Saturday, January 14, 2017

What Am I Afraid Of?

I have to tell you that I almost didn't go into the Resist Trump meeting in Seattle today. Outside the doors, people were handing out fliers. Socialist fliers. I have trouble labeling myself as a Socialist. I'm not really a Socialist, am I?

I believe in universal healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

I believe that the minimum wage should be a living wage, that even small businesses shouldn't thrive on the backs of its workers.

I believe that people of different ethnicities, sexes, religions, and beliefs should all be treated equally.

Does that make me a Socialist?

The funny thing about this meeting was that I agreed with most of what the speakers said. There were some local issues I hadn't followed, but I was there with everything else. Yet, I wondered about the group's label, how it fit me.

What is alt-socialism?

Wikipedia says, "Socialist Alternative (SA) is a Trotskyist revolutionary political party active in the United States. It describes itself as "a national organization fighting in our workplaces, communities, and campuses against the exploitation and injustices people face every day."

If I had to label myself, I'm more of an ordinary mom, a middle-class woman. My husband once called me a fiscal conservative and social liberal. It was true. It may not be as true as it used to be, but the studies have shown that universal healthcare actually lowers costs of healthcare because people aren't waiting until an issue is an emergency to see a doctor.  That's me being fiscally conservative. 

I'm not sure I want to be alt anything. I'm not even a big fan of alt music.

I went inside and sat down anyway. I wanted to hear what they had to say. The woman who sat down next to me was friendly. She smiled. We chatted about how she'd managed to find a Starbucks that was open before the meeting started. Still, I felt a little strange being there. All I wanted was to find ways to resist the trump regime. 

If I sit at home and do nothing, say nothing, and write nothing, trump will drain the resources of our government right into his own pockets. He said he was not averse to making a profit while he was in office. Of course, he didn't use the word 'averse.' Would he know what that means? He would deport people, jail people, waterboard people. He said he would. I wanted find a way to block that in any way I could.

So, I sat and listened to the Socialist Alt speakers. Not bad messages, really. We all wanted to protest the upcoming inauguration. We were all worried about deportations, misogyny, the seeming intent of the new Cabinet to eliminate beneficial arms of the government.

And yet I sat with my discomfort. Will McCarthyism come back? Will there be photographs of the attendees, interrogations in the future, accusations with labels?

What am I afraid of?

I am afraid of the incoming government.

Thank you for listening, jules

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