I worked sixteen hours at a polling place yesterday, and I didn’t even get a stupid t-shirt.
Instead, I got watch the electoral college system throw another election to the loser of the popular vote.
Still, Clinton’s majority was paper-thin; there are plenty of folks in the US who need to feel that they are better than some “other,” be the designated underclass immigrants, blacks, queer folk, or just plain liberals. Trump’s fervid acolytes have at various times promised to rid Ammurica of liberals, Jews, and immigrants, and in fact I qualify on all those counts…but I promise I won’t make it easy for them if they try.
Still, even if the popular vote was just barely for the more-humane candidate, it still represents the good in the country. Bernie Sanders and Tim Kaine are still senators, and true-blue California is still the world’s seventh-largest economy. Measure M passed in LA. Black and queer folk and immigrants will not cower in the shadows hoping to weather the storm. Progressives will still fight. We have a good base. Now is the time to put in work.
The hard right was willing to spend decades gerrymandering districts to ensure conservative domination of congress. It is time for the rest of us—the small but real majority of the United states—to spend our days and dollars building a new progressive coalition, one that will take the country forward. Start local, start small. Don’t forget that Bernie began in local politics, and still works from his base in Vermont.
Don’t sulk, don’t fret, don’t run: get to work on neighborhood-level campaigns such as Joe Bray-Ali’s and Jesse Creed’s runs for City Council, campaigns that could change the way we work and live in the most powerful city, in the most powerful state, in the most powerful nation on this weary Earth.
The time is now. As the old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
See you on the road to the future…. Don’t be late.