My friend Nancy is awesome. She has coined the term "inner patriot." She and my friend Brette have also sent me this care package of ice cream. That makes them both super awesome.
I have not yet posted in 2017. It is as if there is too much on my mind to even get out a few sentences. But I thought for today I'd just post a couple of simple things:
--Continuing to employ a staffer blatantly plugged a private business interest.
--Then the following two days using the POTUS twitter account to continue to plug the family business by using it as a location to entertain foreign dignitaries.
--Calling that business on the POTUS twitter feed, "the Winter White House."
Here is a quote from The Standards of Ethical Behavior for Employees of the Executive Branch iIssued by the US Office Of Government Ethics
"(7) Employees shall not use public office for private gain.
(8) Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual."
These above actions were against the law in the case of the staffer, and against the spirit of the law in the case of POTUS.
Meanwhile to call protesters
"professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters"
when protesting is not only our right, but written into the first amendment of the constitution, is wrong.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
It is worrisome.
To my good friends who find these times overwhelming, and overly negative. Please, stay tuned. Do not fall into confusion or paralysis. We are called on to peaceably redress our grievances. I know you are not accustomed to being in the fight. I know you want to take a break or for all of this to go away. But history tells us, this falling asleep or falling back is how we lose our democracy. For those of us who have had the good luck to have enjoyed the privilege of straightforward citizenship in the form of whiteness, perhaps a Christian identity, a decent education, food on the table every night, etc. that privilege has kept us on the sidelines for a very long time. We have maybe even believed that our voice doesn't matter. It does. Do not fall into overwhelm. Do whatever you need to do to say energized to call your Members of Congress everyday. In the past other good Americans have correctly criticized our government, and they have left us a legacy of clear instruction. Peaceful non-violent resistance. We can do this. We are doing this.
When I feel tired of all this, which is a lot, I call on that resource Nancy has dubbed our "inner patriot." I love this phrase. Our inner patriots will never tire. Our inner patriots do not belong to a party, they belong to the cause of functioning democratic ideals. Our inner patriots know that to plug a personal business from an official government office is wrong, our inner patriots know that it is a startling departure from historic norms for a president to refuse transparency around their tax record. Our inner patriots believe that real facts exist and that it is our job to find sources that report them. Our inner patriots believe that our elected officials work on our behalf, and we contact them regularly to express our opinions. Our inner patriots insist on robust electoral process, on the checks and balances built into the government, and on mutual respect between citizens. Our inner patriots make the calls. Our inner patriots have heroes and call on them regularly through reading, prayer, channeling and petitioning in real life and in spirit. Our inner patriots are timeless. We practice knowing that every moment is urgent and that clocks and calendars do not measure our timeline.
One of my heroes lately has been Rebecca Solnit author of Hope in the Dark.
"When I think back to why I was apolitical into my mid-twenties I see that being politically engaged means having a sense of your own power--that what you do matters--and a sense of belonging, things that cameto me only later and that do not come to all."