After the election the list of things you can do is longer than zero

When theres a giant dumpster fire on your block what do you do?

1. stare in abject horror and disbelief

2. get some people together and try to put it out

Like a lot of people, I've been staring in disbelief this morning. What happened last night in this country is unfathomably horrifying. I woke up at about 5am and couldn't go back to sleep. The word 'complacency' has been rolling around in my head ever since. I've been following the election closely for months, so I was as blown away as everyone else when the results began to crystallize. But the truth is... I have done precious little to keep that dumpster from combusting. I watched people pour gasoline on it for over a year, and I thought someone else was taking care of it: The Republican establishment, Hillary Clinton, young hispanic voters in Florida, educated white women... whatever. I thought someone else had a hose at the ready. I don't know what happens next. I'm scared for my country, I'm scared that people I know will lose their health care, I'm scared that American muslims and people of color and women will face even more harassment and abuse from an emboldened racist male national id, I'm scared for the people of Syria who have nowhere to turn, and I'm scared for the climate. The flames are spilling out of that dumpster. They're getting higher.

 

But the list of things I can do about it is longer than zero. And if the government is going on hiatus for the next few years, someone else has to step in. Whatever chaos is coming, there are far more vulnerable people than me. And vulnerable people can be made ever-so-slightly less so. At a certain point this morning I closed the news tabs on my browser and went to the site for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and set up a recurring donation. Then I went to Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood, The National Association of Free Clinics and 350.org and did the same. It's not enough, but if I'm not the only one it will add up to more than my measly little vote did. It could begin to make a small difference for a real person out in the world who's facing something truly awful. I'll also be doing what I can to flip Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020. All those people I mentioned above couldn't do it this time because too many of us were just standing there watching. After today we have to actually help.

 

So go ahead and stare at the flaming garbage. It's understandable. Its fucking unbelievable. Then go buy a gallon of gas for someone with a firetruck.

 

 

Anders Nilsen