Like the people who say that protests are a waste of time there are plenty of people who complain that there’s too much complaining about politics on the internet. “Can’t we go back to baby pictures and funny cats” they say, and then something about how pointless it all is to rant online. And I get it, facebook is exhausting these days and we’d be better off calling or representative when we really want a change but also
Closed mouths don’t get fed.
It’s an expression I used to hate, like ‘if you’ve got time to lean you’ve got time to clean’ but my dislike of folksy aphorisms aside, it is seeming truer by the day. Congress recently backed down on a plan to sell off public lands because of the hashtag #keepitpublic. Like it or not, in a world where a twitter troll is president, what’s trending is our direct line to the halls of power. It’s how we show we care and that we’re paying attention.
I’m sorry that Facebook is no longer a place expressly for engagement pictures. Facebook has been, I think, misunderstood in the past. People treat it like a friend’s house, a semi-private gathering place to be polite and to talk about safe things. But if that were the case it’d be a pretty crowded party considering all the passing acquaintances and former work colleagues in attendance.
No, Facebook is a semi-public space and in all public spaces where we are afforded with the ability to share ideas and anxieties, we should do so. That’s good citizenship, not just because of the current administration but in all democracies at all time. Being vocal is a part of vigilance and being vigilant is how we guarantee it remains the people’s government.
So maybe you think we don’t need vigilance, and maybe you think that this is all liberal backlash and paranoia. Maybe you think that political opinions should be kept to yourself and that what’s currently happening in DC will work itself out. Three things:
- DC should not work itself out. It should work to please us. Leaving DC to its own devices is to say that every four years you put in an appearance at being a Democracy then you bail to the backseat and let yourself be driven wherever DC wants you to go.
- Liberal backlash it may, this is as much a problem with the Democratic Party as it is with the Republicans. But this is not paranoia. This is not normal. It is not politics as usual to have a man who bragged about assault as Commander and Cheif. Nothing makes that okay, not ever. Nothing is normal about the audacity with which White Supremacists are becoming more vocal and violent. Nothing is normal about the authoritarian turn this country has taken.
- Every time you keep silent you surrender a little bit more of your autonomy. To use another stupid aphorism; A stitch in time saves nine. The time to react is not after we wait and see but while we still have a platform and a voice.
I believe in this country and I trust our government to remain true to its constitutional mission. Because I believe in this country I feel that it is my duty as a citizen to share my concerns in every public forum available so that we keep communication going, keep engagement thriving, and protect our fragile democracy by being the demos which powers it.
So, I know that you’re tired of my anger and I’m sorry that I don’t have a baby to share pictures of instead. But this is my baby, if you want to know what’s happening in my life this is it.
As long as I have a voice I’m going to use it.
If you want to talk about what comes next, I’m game. Let’s talk about getting the Herbal Tea Party started. Let’s talk about making sure this remains the home of the free by getting people into office that want to move us forward. Let’s talk! Comment on my angry posts tell me how your feeling.
But if how your feeling is that I should shut-up, sorry that’s not happening anytime soon.