team. Please encourage a bipartisan review of his financials."

I also called Paul Ryan's office as he is soliciting feedback on the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It's not a perfect bill, but I support it wholeheartedly. Do you want thousands of people to be stripped of health insurance? I don't. The Republicans haven't put forth any sort of plan for what might replace the ACA. So, if you, too, support leaving the ACA intact, please call Ryan's office202-225-3031.

Then, sit tight through the minute or two of silence. You will get a prompt regarding the ACA survey. Press 2 to participate. Then sit through the female-voiced description of Paul Ryan's position on the ACA, and press 1 to register your support for keeping it.

I have also called Chuck Schumer (202-224-6542), the Senate minority leader, to plead with him to continue opposing the appointment of Steve Bannon, known white nationalist, anti-semite, wife-abusing, sexist man Trump has named his chief strategist. See the above script for a starting point and alter accordingly.

And this morning I had the absolute pleasure of joining a group of neighbors at the Episcopal church near us that was vandalized with racist sentiment after the election. We held signs of solidarity and support and handed out yellow flowers of friendship. It was heartening to find other groups there too, standing against hate.

I believe fake/extremely exaggerated news and the spread of it were terribly problematic elements of this year's election. I have committed to sourcing and verifying news before I share it, to the very best of my ability, and I beseech you to do this same. This list, one of many, of conservative and liberal sites have been fact-checked and proved to fall somewhere on the spectrum of somewhat untrustworthy to pants-on-fire lies. Please also consider refusing to share lies and false information. We don't need our citizenry any more uninformed and politically ignorant than it already is.

I have engaged in many conversations this week about racism and heteronormative and white privilege. They are not always comfortable discussions, but this is not the time to sit idly by. The lack of education and degree of misinformation out there is staggering.

The more Trump tweets thin-skinned reactions, nominates ideologically extreme racists (Flynn, Sessions) to major positions, and brings his children in to meetings with foreign leaders, the more his supporters stay quiet in the face of his racist picks but loudly boo the cast of Hamilton and vandalize churches and schools, the more we must fight back, act, and do everything we can to attempt to protect our country from falling into a grossly mismanaged kleptocracy that has nothing to do with most of its citizens.

I am deeply worried, full of rage, and very sad. The only thing to do is speak up and act!