On December 7, 2016

My action plan

Dear Editor,

Many people that I have been talking to in the past two weeks have been expressing feelings of isolation, grief, and deep anxiety. Some feel unable to get back to everyday life as they have normally lived it. Well, friends, I’m sorry to tell you that you can’t get back to that everyday life; it has been altered. You can’t stick your head in the sand or drink away the next four years. If there is one thing we should have learned it’s that democracy is not a spectator sport. Your participation is required.
I’m offering to share my action list for this week with you, not because I think it is extraordinary; I don’t, or because I like to over-share my personal life; I don’t. But I hope that by example, I can help to lead others into options and actions that can help to achieve  a positive change, instead of floundering into despondency.
Action #1: Boycott all things Trump. Our money talks. According to the Boston Globe and Fortune Magazine, the travel site Hipmonk reports bookings at Trump hotels worldwide are down between 30 to 60 percent. The website Grabyourwallet.org has lists of businesses associated with or distributing Trump brands. The site also provides phone numbers for the customer service departments of these businesses, where you can express your intent to boycott and why. Bet.com also names 11 companies who put money directly into Trump’s campaign coffers.
Action #2: Join the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Membership is only $20. These are the people who have been and will continue to fight for our constitutional rights.
Action #3: Review the Bill of Rights and the amendments to the U.S. Constitution, so that I am fully aware of what my rights are.
Action #4: Prepare for the Million Women March on Washington.
Action #5: Engage kindly with humanity, minorities. Whenever I am near a person of color, or of any minority, when appropriate, I want to engage in kind and gentle conversation. I’m white and I’m afraid. I can only imagine how a black, Latino, Muslim, or LGBT person feels right now. We need to be one people.
Action  #6: Write letters (this and others). Now is not the time for me to stand quietly on the sidelines and try to pretend life is normal. It is the time to speak, or act, or donate, or volunteer, or show up in some way.
There are days when all I can do is to sign petitions online and share on social media. That’s okay, too. And other days when I can’t face any of it. But my action list keeps me focused, connected to others and moving forward.  If by sharing, I have included you, encouraged you or empowered you in any way, then I have done the right thing.

Candy Jones, Rutland

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