Since the announcement of the special prosecutor, I noticed a new trend in my Twitter feed, which is dominated by #Resist-themed threads and people. Up to that point, there was an amazing unity, people coming together across the traditional liberal/conservative divide, recognizing in Trump a profound threat to America and democracy itself. After the Special Prosecutor announcement I felt a surge of relief and hope, as I’m sure everyone else in my Twittersphere did too. And then I started to see a large amount of Twitter traffic, sometimes very heated, debating the validity of certain amateur journalists who have become minor celebrities online. And this concerns me very deeply.
This is war, and for the first time in more than a hundred years, it’s a war for the survival of America. It is, to say the least, a very unconventional war. This is unprecedented sci-fi territory. You remember the declassified CIA/FBI/NSA assessment that came out in January?* It’s clear that Russia just struck a bigger blow to US liberal democracy than they ever managed to do during the Cold War Era. And that’s not even the biggest threat.
The biggest threat to America is decades of efforts by the GOP to undermine democracy. Make no mistake: after decades of gerrymandering, CrossCheck, Voter ID laws, disenfranchisement of convicts coupled with a profoundly racist court system, and more, democracy is on life support. Samuel Sinyangway reports on the rise of neo-slavery as a permanent prison underclass, sharing horrifying observations from the Louisiana capitol.** Mike Farb has done immense research uncovering MASSIVE vote machine hacking and fraud.*** The NSA has informed Congress that alt-right fake-news sites are, wittingly or not, a part of the Russian influence campaign.****
Even if Trump steps down; even if he’s impeached, imprisoned, even executed for treason… Democracy is on life support. All these shenanigans continue. We will simply have another, more stealthy fake president next time who is smart enough to keep his Twitter account quiet while he helps destroy America.
Things are not “back to normal” now and they will not be any time soon. The people of Syria don’t get to go back to normal life. The people of Afghanistan don’t get to go back to normal life. Even if Trump and Pence and Ryan and Flynn and Stone and Manafort and Page and dozens of others go to jail, war changes everything, and this is the first time we’ve woken up to the awareness that our own country faces an existential threat. This is not normal life and we do not get to let our guard down. True, no one in America is getting bombed, but we have a different kind of challenge in a different kind of war.
In this war, complacency is surrender; only restoring democracy is victory. I deeply believe in the quality of the American people. When ALL Americans have their voting rights and access restored and democracy once again represents the American people, THEN America will be great again. Restoring democracy is the ONLY front in this war that matters, and it’s a long way off, and it will be a slow hard process.
We need to work together. This time has been beautiful in a way: So many people have come together to share information and mutual support because they saw the evil represented by the Trump administration, saw the threat to America. People have come together across party lines. I am closely following people who are Bush admin staffers and conservative authors; I never would have expected this, five years ago. Everyone in The Resistance is here because they have good intentions. Of course it’s inevitable that some people on “our side” are confused, misled, useless, even counterproductive. That’s how humanity works; humans are messy and beautifully imperfect. That’s how social progress works: we’re united by a common belief in the possibility of a better world for EVERYONE; not by GOP-style “loyalty oaths”, not by Nazi-style ideological purity; not by hierarchy or enforcement. We’re united because we all believe in making everything better for everyone. It’s inevitable there will be disagreements in a community united by the big picture, rather than by enforcement and oaths. Embrace those differences as part of our strength, and don’t waste energy trying to eradicate them.
Inevitably, openness and diversity makes truth hard to find, because no one is locking things down. This is good! But, it’s important to stay grounded in truth, when there’s so much misinformation going around. Stay grounded, but don’t let that turn into ideological purity. Assess your facts with your critical intelligence, then choose whether to spread or debunk (and if you choose to debunk, do it with sources, not just emotion.) Assess your sources with the same skepticism, then follow, unfollow, mute, or block as appropriate. Save your bandwidth for spreading what needs to be spread; don’t fall into the trap of fighting against the noise. The internet is 99.9% noise and you will never change that, so focus on the upside, not the downside. Don’t get drawn into bickering and infighting; don’t forget that democracy is on life support, America is under attack from inside and out, and your freedom is no longer guaranteed.
In conclusion: Stay focused. #staywoke. Keep Resisting! Ground yourself in truth as well as you can; accept that will never be perfect. #MarchForTruth #unhackthevote. #Impeach45 and then continue to #Resist until democracy is restored.
****I saw video of this testimony but haven’t been able to find it again. Maybe this: