Looking around at my friends and my communities, I see a lot of grief right now, and a lot of fear. Some of us are pragmatically planning for the worst and putting things in order. But some of us are catastrophizing—borrowing trouble we don't need from a future that is, may I remind you, still unknown and unknowable.
There may be trouble, true. A lot of bad things could happen. But don't assume that they will. Despair is the enemy right now.
I mean this literally. One of the tools of GamerGate, of the Sad Puppies, and of the white supremacist alt-right is fear and despair. Their goal is to make targets feel isolated and alone, to hurt them until they no longer have the will to fight (or even the will to live.)
Hope for the future is more than just a feel-good placebo. Hope is an act of resistance. Hope is your weapon. And if you're finding it heavy to lift right now, let me remind you of these facts:
- Over 60 million Americans cast a vote for Hillary Clinton in this election cycle—never forget, she won the popular vote. Don't listen to pundits calling this a major victory that rebukes everything Democrats have ever stood for. It was a squeaker, only lost by the electoral college. There is no mandate.
- The Voting Rights Act went missing this year and it hit us hard. That means untold numbers of votes weren't cast at all—largely for Clinton. We are not the minority. We are not the minority.
- All of those millions aren't just shedding a tear and moving on, either. Hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting in the streets in an inspiring expression of their First Amendment right to assembly.
- There's more. As of this writing, 4.4 million people have signed a Change.org petition asking the Electoral College to intervene and make a different choice. Even if it comes to nothing, again, that's a lot of people, and a lot of determination.
- Donations are pouring into Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and other groups planning to make a stand. We're literally putting our money where our mouths are.
- The phone lines for US senators and representatives are getting so busy that some callers can't get through, and are even finding full voice mail boxes.
- And it's already working. Today alone, our action inspired Congress members to strongly condemn the choice of white supremacist Steve Bannon for a job in the White House. Politicians are vowing to fight tooth and nail to protect their contituents.
- If you're worried about fascism rolling over America while we look the other way? This isn't what that looks like. What we're seeing is action, not disbelieving resignation. And there's no reason to believe it's going to stop—not unless we let the alt-right tell us how to feel and what to believe.
- Oh, and about that. If you don't think many of the upsetting extremist opinions you're reading are coming from comment factories in Russia? Whoooo boy do I have news for you.
Remember this, my friends. There is still goodness and kindness in the world. Hug your family, your friends, your pets. Smile at a stranger as you pass. Give a few dollars to a homeless person. Remember that love and kindness is what you're fighting to keep, and it's not gone.
We're going to keep it that way.