We went down to the Women’s March today with what is looking like was over a 100,000 people! Resist Coloradans resist! At the march, people were chanting “this is what democracy looks like!” While I love how strong people are together and the power of such a march, I was left feeling that no, this is not what democracy looks like. This country we live in is not a true democracy. We elect representatives, we don’t vote on laws. (Even more true in Colorado now that this year our populace voted to amend our constitution to prevent future ballot initiatives to amend the state constitution. Yep, we took away our own power.)
Our democracy looks like people getting out to vote. Our democracy looks like us pressuring our representatives to legislate in the way we want them to. They represent us, not corporations. Too many of us fail to engage with this reality of our government. Too many of us are apathetic and tuned out. We’re plugged into our phones, computers and TVs, but we let reality pass us by. We worry more about when our package from amazon is going to arrive than what our government is doing. Many of us thought it would be impossible for Trump to win, but the sad truth is that the current state of our ignorance, apathy and democracy has left us with Donald Trump as president.
So, I left the march thinking to myself how well do we know democracy? How many of us could name every representative, at both the state and national level, that represent us? I could name my national reps (Ed Perlmutter, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett), but I couldn’t think of my state representatives. What districts are you in? How have your representatives been voting? (FYI you can look this all up at https://openstates.org/).
I’m also left thinking that democracy is getting out to vote. It’s shame that so few people in our country vote. Why? What’s wrong with us? I love the power and energy that people are feeling as a result of the marches; however, the marches alone are not enough.
I am guilty. I have been apathetic and tuned out for too long. I realized today that if we’re actually going to resist this bullshit presidency of Trump we need to wake up. These marches need to be our wake up call. We need to stay informed. Read or listen to the news instead of watching netflix or browsing social media. Secondly, we need to use the avenues afforded to us within the structures of our government. We need to put pressure on our representatives. We need to vote. The 2018 elections are a long way off. We can’t let this energy and momentum die down. We can’t tune out again.
At this point, the only true avenue for us everyday working citizens to resist Trump’s administration is to pressure our representatives and to prepare for the midterm elections to take back at least one house of congress from the Republicans. We need to be informed. We need to march and be active. We need write our representatives. And we need to be active within our party. I believe that the DNC needs a lot of work. If the Democrats are going to stand a chance, we need to reform. Clearly, the party as is is not working. Superdelgates need to go. Centrist politicians supported by billionaires and big businesses need to go. Personally, I want to give up on the democrats (I voted for Jill Stein); however, I need to see reality. We have a two party system and that is not going away. Instead, the democrats need to become a true party of the people again, not a more liberal party of the wealthy who happen to have a sliver of a conscience.
None of this will happen though if we go back to tuning out. From here on out, I’m committing to staying active. I’m committing to not tuning out. I’m committing to making our democracy work again. Who’s with me?