Preparing for the Storm

More than five weeks after the political tsunami and many of are still living in a state of denial.

It’s understandable and even commendable in one sense: we must never accept Trump and the hatred and bigotry for which he stands as normal.

We must never consent to our democracy being subverted by a foreign power, to a government run by those who reject science and disdain the poor and needy.

Yet we also need to be realistic and must prepare ourselves for the ordeal that lies ahead.

Think of it this way. A giant destructive storm looms on the horizon and is about to come crashing into our lives. We must batten down the hatches and prepare to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable.

We don’t know the exact shape of the disaster that awaits, but we know enough from what Trump has said and some of the people he has appointed to anticipate the dangers we likely face:

  • Deportations of refugees and immigrants and the further scapegoating of Muslims and people of color,
  • Renunciation of the Paris climate pact and the gutting of emission standards and renewable energy programs,
  • Decimation of the Affordable Care Act and attempts to undermine Medicare,
  • Major tax cuts for the wealthy combined with cuts in vital social spending.

To meet these and other challenges coordinated action will be necessary among national social action organizations and coalitions. Movements for change will need to cooperate as never before to facilitate effective action and strategic messaging on campaigns to protect the vulnerable and defend the environment.

It is time for resistance, for acts of radical, even revolutionary, patriotism. We need to re-think our priorities and put our bodies and souls on the line. Business as usual is no longer an option.

In times of severe social stress, extraordinary measures are necessary. Civil disobedience has a noble tradition in this country and we may need to embrace it again now. We are called to follow the example and words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in defying unjust policies through disciplined nonviolent resistance.

The specific strategies and tactics for defending against the onslaught will emerge in the coming weeks. For now we need to start preparing ourselves to be ready to weather the whirlwind.

2 thoughts on “Preparing for the Storm

  1. Lets not forget the Trump statements and questions about nuclear weapons that are more urgent than Climate Change, civil rights and the Affordable Care Act such as not knowing about the Nuclear Triad, suggesting that Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia should get their own nuclear weapons and asking foreign policy experts “why can’t we use nuclear weapons…why do we make them (if we can’t use them)?” We are about to hand the unilateral power to launch to initiate nuclear war over to someone who automatically and uncontrollably attacks people with lawsuits and insults on Twitter. Sen Ed Markey and Rep Ted Lieu have a bill in the Senate and House that would require congressional approval before launching a nuclear attack but the bill has only one co-sponsor and is largely being ignored. How does your representative in the Senate and the House feel about Trump launching Nuclear Weapons without congressional approval? Will you ask them?

  2. David, Very well said. The Sunday after the election I was scheduled to share the sermon at Emmaus Road Mennonite Fellowship. The pastor structured the whole service to deal with shock, and grief from the past week, and to do thinking about the future. I tried to show that for us as a people who are followers of Jesus nothing has changed yet almost everything has changed. Our mission to feed the hungry, care for the poor, provide hospitality for the sojourner and stranger, etc…is exactly what we have been doing, only now it will be doubly needed, and will be much more difficult because new policies will create more fear–so we need stronger action for peace, the re will be greater need for food, shelter, clothing and safety—so we need to be more generous, more welcoming, offering more shelter, standing more openly with those who are being abused, deported and slandered. Our call is continue to do what God has called us to do via the teachings of Jesus, only it will require more time, more love, more giving, more courage. We don’t have time to despair, we don’t have the energy to join in name calling and spreading fear of any religious group. Now we are called to identify ways we can work together, to discover in the midst of this uncertainty that God has not left us, so we dare not turn our backs on our neighbor.
    Who is going to define who we are and what we do? Let’s be clear that our identity is as children of God, followers of Jesus who love our neighbor and want to welcome the stranger who is lives among us. Perhaps this is our chance to shape the future of our community—-and not a President who lives by totally different values.

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