The Morning After 11/9

imagesThere is a famous story that when they woke the Emperor of Japan to tell him that the bombing of Pearl Harbor had begun, he responded, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” (There are those that dispute it was ever said, but I have always loved the quote and the sentiment.) He was right. And I will say that after the first hours of fear and loathing and deep despair upon the news of the new man in The White House, his words came back to me.

This is not on Donald Trump. (I vow this is the last time I’ll write his name.) This is on you and me. I now head to the Andrew Shepard speech by the great Aaron Sorkin in An American President. “America isn’t easy. It’s advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, cuz it’s gonna put up a fight. You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man who makes your blood boil who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” And so it is today: My countrymen have voted into office a man who represents everything that I would spend the rest of my life protesting at the top of my lungs.

Here is the thing: Eight years ago, close to 50,000,000 people felt as bad when the man of color came to call as I do today, now that the man without character has come to call. They went underground. They simmered on the stove without us even knowing the stove was lit. For eight long years they simmered. And then he came along and opened a doorway to bring that rage to light, and told them that Hillary Clinton was to blame for their lot in life, and that he could fix it. He gave them answers, not with facts and foresight, but with vitriol and distrust. And me? I was clueless that they really felt this way in the first place. Why was I clueless? Because they hid under the landscape and only came out when someone lured them. Cowards. It has to be said. Cowards. And while I want to be positive now, I think the pied piper to the vipers is a bad guy. Actually, I’m confident he is. And, the people riding on the plane with him are bad guys (and one woman) too.

But here is the 411 on the results of an 11/9 that feels as bad to me as 9/11.

You have awakened a sleeping giant. A giant, I say to you. We were sleeping these past years, taking for granted our role in making the country we want … and we have learned our lesson. Who is the we of which I speak?

There are roughly 300,000,000 people in America. Twenty percent of these people are under the age of 18 and unable to vote, but that leaves approximately 140,000,000 eligible people who didn’t vote. Guess what? I believe that they are with me. I believe they want character in the White House, and kindness, benevolence, intelligence, steady hands and heads, and poise. I believe that my friend E.J. from Michigan, a passionate guy who is big on cheerleading from texts and facebook, will actually dedicate some real time to real action now. And those of us who haven’t done enough will step forward.

A pundit said today that never in our history have we had such an imbalance of power running the country. We weren’t set up to have one party running all three branches of government. Oh, my. Gotta get to work.

So, we have two years until we can fix part of it, and we must. I am working in my head on some plan for myself to make a difference in the direction of my country. In the last few months (and for the first time, really), I’ve started posting strongly about politics on my blog, Freesia Lane. I have lost close to 800 subscribers since then, and I’m good with that. This is not the time to be silent. I talked earlier about how my friends and family keep telling me to stop talking about it. How did that work out for us? I am unmuzzled, and I believe the sleeping giant of American people will come forth now.

Just a few things on my to do list to start.

1. I will not click on articles about “him,” or his Stepford family on the Internet. It only makes the media do more and more of them.

2. That said, I will read about everything that is happening in Washington, and I will do what I can to make sure it’s legitimately for the good of our people—all our people.

3. I will look around and see who should be running for office. It is time for us to lure them to center stage. Now. I would run but my past wouldn’t pass the first door of examination.

4. I will not click on the “suck you in” titles (also known as clickbait). I will click on links from respected journalists and periodicals, not headlines that beckon me like Kit Kat bars at the movie theater. They get larger reach and increased advertising dollars every time I do. I want to put them out of business.

5. Speaking of out of business. Fox News. I’m not going to buy any product sold on Fox News anymore. Let’s let the advertisers know they’d best put their ads elsewhere and why. Here is a list from A to L. Let’s begin there.

I know it’s a paltry beginning, but it’s a start. And starting is the only thing I can do to make sure I get up tomorrow morning. Game on, America. You have awakened a sleeping giant. Me and my posse of 140,000,000 people are ready.


12 comments to The Morning After 11/9

  • Jayne Stearns

    Brilliant writing! I’m in!

  • Caitlin

    Go Christine. Keep the muzzle off.

  • I’m with her. This is the time to do something.

  • I’m with her. Well said (as usual!)

  • Paula J Eisenberg

    I have a concrete suggestion for you. An acquaintance of mine runs a foundation devoted to getting more women into elective office. The group is nominally non-partisan but leans heavily liberal. Check out the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. I’ll bet they’d love to have your voice in their corner.

  • Peg Cafferty

    Love this article and agree with you completely!!!!

  • Here’s to your to-do list! We should all have one, as we are reminded, once again: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

  • Debbie Berg

    Excellent, Chris. Thanks. I will follow your list and think of my own!

  • Joyce Schutter

    I agree with the sentiments in your commentary, but disagree profoundly with your first step. Part of the problem is that we made a habit of ignoring the voices that disagreed with our point of view. We were not listening, and that cost us all dearly. Many of the products on the list have no adverse prejudice associated with them, and also advertise on networks sympathetic with us. How would boycotting AT&T, BMW, or Accuchek (supplies for diabetic testing) advance our cause? We do need to think deeply and creatively, we need to speak, we need to act, we need to recognize those among us with gifts for understanding and actions that connect with diverse people and break barriers of understanding. We need to be the emblems of the progressive democracy that we espouse. We need to build bridges. We need to acknowledge the value of every voice, and see into the deeper pain in each citizen of a nation in aching termoil. I have been trying to come up with something concrete as a first step.

    One idea: to divise a state and national weigh-in-on-issue website/database. Each citizen would have a national voter ID #, with a changeable prefix of his/her zip code and voting district. When issues are presented to congress, or to the nation, each of us can “weigh in” recording our yes or no vote on the issue. Then each of our political representatives will see how those in their constiuency leans, and they can represent us, not just vote their own opinion. I also think that every politician needs to be held accountable to do their job, to be there, to vote in congress. If they do not, there should be a way to warn, to dock their pay, and if need be, replace them.

    • Christine

      Point taken, but for me, I can’t click on links with his name in them anymore. Generally they have nothing to do with real issues. But point well taken.

      Funny about your second idea… you will be hearing about a site launching (I’m involved in it) Our American Media that is going to be similar to what you laid out.

      Thanks for taking the time to write Joyce.

  • EJ Levy

    Às Steve Martin said in The Jerk,”I’m somebody now!” Well being sonebody means I have a responsibility to do something. Talk without action is just talk.

  • kristin hamilton

    WOW! Thx CM…you put into words my sentiments….I was clueless too. I’ll join you on your sleeping giant and climb the mountain with you….xoxokh

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