With the worst election outcome EVER, Tom and Cecil list actions you can take for the empowerment of good. They also cover Trump’s first 100 days in office.
Cecil’s “Make a Difference” List:
- Empower real journalists. The only way we have to keep checks on the government is to make sure we have a ton of people in the private sector watching the government. Journalism needs monetary support to survive. Disable ad-block when you visit news sites you respect. Pay subscriptions are even more important.
- Donate time and/or money to the disenfranchised.
- Teach English as a second language.
- Teach recently released prisoners tech skills.
- Volunteer at a women’s shelter.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
- Donate to food pantries, modestneeds.org, and other social safety net organizations.
- Volunteer for advocacy groups: ACLU, Secular Student Alliance, American Atheists.
- Protest. Keep it non-violent. One act of violence de-legitimizes thousands of peaceful protesters. Police our own at the protests. Stop violence from happening. Just like you would outside a protest.
- Vote. Vote every time. Vote in other elections. Local government. Regional. National.
- Contact your representatives if you want some action.
- Vote with your dollar. Boycott.
- Stop bullying when you see it.
Transcription of Tom’s Post-Election Thoughts:
I’m doing something that I never do and that’s write my thoughts for this show. I’m doing this because I actually don’t trust myself to speak well enough extemporaneously about this. I know that I made a really big deal both on this show and in my real life about how impossible it was that Trump was going to be elected. And I did so in the typically comical, buffoonish manner that I do when I am going for laughs and effect. I played the clown, told everyone I’d eat my hat, suck a dick, whatever, if Trump got elected.
Up until late in the evening on election night I was still playing the clown because I felt so confident that there was no way, literally no actual way, that America had enough small-minded, angry, bitter, racist, anti-intellectuals to make this happen. In the middle of recording that night, I actually texted a reassurance that this would all be ok. And I meant it.
I meant it because I believed that America was far, far better than a Trump presidency, a thought now that feels hopelessly naive and which I still am having a hard time banishing from my worldview. For all of my put-upon anger and yelling, I am very much an optimist at heart. I always have been. I frequently have to be told by my friends and loved ones when someone is behaving badly behind the scenes because my inclination, an inclination I have aggressively resisted changing, is to trust that people, by and large, mean well.
I find myself reflecting on this election and what it means not just for policies that will affect the people I love, but on what this election says about us as a country. What this reflects back at us about who we are. And just as much, I find this election personally unsettling in that I am forced to re-examine some of my most deeply held beliefs about the general goodness, fairness, and kindness of the people I pass in the street.
The morning after the election I was on the phone with someone I care deeply about, and she told me about putting her boy on the bus that morning and crying. I want to be very clear here, before I move on, and emphasize something, lest you think this is all just sour grapes. Personally, I am going to be fine. I am a late thirties, upper middle class heterosexual white male. The world is and was literally built for me by other wealthy white men. But my friend’s boy, who she put on the bus the morning after a racist was elected to the highest political office in, arguably, the world, is a beautiful, kind, intelligent, mixed race boy. And the new leader of his country thinks he is less than his lighter skin counterparts. How does he and his family internalize and reconcile themselves not only to Trump, but to the evidence around them that they are surrounded by people who, at the most charitable, do not find racism vile enough to be disqualifying? This is repugnant, and when this attitude was revealed again and again throughout the election cycle, this should have relegated Trump to the dustbin of racist history. That this not only did not happen, but that this may have helped to propel him to power should shock our conscience. And it didn’t. Not enough of us. What this says about us, about our conscience unsettles and frankly disgusts and scares me.
This is a man who is also openly and obviously misogynist. Think about that for a moment. It’s 2016 and we just elected a man who refers to women, routinely, and on stage, with clear disdain. He is talking about half the population. I keep thinking that we can’t possibly have done this, elected a man who sends this message to our daughters, that they live in a world that elected a leader who finds them repellant for the fact of their gender. Make no mistake though, we did, and the only way we could have done that is, again, to be the kind of people who are not repulsed enough by these attitudes to reject immediately the kind of small minded, insecure assholes who espouse these beliefs.
And Trump is openly anti-intellectual. He’s been the president-elect for two days as I write this and already he’s talking about appointing a climate change skeptic to his cabinet. Again, what really upsets me here is not as much the terrifying dystopian nightmare that is a Trump presidency, but that enough of our population values rationality and evidence so little, if at all. Rationality, evidence, a commitment to the well-being of others, a recognition of the shared humanity of all people, these are the values that simply must be demanded in us and reflected in our choice of leaders if we are going to have any hope at all of dealing with the issues that face us.
Instead we literally chose a belligerent, ill-tempered, racist, misogynist, xenophobic Billionaire Game show host with no experience and no respect for intellect. And I think we did it just because he was angry too. How pathetic, that we love our anger so much that we voted for a man whose primary talent for the job is to throw the kind of national tantrum that we seem so hell bent on having.
So, I know I usually throw a big shitty fit over all the little things, and I’ll get back to being the clown, I promise, but I wanted, for just a moment, to be real. I don’t think Trump is funny. I think he reflects back at us the worst parts of who we are, and I admit to being truly unsettled at how many of us not only still nurture these kinds of deep and profound character defects, but are proud enough of our faults to want to see them amplified. Shame on us for this.