The first protest I attended in the wake of Trump’s nauseating inauguration was in the small, quiet town of Kinderhook. The event started outside the office of newly elected Rep John Faso and quickly grew to more than 1,500 activists. Anxiety and dread galvanized the crowd, centered mostly around the promises by Trump and Faso to get rid of the ACA that had allowed millions of citizens to attain health insurance, especially citizens who didn’t work for large corporations or the government. The protesters eventually walked from the center of town to John Faso’s home, which was a few blocks away, and it was there that Faso made a rare appearance and the infamous video was recorded of Faso promising to protect the healthcare of a neighbor who was sick with cancer–a promise he soon broke.
In the days and weeks that followed, more political events took place around the region including the “town hall” in Kingston where an empty chair represented Faso, and came to symbolize his absence from our district. Activists were motivated and energized. Indivisible groups were forming, and for the next year we spent considerable time and energy getting organized, building teams, learning about issue advocacy, promoting events, networking with other groups, building social media platforms, and getting to know candidates. Meanwhile, Trump and his corrupt cabinet waged a daily war on the truth, on democratic norms, on institutions, and on the progress we’ve made for decades.
The lies, corruption and scandals have been so constant and widespread from Trump and the Republican party that it’s been exhausting to keep up with them. And all of the work we’ve done in the past 20 months has also been exhausting. There’s still a lot of energy in the district, and it’s heartening to see people involved with efforts to get out the vote, which is the single most important thing we can do as we approach the midterms. But it’s also concerning that some of that initial energy from early ’17 seems to have receded. The volume of letters-to-the-editor seems to have dropped. Groups seem to be operating more autonomously, so it’s harder to keep track of them. Some of the volunteers who were so engaged 20 months ago have quietly gone back to their lives.
Today’s blog is simply an appeal. To keep in mind and honor the feeling of energy and determination we all had 20 months ago. To remind our friends and neighbors of that same urgent feeling. To reject any sense of complacency or resignation. And to refuse to allow the drip-drip-drip water torture of the Trump lie-machine to soften our resolve.
We have to prevail over the Trump regime scumbags, including lickspittles like John Faso, even if they are able to seat two justices to the Supreme Court. Even if they roll back every gain we’ve made since the ’60s. We have to wrest control of at least one house of Congress, and then we have to make sure Trump becomes a dark and lamentable one-term footnote.
At least through November, we have to be fired up.
Let’s keep working to Fire Feckless Faso and elect Antonio Delgado…