At the end of this last election, I found myself feeling like King Theoden watching the Orc army laying siege at Helmsdeep. There he is, tired, shocked, his squire strapping him into his armor, and all he can think is, “How did it come to this?”
How did it come to this? Well, there are many reasons. Some are understandable. Some are beyond comprehension. Some are too terrible to contemplate. But we don’t need to – and frankly I don’t want to — rehash and gnash and clash. Done is done.
The question now is: What do we do? What can we do?
I have decided that shouting into the eternal echo chamber of social media is useless. It just burns energy, starts useless fights among supposed allies about what is The Perfect Way or The Right Way or even The One True Way to support each other and to fight back. We are screaming to the choir. We are screaming at the choir. We always seem to end up screaming at each other. I’m done with that.
Here is what I will do:
I will be more alert to overt bullying, racism, and misogyny in the wild, and I will intervene.
I will continue to make art because in times of darkness art can be a light and art can give hope.
I will fight for these three issues that are dearest to me: Healthcare. Disability Issues and Rights. Public Transit.
I am giving serious thought to joining the City of Hopkins Civil Rights Council and I may revisit the idea of becoming a disability rights advocate and lobbyist at the state level. A lot of that will hinge on how much energy I have.
Because the thing is, standing there in Helmsdeep, Theoden might have been wondering how it had come to this, but he still put on his armor and fought for what he believed in, defend those he loved. I can do no less.
I can do no less.