One week of the Trump Administration and I feel as though I’m drinking from a fire hose. I’m fairly certain the experience will soon seem more like waterboarding. Not surprisingly, 1984 by George Orwell has already climbed back up into the bestsellers’ lists. How should writers respond? Write faster?
On one hand, I’m itching to fight the power, and I notice my prose has grown more vigorous, too. Pages are pouring out whenever I can pull myself away from the news. On the other hand, I’m trying to listen to those who don’t think as I do, and the more I do, the more apparent it is that the crack separating my vision of reality from theirs runs very, very deep. It frightens me and saps my energy. I have never worried over the unity of this country as I have in the last year.
On the political end of the equation, here’s what’s happened. Every day, I send one email of protest to the White House, but Trump is not the only problem, and I do believe we have to be active locally as well as on the national front. Two days ago I wrote to all my local council members and the county executive about the executive’s wrongheaded veto of a bill to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour. Yesterday, I wrote my members of Congress and the Speaker of the House about this horrendous Muslim ban. Today I wrote my governor about his poor decision to veto a bill expanding state benchmarks for renewable energy because we all know that the only hope for action on climate change rests with state governments now. Ahead, I’ve already committed to writing members of Congress about Trump’s treatment of the press, the Dakota Pipeline and the necessity of ridding the White House of Steve Bannon. And don’t even ask me how many marches and protests I’ve been invited to.
This looks like a spray of birdshot aimed at a field of wolves. Or, more grandly, maybe I’m like Faramir in the retreat from the Pelennor Fields. Pick your favorite doomed defense. And, yes, I know I’m being played. This is good political strategy on the Trumpets’ part. Hit them with everything, and they won’t be able to unite or defend anything. Continue reading