TWW Roundup: Disaster and Opportunity
As we roll into October on this terrifying roller coaster of disasters, both political and natural, we continue to try to provide help and support to those affected by this terrible hurricane season. You may wish to connect with United for Puerto Rico (http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/), which is an effort being lead by Puerto Rico’s First Lady, Beatriz Rossello. There are a variety of ways to support and donate. You can also continue to look for ways to help in many hurricane devastated areas through National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). Please follow the links to see what you can do to help.
Golfing while Presidenting (or Presidenting while Golfing)
This week may have been Trump’s worst yet. Not only did Trump lash out at Puerto Rico’s disaster victims through a torrent of ridiculous tweets and outlandish statements, he also moved to dramatically reduce the number of refugees that come to resettle in our country–not just immigrants but specifically refugees, who are in search of safe haven. Then he proposed dramatic tax “reforms” which look like they will slash taxes for the richest Americans. And that was all done by Wednesday of the week!
Later on Wednesday Trump backed the losing candidate–Strange–in the Alabama Senate Republican Primary, where a gun-toting, evolution-denying, evangelical Christian bigot named Roy Moore actually won the race. It is hard to fathom if you live in progressive districts, but in Alabama Moore won the Republican nomination handily. Trump quickly deleted all his pro-Strange tweets so he wouldn’t look like a loser.
By Friday Trump had also lost his Secretary of Health and Human Service, Tom Price (who repugnantly declared that he will not repay the full amount he misappropriated from the American people). News outlets say that Price resigned but we all know he was probably fired by his boss, and there may be more behind it than overpriced air travel. Somehow it seems hypocritical when Trump himself is spending so much on travel to and from his own golf resorts almost every weekend!
In eight months in office, Trump has fired or had resign his chief of staff, his national security adviser, his press secretary (Spicey), two communications directors, deputy chief of staff, deputy national security adviser, the F.B.I. director (Comey) and many more. This chaotic binging and purging of government officials makes one wonder if our government is all that stable. Does Trump’s whiplash style of leadership make us more vulnerable to all kinds of disasters–economic, social, political and natural?
Social Media and Russia
This week Twitter was preparing to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian influence in American political events. We have been hearing for several weeks that Facebook enabled Russia to set up fake accounts to influence the presidential election, even taking payment in rubles. Now Twitter is being investigated for potentially even greater involvement with bots that spread “fake news.” With all of this potential foreign interference in the election of our president, it begs the question of how we can trust that the election was truly legitimate. Time will tell. But in the meantime, you can continue to contact your elected representatives to demand that the investigations into Russian interference and Russian collusion continue without delay.
Continue to contact your elected representatives, locally and nationally, to encourage them to do the right thing in the face of the dizzying array of issues facing them now.
Ironically, the maelstrom of Trump era disasters highlights the need and the opportunity for all of us to participate more actively in our own communities. If not us, then who?
- Plan ahead! Talk with your family about your own emergency preparedness plans. Make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to do and where to go in the case a disaster occurs in your area.
- Fight for Voters’ Rights. Contact ACLU People Power for resources and information. https://vote.peoplepower.org
- Donate to organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Help someone in need. Reach out to your community members and make your community safer and more welcoming to all.
Jacqui Viale is an educator living in Long Beach, California with her family, enjoying a temperate climate and relatively clean water. Her social activism focuses on education and equal rights for all. Her local TWW group is working to help flip seats in neighboring districts by spreading the word about progressive challengers.