Dark Times

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The 24-hour news cycle bombards us with horrors and atrocities, allowing little breathing space or mourning time between. Carnage at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, pipe bombs from Florida, grocery shoppers in Kentucky whose only sin was to be black. The POTUS stokes absurd fears of invasion by a few thousand desperate people fleeing Honduras, hoping for asylum. They are 1000 miles away, on foot, and include many children, but he has already deployed large numbers of troops to the border.

Meanwhile, mostly offstage, millions of civilians starve in Yemen. They are victims of the Saudi war, supplied with U.S. weapons. The Saudis, who have spread Islamic extremism far and wide, are our allies. Perhaps it would be better to describe them as our customers. So we aid, abet, and ignore a mass genocide.

Some say, “This is not who we are,” but it’s not clear who we are anymore.

It is hard to keep one’s equilibrium much less to say something wise and inspiring. We look toward the coming election to save us. The 2018 fall election is very, very important, but it’s really just the beginning. And if, God forbid, it doesn’t turn out the right way, if there is rampant election fraud or if more crazies become violent, we really have our work cut out for us.

Our country is in great danger of turning frankly fascist. I’m not trying to convince anyone. Instead, let’s share ideas. Besides voting, how can we prevent a full-blown authoritarian government? How can we keep ourselves emotionally and spiritually healthy in the process? We need to be full citizens: proactive and strategic; more nimble and creative than heretofore. If we’re wise, we can foresee how retrograde political forces will frame events, and we will have our own frames ready.

There are tools available. You may gain insights from this blog: http://www.indarktimes.com/  or this article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/authoritarianism-trump-resistance-defeat  

Gene Sharp’s book The Methods of Nonviolent Action lists almost 200 nonviolent tactics, summarized here: https://www.aeinstein.org/nonviolentaction/198-methods-of-nonviolent-action/