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Protect the things you are thankful for

Commentary: Politically Aware

When President Obama campaigned for Secretary Clinton, he would rattle off reasons that Donald Trump was “temperamentally unfit” to be president. When the crowd hissed their disapproval of Trump, Obama said “Don’t boo. Vote.” He knew that actions are more powerful than words as agents of change. (This is not always easy for a writer to admit.)

As I thought about my Thanksgiving column, I became uncomfortable at how much the holiday has become about words. Not the act of coming together as a family, by blood, choice or both; that remains powerful, and may be a more important source of strength this year. What rings hollow is the part where we go around the table declaring what “we are thankful for.”

Someone will have a particularly touching one. Someone will have a funny one. Most, however, will have some version of freedom, health or security for themselves or a loved one. With those things now under assault, simply saying we are thankful isn’t enough. We need to go around the table again and say how we will act to protect those things.

One action suggested by social media, referencing Eleanor Roosevelt, is to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. I agree, but there are already candles out there piercing the gathering clouds. They just need the fuel to glow brighter. This year, once you decide what you’re thankful for, support a group that can help you protect it. Here are some ideas.

Planned Parenthood has been under congressional assault during the Obama years. President elect Trump will make it a full scale war. 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services involve things like cervical cancer screening, prevention and treatment of diseases and effective family planning. You don’t have to be pro-choice to support Planned Parenthood. You just have to be thankful for a woman in your life.

The San Diego LGBT Community Center has served our community since the early 1970s. If federal support for LGBT rights wanes, we’ll need The Center even more. Any donations though the end of the year will be doubled by a match from Tony Award winning actress Sara Ramirez.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is too often thought of as a left wing organization. They aren’t. They protect Constitutional rights against assault from any party. To quote “The American President”, the real question isn’t why am I “a card-carrying member of the ACLU,” but “why aren’t you?”

Washington Post reporters broke the story that became “Watergate” and took down a president. A free press is a bulwark against authoritarianism, but they will be feeling the squeeze from tight profit margins and an unfriendly administration. It’s time to stop dodging the firewall and pay for the check on power.

Alliance San Diego and the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium both work to empower San Diegans who’s voice are too often missing in the conversation. We need to continue hearing them to be One San Diego.



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Posted by on Nov 23, 2016. Filed under Politically Aware. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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