I’m having a hard time writing jokes today. And by the way, what follows? I hope I’m wrong, and that it’s unnecessary. But then again, it’s still a good thing to do … getting organized is always a good thing to do, in my book.
For everyone, especially out in the red states, I want to offer you some advice. This may sound frightening. I hope I’m dead wrong. Like, I want to be so wrong, I want people ten years from now to say, “Hey, did you ever read that thing the weird guy on Facebook in Pantsuit Nation said? Boy, was that guy wrong.”
You need to work on building a ring of trust, locally, right now. It’s the first thing you need to do. People you can talk with in your area, maybe your neighborhood, maybe outside of it. You don’t have to organize it around politics. It can be a book club. A sewing circle. A 3D printers club. Whatever it is. But this is important – this has to be people you can trust. The people you describe in your message, that are (1) behaving as if this election is normal or (2) that think ‘Trump can’t do what he says he wants to do’ – I would be cautious about your ring. The people in your ring are people you can talk politics with, and plan, and organize with. But, it’s like Pantsuit Nation itself – the actions you take are in the public, but your ring of trust is a sanctuary, locally, of people you can organize with and talk with. I’m using sanctuary on purpose. I say safe space, and you may giggle. But what you’re creating with your ring of trust is a physical safe space – and the more appropriate term for this is a sanctuary.
You need to meet regularly, and again, your ring doesn’t HAVE to be about politics. But action, planning, deciding what to do, what to support, THAT has to be a component of your ring. Book clubs are great for this – read a text, talk about it, see if it can help you shape what to do next.
This idea is partly about safety. You have to have people locally you can trust. And the idea of a ring, that’s important. If you’ve ever seen … and understand, I rarely use war metaphors … if you’ve ever seen chain mail armor, it’s a bunch of small rings that, when linked together, form a shield.
That metaphor holds true for your rings of trust. Build your ring locally. Encourage others to do the same. It’s okay to be cautious. Connect with people you trust.
And be careful of spaces online.
Again, I truly hope that people look at this someday and say, “Wow, remember that ring of trust stuff? Pfft, that was dumb! It was nice to be in a computer programming club with neighbors who share my values, but our system ended up protecting us.”
That would be AMAZING. But just in case, please, build your ring of trust. It might be the first, most important step for what’s coming next.