I try to keep this column generally light hearted, sharing news about my writing and tips for my fellow writers. And I am writing – I am plowing through the first part of The Shifting Current this week.
But sometimes life picks you up and shakes you hard. So I’m gonna get a little real today.
When I heard the news last week that Justice Kennedy had chosen this moment to retire from the US Supreme Court, it was like a physical gut punch. I look back at the steps that got us here – Senator McConnell’s huge fuck you to the constitution when he brazenly stole President Obama’s final Supreme Court pick; 80,000 voters who overrode the will of more than 3 million; Russian interference; and a left-wing magical ability to shoot ourselves in the foot, and here we are.
None of that matters anymore.
Mark and I got married on November 1st, 2008, just three days before the passage of Prop 8 here in California. Did you know that Prop 8 is still on the books? Sure, it’s invalidated by the Supreme Court ruling. But it could spring back to like like some horrid rotting zombie if the court decides to overturn Obergefell, the decision that brought marriage equality to the whole US just three years ago.
And that’s just the potential impact that affects me the most. Unions, abortion rights, affirmative action, even the viability of the Democratic Party itself are all under assault.
Imagine a world where every single thing the Democrats pass if/when they once again take power is blocked by Alabama, and pursued up to the US Supreme Court, which then invalidates it on magical thinking legal grounds?
Worse yet, imagine a Congress that passes a law allowing a President to serve four terms instead of two. Or for life. And a Court that allows it.
I am scared. Not just for myself, but for the people I love. The communities I am a part of. The world itself, as we see the corruption of democracy around the globe.
I can do four things.
- Write to and call every swing vote or potential swing vote in Congress to urge them not to allow a far right appointee.
- Donate money to groups registering new voters, especially those targeting the youth
- Vote in November, and get every person I know (and many I don’t) to do the same.
It’s not often in life that truly transformational moments arrive. In my lifetime, I can count a handful:
- The election of Ronald Reagan
- The election of Barack Obama
- The arrival of marriage equality
- The election of Donald Trump
We are in one of those moments now, and what we do today, this week, this month, this year, will determine the shape of things to come for a long time.
I have committed to writing a letter a day to those in power who can make a difference. I will call them too, and I will march and give money to fight this thing.
Maybe in the end, it won’t be enough to make a difference. Maybe that transformational moment – that chance for us to avoid this dark path – already passed, in early November of 2016.
But I know if I don’t act – if I don’t do whatever I can to resist the corruption of our own democracy – that I am complicit in whatever comes next.
I am using the hashtag #writeforourlives for my efforts. If you want to join me, please write to your own elected officials, and to the moderate dems and republicans left in the senate, and use this hashtag when posting about it.
I will share my efforts on my personal FB page.
We have to stand together or we will all fall.