September 18, 2017… Day 242
I went to hear Pramila Jayapal speak tonight. She wore a deep pink kurta. She was funny and frank and personable. It was a relatively small gathering, so she was only across the room from me. She’s smaller and prettier in real life. She talked about Don Young calling her young lady, and how he had to apologize. It made me grin because I grew up in Alaska with Don Young as my representative. He’s been there forever. We called him Yawn Dung.
It was fun to see the Congresswoman in person, and it was fun the way she would casually refer to Maxine, and Nancy, and Gloria by first name. It made me feel like the women of the world were one great continuum and I was included.
It was also chilling though, to hear how far we are from regular order in the House of Representatives and how hellbent the Republicans are on rolling back Obama’s policies and shifting wealth up toward the top income brackets. I’ll never understand why really rich people are interested in getting richer, when they are already so rich that it is an abstraction to begin with. For people in the lower income brackets, nothing is an abstraction!
It had been a while since I had a startle moment — you know, when you realize in the middle of the day that Donald Trump really is president, and you feel sick with the surprise of it. It happened though, listening to Pramila Jayapal speak. She’s so close to the action.
I wanted to ask her about DACA protesters shutting down Nancy Pelosi’s press conference. Yelling at her that she’s a liar.
But I didn’t ask.
This week we have to be calling our representatives over health care. I haven’t done mine yet but I’m going to. I struggle with a great reluctance to participate in any kind of activism at all. Even after listening to Pramila tell us exactly what to do! I know having this blog might make me seem engaged. But whenever I do something — make phone calls, go to rallies, go to meetings — I have to fight against a lot of inertia every inch of the way. I worry that too many other people are like me. I seem like a bad sign to myself. A lot of the time, this administration makes me feel like I’m lying under a heavy mattress with a headache. I have the headache, not the mattress. The only things that come naturally to me are reading, writing, editing, being a good listener, and sending money. I’m also good at taking notes. I know this is privilege, but even when it’s on a matter that cuts right close to home, I still feel kind of numb.
I’d better keep reading Hillary Clinton’s book so some of her Methodist can-do spirit can rub off on me!