Eyes on the Prize

As some of you may know, I’m active with my local Democratic party. I’m a member of the Placer County Democratic Central Committee. With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, we’ve had a tremendous increase of interest in our Democracy. This is a good thing. This new interest has sparked tremendous growth in activism and participation in many local organizations. But, as is often the case, with new growth come growing pains. But regardless of these (temporary) pains, we must carry on to accomplish our mission. We must keep our eyes on the prize.

The election of Donald Trump has stirred in many people feelings of angst and a desire to do something to keep our nation from losing many of the gains that have been made in the areas of civil rights, environmental protectionism, and basic human equality. On November 9, 2016 many people awoke, in a state of confusion, frustration, or both and decided to act. Many joined established Democratic (or other) Party organizations. But many were not familiar with the established political party organizations and instead formed, or joined, one of the many new grass-roots organizations that sprung up (seemingly overnight!) in their areas.

People, many of whom had never led any group larger than a book club, suddenly found themselves in charge of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of like-minded volunteers. Fortunately, the Indivisible Guide made its appearance and served as a “cook book” for organizing these newly minted volunteers. Now, people had some structure in how to express their new-found passion. Those of us in the party “establishment” have taken one of two courses: integrate the Indivisible members into the existing local party clubs, or work alongside these new organizations in an effort to affect change where needed.

But, with so many new faces in the crowd, there are bound to be differences. Differences in desired tactics, differences in methods, and even differences in goals. This is natural. Even within our established party groups, there is often confrontation. In some cases, groups have split. In others groups have shut down. Again, this is natural and bound to happen.

Regardless, when this does occur, we must not lose our focus. We must keep our eyes on the prize.

We mustn’t let our differences consume our efforts to the point that we are expending more time and energy focused inward, than on our goals. In the case of party politics under the administration of Donald Trump, the consequences of ineffective action have a real human cost.

Under Trump, people will lose medical care, which will literally lead to the unnecessary death of some human beings.

Under Trump, many of the benefits of a lifetime of hard work will be simply handed over to men in suits instead of men in boots.

Under Trump, the protections for clean air and water have been wiped out with the stroke of a pen.

Under Trump, the expectation of a fair wage for a hard day’s work is no longer there.

Under Trump, the civil rights, for which many people gave their lives, have been under constant attack since January 20, 2017 with no end in sight.

Under Trump, women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and immigrants (just to name some) can no longer expect fair treatment from this administration.

We have work to do.

Regardless of our temporary frustrations with our bunker-mates, we must remain focused on doing the work needed to ensure that the least among us, is treated as well as (or better than) the sole resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.

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