Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In the Trump Era - What Should We Do?

Well, the election is over and the actual electors have voted.  Donald Trump is our President-elect.  If that frightens you, well just what should you do?

Something along the lines of the "what should we do" question was posted by my sister-in-law on Facebook, in a far more eloquent way than I am describing.  It's a good question, and while I don't have an eloquent answer, I do have a few thoughts.  For whatever it's worth, here they are...

Act - I'll speak out about and financially support the causes that matter to me.  This includes promoting basic human rights for the LGBT community, helping organizations that address women's health issues*, and supporting a local organization that helps the homeless.  Curling up in a ball isn't an answer as far as I am concerned.

Remember - I'll also use these next few years to remind myself that we can NEVER truly and entirely rely on the government to do the good work. At best, the government is amoral, as in doing no harm; at worst I think it's immoral.  In my opinion, this is one of the biggest blind-spots in the liberal/progressive community, namely this idea that the government can or should fix most things.  That too easily gets the collective "us" off the hook.  The commandment is to "love your neighbor as yourself", not "have the government do that for you", or worse yet, "force you to love your neighbor".  Handing stuff off to the government seems to me to be something of a cop-out, a way for us to have someone else do the dirty work.  

This is not to say that we shouldn't hold the government...and it's inhabitants...accountable, because we should.  However, we have to remember that government is really about doing essential things for the common good, for making sure that there is an even playing field for everyone, and for protecting us from each other (as sad as that sounds; sorry, I don't want my neighbor to open a pig farm or install an anti-tank gun on their roof).  We want government to be amoral precisely because morality is a human quality, not a bureaucratic or institutional one.  The fact that the incoming administration can potentially take rights way from a group of people proves my very point as to the lack of morality inherent in government.  

Be Hopeful - I'll remind myself that sometimes you need to take two steps backward in order to take three steps forward.  That's as true in politics as it is in our personal lives.

(*) Done in honor of my three daughters and my late mother.

No comments: