Fighting Denial and Abridgment
|Amy Widdowson||Dec 16, 2016|
It seems much of Twitter was shocked - SHOCKED I say - when an opinion piece by Lauren Duca written for Teen Vogue so directly examined Trump’s lies by explaining the aching dread many of us have been feeling (Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.) As pointed out by The Atlantic, much of the sharing of the piece was accompanied by exclamations of surprise and disbelief. I laughed. Because in my mind, of course it was a female-centric publication led by a young woman of color that could articulate why I feel like I wake up every morning having taken crazy pills the night before.
Because right now, politically-minded women are shouting from the rooftops, insisting that we all understand that what we’re seeing is not OK.
Kara Swisher, founder of Recode and Silicon Valley’s "Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist” has directed her relentless and unforgiving reporting towards the role that the technology industry is playing, and will play, in the incoming administration. Prior to the now-infamous tech sit-down, she was one of the few (but loudest) SV voices decrying the lack of reaction to Trump’s sideshow meeting, in the deliciously titled As Trumplethinskin lets down his hair for tech, shame on Silicon Valley for climbing the Tower in silence. Swisher called out the “sour note sounds” of the sudden conciliatory statements, after tech has so broadly criticized the PEOTUS during the campaign, and leaned on shitkicker VC Chris Sacca to say what many were thinking, that the meeting participants were being used to “legitimize a fascist.” And of course, because Swisher’s sources are deep and numerous, yesterday Swisher published a play-by-play of the meeting, which showed just how engaged Trump’s son-in-law is in these talks.
And over at MTV, the legendary senior political correspondent Ana Marie Cox, dove into what this election means for her personal relationship with God, best summed up in the subhead "Trump’s Election Didn’t Challenge My Belief In God, But It Did Challenge My Assumptions About God’s Will,” and how she is turning to her faith for any comfort it can provide in these terrifying times. Cox talks about how she’s lost her faith in government (which, as a liberal, she had “far longer” than her faith in God,) and how hard it is to love her neighbor right now, knowing that some of her neighbors “delight in a man who sows hate.” And after acknowledging the lack of rationality of her beliefs, she reminds us - and herself - that her faith is a habit, but also a call to action, to make love a "call to justice”, that her belief "doesn’t lull [her] into fantasies of an afterlife, it allows [her] to get working on the here and now."
But it is Mother Jones EIC Clara Jeffery, in a rousing and terrifying rhetorical call to the arms entitled Don't Mourn, Fight Like Hell, who best captures my anger and helplessness and fear. Jeffrey says it plainly: "This is a dark hour, and to say otherwise would be a lie. It is—by orders of magnitude—the worst political outcome our country has faced in many generations.” Quoting Baratunde Thurston, Jeffery states that "Trump's campaign is best understood as a denial-of-service attack on our political system.” That he’s thrown so much at us that taken on their own would normally be headline-generating that we have no way to elevate those truly horrifying issues, or finding a narrative that correctly conveys the magnitude of the situation we are in. She notes how Trump appeals to base instincts, and how the firehose of (dis)information that inundates us is a "brutal affront to women, people of color, Jews and Muslims, and all who value kindness and tolerance." But she also stresses why we must not capitulate, not now.
Because, as Samantha Bee said to Democrats, "if your panic over a loss makes you abandon both your principles and the people who actually vote for you, then you'll be in the wilderness for a decade, or until Trump's cabinet sells the wilderness to oil companies, so really, about a month.”
These women are shouting and raging and planning while others jockey for explanations and normalizations. Because we have a lot to lose, and they - we - will not go down without a fight.