Why I Joined a Political Action Group
I’m probably not that different from you: I sat there on November 8, 2016 and felt like I’d been overwhelmed by a tsunami of stupidity. A grotesquely-unqualified, emotionally-unbalanced, pathological liar had been elected President of the United States. I don’t know what your personal beverage was – mine was half a quart of Irish whiskey, but I still couldn’t get drunk. Not enough to erase another, even more unsettling feeling: for the first time in my life I was ashamed to be an American.
Since then I’ve heard virtually the same story from most of my friends here in Southern California, followed by another common reaction: the determination to turn shock and shame into action. So when I heard about an Indivisible Group meeting in my neighborhood, I went to the meeting, hoping to find more than another support group trying to collectively get over the DTs. What I found was that Indivisible Groups take concrete steps to resist the skid toward Trumpian catastrophe through legislative action. By acting as a group, we can put pressure on elected representatives to stand up for – and with – the majority of Americans. Trumpty Dumpty may want to sit on a wall, but not if Congress won’t pay for it.
And because we’re unified by a common mission and not a common background, Indivisible Groups include citizens with disparate political agendas. So whether you’re most passionate about racism, gender rights, immigration, income inequality, the environment, or a hundred other legitimate concerns, it’s easy for us to know what to unite around. There’s an 800-pound gorilla in the room – who’s easy to spot because he actually resembles an 800-pound gorilla – and until he’s removed from office or politically neutralized, nothing else is going to get better. You can’t get to the Liberty And Justice For All part until first you’re Indivisible.
And as for my own background, I’m a member of a true California minority group: I’m from Alabama. So I know the policies of our Orange Julius Caesar won’t work. Because if low taxes, lax government regulations and white privilege equaled prosperity, trust me, Alabama would be the greatest economic dynamo in the country. Instead, for generations it’s been the traditional winner of the economic, cultural and moral race to the bottom – and if it isn’t it’s only because Mississippi exists.
And that’s my individual political agenda: to remind the Reddish-Orange States there’s a reason why California is not just the most prosperous state in the Union, it’s the sixth largest economy in the world. And there’s a reason why Silicon Valley – the greatest economic engine since the Industrial Revolution – is located in Northern California, the most progressive part of the country, and not in Alabama or Arkansas or Oklahoma. It’s because we revere tolerance, open-mindedness and intelligence above all. We’re the Heartland. We need to start acting like it.
But that’s my thing. Yours may be different. Probably is. But I got out of my Trump dumps not by drinking the other half of my Irish whiskey bottle but by joining angry citizens from all walks of life taking political action together. Indivisible individuals.