osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

So that was not the week I hoped for

I can't pretend I predicted it, except for being prepared for it. About 2 weeks before the election, when 538.com said that we were now in Brexit territory (i.e., where polls showed the event had a reasonable probability and therefore it would take only a standard polling error to happen), I began to plan for it. At the time, it quite annoyed me that what I like to call "Mentat Brain" insisted on running through plans and probabilities. But the result was I was not in quite as much shock when the event occurred and haqve a set of contingency plans ready.

For myself, in addition to the dangers we all share, in addition to the dangers my co-religionists share, am looking at the very real possibility of seeing the last 15 years of my work destroyed. It is not pleasant. But I have now seen two changes in administration in my career and can say with confidence that nothing ever goes as planned for anyone.

And there is one gratifying thing. I have trained many students over the 15 years in the public interest. Over the last week I have heard from a number of them. Some required some reassurance. Others were volunteering to tell me that they were rolling up their sleeves and getting ready for the fight. One even wanted to check a particular strategic move, to which I replied: "Yes! That's how I want you to keep thinking. Look for the new angle. Try it. See what happens. Gather new information and plan."

For the most part, however, folks are panicing. Fear is all well and good, but as with every other emotion, it should serve you -- not you serve it. Fear that inspires well considered action and prudence serves you. Panic that paralyzes or inspires foolish action is ultimately self destructive.

That said, I am pleased to see these spontaneous protests -- which with the exception of a few opportunists using protests as a cover for violent behavior have been peaceful. Not only does this show an energized populace, but an energized opposition. There is not, and should be, no "honeymoon." But this is the moment to organize and own the #draintheswamp. That means pushing Trump and the Republicans in the legislature in directions they don't want to go. This can be done. Not always. Not on everything. Not even on everything important. Folks who remember the anti-War protests in '02 and '03 will remember that even huge and well organized protests can fail in the face of determined effort.

OTOH, they never did drill in ANWR. And in my own field, they never did manage to repeal the media ownership rules.

Republicans are deeply divided,. Already they are waffling on how to repeal Obamacare. Other evils, such as the deportation strike force, look more likely and will require more resistance. But we should never give up hope until we are defeated -- and even then we should be prepaed to resist.

I am seeing many people thinking like Denathor. Surround themselves in a high tower, but if we lose than all is lost and we should burn ourselves like the heathen kings before us. To which I will respond, as Gandalf did: "The return of the king? Well, it is your job as steward to preserve something for that eventuality -- however unlikely it may seem,"

Meanwhile, my thanks to OVFF for making me listener guest for next year. I'm looking forward to coming out there again.

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