Of course I do my best to survive the Trump years by consulting America’s most credible media. It helps to have online subscriptions to the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Facts, and the Houston Chronicle. I feast on MSNBC with a nightly visit from, at the minimum, Rachel Maddow. I switch over to Fox sometimes to get a taste for their coverage of some particular event.
But on the side of human contact, I am mostly limited to very apolitical spheres of friends in theater and church. These are both holy places in the sense that we agree to love theater and love God without bringing up Trump. I try to imagine that people who can be so good and so generous in those areas must surely vote as I do. Surely.
Well, not so fast. Hard data shows me that the people I live with in Brazoria County actually voted about 60% for Donald Trump in 2016. My precinct in Lake Jackson favored Trump over Clinton by 69.2% to 23.6%. So you can see that one’s ability to have normal neighborly relationships can turn on staying quiet in most social venues.
But then, a couple of weeks ago, an old friend from my more active organizing days called and asked me to come to a meeting of folks who were interested in participating in the local party’s writing project – an effort to put enough letters in the mail to local media and our representatives in Congress to at least make the point that they do not own a consensus mandate. He called just after I had seen news of the administration’s criminal treatment of asylum seekers at our southern border. For the last few years I have declined involvement because of some health limits, one being depression of that special political variety. But that day my anger and grief had hit the point that I was moved to say yes.
I am so glad I did. Seven or eight of us met Saturday over burgers at Fuddrucker’s and spent the morning making some plans for the writing project but, more importantly, we had that human contact that makes all the difference in making change. I feel a little more like a citizen today and a little more efficacious.
Thank you René Martinez for calling me and giving me the opportunity to hang out with your small group of literate, justice-loving, and totally enjoyable Democrats.
My Republican friends are probably longing for contacts like these. Should any of you wander onto this site, you are welcome to join the party and have a burger with us and learn to think and write like a Democrat. Yes, to do both at the same time.