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.