Talking isn't enough: TPV's role in #TheResistance
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.
I think that by now we all realize how true this statement is. Donald Trump is about to capture the highest office in the land, and none of us can afford inaction - let alone silence - in the face of this great evil.
What shape does our actions against Trump's rule take? I know that each of us has to decide for ourselves our individual best course of action, but I want to lay out my vision for TPV as a community and as a platform on our role in The Resistance. We want to expand beyond the role of explaining policy and counterpunching against an inept, corrupt media. I want us to give our community - and the entire popular galvanization against Donald Trump - a channel to act.
Let me first be clear that I want this to be an open discussion. To paraphrase President Obama, I do not have all the answers, and I cannot solve all the problems. Some of our best content ideas and action ideas come from all of you, and this will not be any different. I am merely laying out my vision as the beginning of this discussion, not the end.
Understanding and meaningful action.
Although thus far we have had occasional features on taking action and often-times calls to act within essays that explain a policy or a bill, our content has been explanation and expression-focused.
We will continue to explain policies and news, because we believe that without a proper understanding of our world as it is, we cannot ensure that our actions are of consequence.
We will continue to express our feelings, because it matters.
We will add content focused on action. This may mean directions on how to volunteer to register voters and get voter IDs if your state requires them. This may mean information on how to volunteer at your local Planned Parenthood and escort women to safety from the right wing activists outside of it. This may mean asking you to make a commitment to volunteer 2 hours per week at the campaign of someone who is challenging your local Republican Assemblyperson or a creationist school board member. This may mean asking you to sign petitions at the local level, and getting progressive ballot initiatives on the ballot in your state. This may mean joining your local fast food workers in a demonstration to demand a living wage. It may mean going to your school board and city council meeting and making a short statement on school lunches or local use of alternative energy.
From January, we will begin a Sunday open thread that will invite all of us to share something each of us has done on the ground to make a difference. I am also interested in featuring guest columns that define concrete action items and report back on the results.
I am of the firm belief that all of us need to act in ways big and small, especially small. For far too long, liberals have relied on hoping national figures will rescue us from our reactionary neighbors. It's time for us to take back our country, and it's time to begin by taking back our neighborhoods.
More varied content: podcast, some video
I want to begin with one podcast a week. Part of it will be dedicated to discussing these concrete action items, the rest to the stories of the week. We want a platform to do this while receiving live inputs and questions from the audience. This can take the form of giving voice to candidates and action events that do not get national media attention, discussion driven by action items, and creating a safe space for those who are actually acting to make a difference to be heard.
TPV's web platform, Squarespace, already allows for podcast publication, and I will devote time to understanding how to use it. YouTube and Google Hangouts on Air seem to be the most obvious platforms of choice for video content, but this too is under consideration.
I haven't worked out this plan fully yet, but needless to say, I will be eternally grateful for the participation of regular TPVers in helping contribute to and produce this content.
Becoming connected to communities everywhere.
No one understands the need for local action better than local people in their communities. In Silicon Valley and San Francisco, rent stabilization is taking form as a progressive fight, and we need people from here to talk to us about what can be done. In another state and another community, the need to register and get IDs for voters in less fortunate neighborhoods may be a priority. Yet in other communities, keeping the last Planned Parenthood in 50 miles from closure may loom heavy.
In other words, we need people who think, act, and keep up with the local level to have a bigger voice. TPV can add to that voice. I invite those voices. I invite our readers to bring these issues to all the readers here.
National stories will not fall by the wayside.
This is not to say we will stop covering national stories of overarching importance. I have no plans to give Paul Ryan a break as he goes about dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Social Security. I have no inkling to give Donald Trump a pass as he turns the US government into an arm of his branded business. I have plans to create breathing space for those who are planning to wreck havoc on voting rights, equality, and wages from our nation's capital.
We will, rather, be part of the resistance to the national disgrace in the local trenches. We will name Trump's crimes and successful resistance efforts by states like New York and California, and by communities small and large. Let's fight like hell to protect President Obama's legacy, and let's never forget that his legacy began with a statement of faith in the People: Yes, we can.
What would you like to see from TPV as we transition into The Resistance?
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