From Resentment to Action

A close friend recently phoned to ask if we’d pick her up at the airport when she flies home for a family visit. Of course we will, but since the airport is about an hour away, we’re wondering what precautions to take. Should only one of us go? If only one, should she sit in the backseat? Can we acquire surgical gowns and gloves and even PPE respirators? Ok, maybe not the latter. I resent needing to think about such things.

A short while later, our handyman arrived to patch our roof; as always, he wasn’t wearing a mask. Then the next day in a small paint store, my husband noted to an acquaintance that he wasn’t wearing a mask; the normally nice-enough man grew hostile and exclaimed, “They’re lying to you!” An acquaintance of mine told me about a man behind her in a check-out line who was raving that the whole covid thing was a hoax.

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I resent that so many people aren’t wearing masks when they should. I resent that they don’t respect my health or community health or our overburdened healthcare workers. I resent that the president encourages such behavior and disrespects the leading infectious disease experts. One of the most outrageous statements Trump recently made was in this tweet, intended to disparage Biden: “He’ll listen to the scientists.” Duh!

I carry around far too many resentments these days, like not spending a few days away, as we usually do, for our anniversary; like not eating indoors at restaurants or attending social events; like not hugging our grandchildren who are missing out on so much. And I especially resent – and am horrified by – the needless deaths and illnesses due to a raging pandemic that didn’t have to be raging.

But resentment and its cousin whining don’t help a bit. Nor does ranting at the TV. And I’m not alone. I see lots of whining, anger, and fear on Facebook and Twitter. So I shared an image of a tiny Trump fleeing from a giant blue wave. That’s a great big hope – not at all an assured thing. To deal with my resentments, to lessen my whining, to tamp down my fears and expletive-sprinkled rants, I’m doing what I can to address the biggest thing I’ve ever faced: helping to save American democracy from the most corrupt and incompetent administration ever.

You can help too. In two weeks the vote results will begin coming in. But it’s not too late to swing into action. Here are examples of actions you can take – or continue to take:

  • Vote, if you haven’t already! I have. Now’s the time to make sure that our family and friends vote too. Get after them if they haven’t. Tell them why they should vote blue – healthcare, social security, decency, honesty, science, and so on – whatever issues matter to you and may well matter to them.
  • Volunteer to do phone banking (for example, see https://joebiden.com/call/).
  • Put Biden-Harris signs in your yard and signs for your regional Democratic candidates.
  • Share digital Biden-Harris ads with your social media friends, like this reassuring one (click). Or choose Lincoln Project ads, like this hard-hitting one (click), or Republicans Against Trump ads, like this classic former Trump voter selfie (click).
  • Donate to the Biden-Harris campaign, DCCC, and/or several Senate races. I’ve donated to a number of Senate candidates. Check out this USA Today article (click) to find Democratic candidates who have a chance to flip the Senate. I have several other favorites too: Al Gross (Alaska), Barbara Bollier (Kansas), and Mike Espy (Mississippi). Remember that without a Democratic House AND Senate, a Biden-Harris administration will have a much harder time repairing the ongoing destruction and moving us toward solving crucial problems like affordable healthcare and climate change mitigation.  

Also keep in mind that Trumpism will not quietly go away once Trump leaves the White House. The damage his administration has caused will not repair itself. Stand up, use your voice, and act for a better life for us all. And note that by getting involved now, you are preparing for the post-election fights ahead to put democracy back on track.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg

My photos: Portrait of our papier-mâché cat; Green Bay Women’s March, January 2018; our local Biden rally on the street Trump and his entourage passed when he visited Marinette, June 2020.

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