Not my President

donald-trumpMy head is spinning with how fast the lash and backlash about #notmypresident has come and gone (and frankly, about a lot of election issues). I had thoughts about it when it started right after the election, and I still have thoughts about it now, a long, long week later.

To be clear, Donald Trump is not my President. As George W. Bush was not, nor his father. But of course I respect the office of the Presidency, and he is the President of the United States (barring some fever dream about unfaithful electors or exit-vote proof of fraud). I do not think he is an illegitimate President. I do not think the military should disobey him as their Commander in Chief (but note, I do hope that, if he should order nuclear launches, the military will defy him, as I hope they would do under any President, no matter the circumstances).

I have no problem with this apparent paradox. It is the basis of nonviolent protest. I will not overthrow the government, but I will resist the policies I cannot accept. Or as written on a sign Ani DiFranco held up at a protest, “I’m done accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

And there are things I cannot accept about this administration’s floated plans. Religious registration and internment? Ceding the Asia-Pacific region to China? Turning a blind eye to Russia’s Soviet-style repression? Tripling down on trickle-down economic fantasies? Unchecked Federal spending on tax cuts for the ultra-rich? Illegal nepotism in the White House? And that’s not all of it. The list grows daily.

So yeah, he’s not my President. In fact, in an eerie parallel to Kansas (just one of many) Trump was elected by about one quarter of the electorate. So he’s likely not your President, either.

What can we do to change the things we cannot accept? How do we stand up to this President without attacking the Presidency? Protest, as we have in marches already, as we will in marches to come. As we have with phone calls, and as we will continue to do with phone calls. Get involved in your local and state elections, because trickle-up politics is a real thing.

But most importantly, of all these things, get out the vote. There is no action that will change our nation faster than involving some of the 100 million (or so) registered voters who did not vote, and getting them voting. This is the single thing you can do to make a difference in two years, and in four years.