Photo: Sarah Zucca
Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Matador Network.
Like many other humanistic, forward-thinking liberals, I’ve woken to the realization that our social circles, our Facebook posts and Twitter chats, our progressive ideal of walls torn down in the name of inclusiveness, harmony, and leading America towards prosperity, have been derailed.
There are still whole other sectors of humanity out there, tweeting about how bat-shit crazy we are for thinking healthcare is a right instead of a privilege; congregating over beers to dismiss our certainty that human action is dramatically affecting the climate; and signing petitions claiming that it is morally wrong for two women to wed and live happily ever after.
In our great country, they have every right to do so. But now progressives have to accept that if they really are the ‘silent majority’ those groups might just have the ability to tighten the lock on our ceiling firmly enough that it could take the Democratic Party eight years to crack the code.
But look at it like this — like me, you might have been horrified by Trump’s election. It’s a potentially disastrous wake-up call. But in the last four weeks, I’ve reconfirmed to myself that it’s a good thing there are millions of people who don’t see the world like I do. We need these checks and balances if only to keep ourselves motivated.
Sure, there are conversations to be had with Trump voters. Let’s all open our minds, blah blah blah. If we can all understand each other better, that’s all well and good. But this election forced me to take a deep look inside myself. What have I been doing for the last eight years? I was so pissed off during Bush Jr.’s time in office that I actually got off my ass and went to protests, wrote letters, made calls, and ultimately altered my lifestyle to truly reflect the things I believe in. I stood with millions of others in the election of Barack Obama.
Then I sat down on the couch and waited for everything to get better. It’s been a rollercoaster eight years, but for what it’s worth I’ll gladly hand Obama my stamp of approval. A lot has changed during his presidency. I’ve cried my eyes out at multiple same-sex marriage ceremonies (one even took place in a church). When I want to buy marijuana, I walk into a store instead of meeting up with a questionable character in a shady apartment. I’ve enjoyed the benefits of a rebounding economy and purchased a condo to live in. But the activism on my part over the last eight years hasn’t gone much further than signing up for wind power through the local electric co-op. I’ve been doing little more than coasting on faith in what I voted for.
That ended on November 9th. On that depressingly awful Wednesday morning, I made a hungover but passionate pledge to myself and to my wife to do everything I can to stand up against whatever nonsense policies that self-indulgent narcissist of a president-elect tries to throw at us. He wants to bring back coal? We’ll be at the protest as soon as we’re done donating money to environmental organizations. If he backs a move on Roe v. Wade, we’ll be calling every senator on the list urging them to stand against it.
It is far from true for me to say that Trump’s election is a good thing. But now, the ball is in our court. Mr. Trump, I sincerely hope you’re ready to feel the power of a passionate nation that will not hesitate to stand in the way of your bigotry and profit-first mentality. You were not the majority vote winner, but now that we’re being forced to deal with you, we’re off the collective couch and ready to fight. We will not let you ruin our climate, we will not let you persecute human beings guilty of nothing more than trying to improve their lives, and no matter how high, we will tear down any wall you create. While many like myself are still aghast that someone with absolutely zero qualifications has been put in the highest office, we’re gathering our dazed masses and moving to the front lines.
Fellow progressives, this our time to shine. It may have taken a rogue flame to re-light the fire, but our fire has never burned brighter.