Calls for toning down the political rhetoric — in reaction to last week’s shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four others in Washington, DC — have felt perversely comforting to me.
Oh, I’m not agreeing with the Republicans who blame the left’s anti-Trump rhetoric for the environment that led to Scalise’s shooting. They’re being hypocritical, considering the violence Trump himself endorsed with language like “I’d like to punch him in the face,” “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them . . . I will pay for the legal fees,” and “Lock her up.”
And I’m not saying that people shouldn’t protest loudly. I really admire Trump resistors.
But when you’re an introvert, aggressive activism doesn’t come naturally. It’s so different from your usual demeanor.
I raved about the Chicago Women’s March, but no one stood out in the enormous crowd, everyone was so well behaved, and I was with friends. And yes, I have written derogatory things about Trump, but blogging is done in the comfort of home.
Conspicuously marching down the street with a protest sign is harder.
So, I’ve had trouble figuring out what to do to oppose Trump. I used to tutor, but that wouldn’t be resisting Trump’s policies. As much as it helps one person, it doesn’t promote the far-reaching change that our country needs now.
I've told myself that my comfort level may be immaterial, considering the stakes. If I’d lived in the 19th century, would I have been silent about abolition? Sometimes you have to force yourself outside your comfort zone.
I’ve wondered whether I’m using my comfort level as an excuse for apathy.
But I floundered as I searched for possible actions. Writing and calling elected representatives, which is recommended by the well-known resistance movement Indivisible, might be constructive if my representatives were Republican.
What I’d really like, however, is to find a way to oppose Trump quietly.
A lot of online searching didn’t yield many ideas. I finally decided to volunteer to be an immigrant court watcher to monitor detention hearings and support detainees. At least that helps people threatened by Trump’s policies. For some reason it has taking months for the coordinating organization to invite me to an orientation, so I’m still waiting for an assignment.
I saved a clipping when I was looking for possible actions. It is from a transcript of a discussion among political activists. One of them said, “Not all of us have to be out on the streets. . . . there are so many different things that we can do.”
The speaker mentioned the example of doing research for pamphlets. That would be up my alley if I could find an organization that wants it done. It hasn’t been easy to find specific places looking for behind-the-scenes actors, despite what the speaker said about the resistance’s needing many different roles. If court watching doesn’t materialize, I guess I'll need to look harder.