“A role to play in this drama…”

As I go about my news-reading activities, I try to remember to collect the stories and tidbits that spark feelings of triumph and commitment.  Here is a small collection to make you feel inspired on this fine Sunday evening…

Why did we make all those calls about the Affordable Care Act?  Because during the height (or maybe zenith) of the last weekend’s spectacular demise of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, Members of Congress were keeping close tally of the number of calls that came into their offices.  And then they were tweeting about them, and talking about them, and marveling about them. Those calls mattered.  YOUR calls mattered. This article from the Washington Post lays out the scene.  Congressional Democrats never really mounted an organized opposition to the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Instead, “Democrats watched as a roiling, well-organized “resistance” bombarded Republicans with calls and filled their town hall meetings with skeptics.”  In my opinion, this victory goes to the Resistance.  And especially tall hats off to the resisters in conservative congressional districts.  Awesome!

I love little bits of evidence of subversive resistance.  Pete Souza was Obama’s photographer.  He’s been releasing some well-timed photographs.  Like this one of Obama warming up for the first pitch of the baseball season.  (Trump has declined the offer to make the opening day pitch.  It’s believed he fears there would be a lot of embarrassing boo-ing.)  And photos of Obama preparing to give a speech to Congress on the Affordable Care Act.  And photos of Obama hanging out and laughing with Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Click here to see some of them.  They will make you smile.

And then there’s the media release sent out by the Environmental Protection Agency, intending the congratulate Trump’s Executive Order rescinding Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The original version (which was quickly rescinded)  included this (mis)quote from a Republican Senator: “President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand,” the quote read. “Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives, including critical resiliency projects is not just irresponsible— it’s irrational.” It continued: “With the world watching, President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have chosen to shirk our responsibility, disregard clear science and undo the significant progress our country has made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come.”

Just a simple oversight on the part of those reviewing and preparing the press release?  I think NOT!  Love the subversive EPA employees!  And if you want to cackle quietly to yourself, head over to the EPA’s Facebook page and read the comments  Every single post is followed by hundreds of succinct, hostile, well-written, scientifically-based comments from resisters.  It’s heart-warming.  I’m not being sarcastic.

Tangent:  I consider myself fairly well-informed.  Not exactly hip. But generally knowledgeable, no?  But I’ve been flummoxed by a bunch of the terminology used so comfortably by the Women’s Marchers.  What in the heck is a TERF?  A SWERF?   What’s misandry? Or bropriating? You don’t know either?  Well, it turns out we’re not the only ones who are bewildered.  This useful article in USA Today offers a vocabulary lesson for those of us who didn’t major in Women’s Studies.  Scroll through it. Now we can pretend to be cool like the millennials.

And finally, there’s this incredible editorial printed in the Los Angeles Times today.  You should definitely read the whole thing.  “What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation.” And this… “We should not underestimate the resiliency of a system in which laws are greater than individuals and voters are as powerful as presidents. This nation survived Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon. It survived slavery. It survived devastating wars. Most likely, it will survive again. But if it is to do so, those who oppose the new president’s reckless and heartless agenda must make their voices heard. Protesters must raise their banners. Voters must turn out for elections. Members of Congress — including and especially Republicans — must find the political courage to stand up to Trump. Courts must safeguard the Constitution. State legislators must pass laws to protect their citizens and their policies from federal meddling. All of us who are in the business of holding leaders accountable must redouble our efforts to defend the truth from his cynical assaults.  The United States is not a perfect country, and it has a great distance to go before it fully achieves its goals of liberty and equality. But preserving what works and defending the rules and values on which democracy depends are a shared responsibility. Everybody has a role to play in this drama.”

(Really, read the whole thing.  It will frighten you.  And inspire you.)

So here’s to you, fellow Resisters!  You matter.  We matter.  It’s up to the collective “us” to save ourselves, our nation, our world.  We are the patriots now.  And if you haven’t quite begun your resistance work… it’s not too late. (If you don’t know where to start, begin with something easy, like this.)

Resistance seems to effectively counteract despair.  Resistance is actually kind of fun.  And resistance is making a difference.  Onward!