Guest Post: Occasional Words from the Resistance – The first in a series of remarks from the desk of R.E. Vanella

Filed in National by on November 15, 2016

Unhappy the land where heroes are needed.  –Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo

I am in here.  Like many of you I had a painful week.  I think dramatic vacillation between severe emotions has the same effect as ascending too quickly from great depths in the sea.  If I accelerate from rage directly to despondency in, say, less than two seconds I experience significant waves of nausea.

I’ve concluded that the seriousness of this moment requires us to navigate through the storms of the body and the psyche and get on the same page.  There’s been mention of coming together.  So to that end and if you’ll permit me, I’d like to make a few remarks.

What I am going to do, and what I strongly urge you all to do, is whatever it takes to prepare yourself for the fight ahead.  We’ve read polls, and spread memes, and spewed talking points, and told the jokes, and made predictions, and dismissed other people predictions, and also the videos.  It seems a little surreal that there was a game in this space around Republican primary season.  Has anyone else had this thought? Please know I mean no disrespect, but I’m in no mood to play now.

Under normal circumstances the microanalysis and commentary and think pieces on Salon would continue for weeks.  I’m certain it all will.  Why did we lose Macomb County?  What was wrong with the polling?  What were the strategy mistakes?  We worked so diligently to convince ourselves that common decency and common sense would prevail and that the “enthusiasm gap” wasn’t relevant.  Is the Rust Belt really racist?  (Yes, mostly it is.)  How can we speak to working class whites?  Has PC been repudiated?  I beg you to appreciate that this is not a normal circumstance.  Please be very suspicious of anything called a “playbook” or a “postmortem analysis.”

Let’s be done with this.  Today I implore you to get your head in the game.  I truly am not an alarmist type.  I am actually the type that ridicules alarmists.  This is a very dangerous situation.  It’s perfectly clear that this isn’t fascism yet.  I’m not hysterical, just something about that ’yet.’  At any time before have we moved the pieces into place just so?  The way I see it, friends, is we just pushed all our chips in from a bad position and the hand looks weak.  And busting our bank on democracy is the ultimate beat.

I’m suggesting we get over wonky exercises.  I’ve concluded that we’re past waiting and seeing and hoping for the best.  I’m suggesting that, in response to them going low, we bring up the heavy artillery pieces.  We can win hard arguments.  The facts are on our side.  Clear thinking is on our side.  Compassion is on our side. Get fucking mean god damn-it.  Get mean about compassion!

I understand each person will need to work through grave disappointment, sadness.  But I have to say, there’s more on the line now.  Not just concepts, public policy, even war.  It will happen here.  We’ve ignored it about as long as possible, far too long.

I’ll close with a note on methods.  You may have noticed the proliferation of personalized media pumped without interruption into everyone’s face is cancer, and also not helpful.  It exists.  It’s simply not an advantageous battlefield.  There’s too much shit to shovel to find a peanut.  Then you’ve just got that peanut.  Conserve your energy.  Hashtags won’t help us now anyway.

When Gil Scott Heron wrote “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” he didn’t mean it wouldn’t be broadcast on TV.  He meant it would not happen with you watching it from your sofa.  The resistance will require you to turn up clear-headed and courageous.  We’ll speak again soon.

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About the Author ()

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (9)

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  1. Jason330 says:

    I was wearing my Obama T-shirt and got a “Pfft…” from a guy getting into his truck. It is a start.

    Here is another place to start. Please call Tom Carper’s DC office (202) 224-2441 to help force him onto the record as being against Paul Ryan’s plan to phase out medicare.

  2. anonymous says:

    “It’s perfectly clear that this isn’t fascism yet. ”

    Bullshit. It’s fascism, all right.

  3. Carper and His Lackey Carney have been obsessed about going after those programs.

    Neither is a true Democrat. It’s time that what passes for the Delaware Way gets effectively challenged from the left, not just from the right.

    Oh, and Lisa? Here’s where you can begin to separate yourself from these losers.

    Or…two years is not a long time.

  4. donviti says:

    Much like a trump victim, i feel like I’ve been grabbed in the crotch and am supposed to let it all happen.

    I can kick, scream and shout out that I’m a victim, but I’ll just told I’m ugly and there’s no way I was good looking enough to have even been eligible for a fondle.

    People are too fucking stupid to know what’s good for them. They are wired differently. They think war is a good thing. That beating your child into submission is a good thing. That not handing them a trophy when they tried like hell to do something you wanted them to do in the first place is the pussification of a generation.

  5. Jason330 says:

    Yep. We share this country with a bunch of first rate assholes.

  6. anonymous says:

    Assholes have a function. They’re more like hemorrhoids.

  7. RE Vanella says:

    I might have gone with cancerous polyps, but the point is the same.

  8. anonymous says:

    Cancerous polyps aren’t painful. These people are.