There 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 piped 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.
Christine Merser, Managing Partner, Blue Shoe Strategy