The Resistance Reacts: A Movement becomes a Peaceful Revolution

By: Bill Whaley
18 January, 2019

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg

Pelosi’s Voice, Movements, Scapegoats

While my favorite radical political writers have predicted blood in the streets as citizens fought back against the billionaires and powerful elite money changers, I believe today’s headlines mark the beginning of a new and transformative revolution. In the Halls of Congress, a once weak and equivocating democratic party, beholden to Wall St. has found its voice in the steeled backbone of girl from Baltimore and the woman from San Francisco (Pelosi), in the cocksure wit of a twenty-something from the Bronx (Ocasio-Cortez), in the articulate reasons challenging Wall St. hegemony from Massachusetts via Oklahoma (Warren), in the eloquence of Parkland’s own historic cry against the sacrifice of America’s own children to bloody violence (Gonzales).

While the U.S. Senate leader Mitch McConnell hides, House leader Pelosi speaks quietly and carries the big stick. She has shut down the President’s media access to a State of the Union message and uttered retorts to his “racist” policies with the quiet determination of reasonable support for border security.

While Pelosi stands foursquare against the “Wall” that would separate America from the world, Trump, the traitor, according to the evidence would sell America to Putin for a mess of pottage or a few hotel rooms.

Today’s movements, Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March, the anti-gun violence of Parkland’s bloody teens, the separation of children from their parents in nearby El Paso, the treatment of college students and federal workers as indentured servants, all these headliners remind us of the promise and the frustration of the American “state of mind,” embodied as faith in the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson said Americans must renew the Declaration of Independence every so often and that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Figuratively speaking, we are caught in the moment of a civil war of the red and the blue, the struggle to reassert notions of common American decency. Across the country volunteers, state governments, community leaders are devoting time, money, energy to the sustenance of children and federal workers, who are being threatened and abused by the governing classes of the elite, who would cut health care, undermine the general liberties of the right to work, the right to life, liberty, and happiness, the right, in short to express one’s duty as individuals in their social instinct to preserve an orderly society, whose rules and regulations, derived from the U.S. Constitution and Amendments, meant to safeguard the people are being used to twist the values of American principles by a fascist party in control of the White House. As Emma Gonzales famously said, “We call BS.”

As Lincoln said, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

Yesterday in Taos I was very impressed by the pictures of TSV’s collective response to the avalanche: the volunteers, the ski patrol, avalanche dogs, and the utter professionalism.

On a personal note, I skied last Saturday with my 9-year old granddaughter and her best friend, two typical Taos “bombers,” who delighted in the snow and the bumps, while challenging black diamonds as tiny but courageous “crouching tigers.” When we have snow in the Sangres, no mountain surpasses Taos in its magnificent appeal and hospitable spirit, a spirit made more accessible today by the fortunate investment of a billionaire, who seems moved much by passion to unlock the potential of the mountain.

I am sorry for the loss of life yesterday but would remind my readers that as dangerous as is skiing, the challenges reward the courageous.

It also takes courage to implement justice, temperance, to live wisely and well. The mountain confronts oneself with existential challenges and from those tests we learn about ourselves and community as well as the natural world. Similarly, Nancy Pelosi and others mentioned above, exemplify how we must re-learn how to be free and independent citizens in spite of today’s roller coaster politics.

Though a madman serves as President today, he also serves as a scapegoat for our forgotten and misplaced values. We must continue to resist by opening our arms to our neighbors and remind ourselves of the duty we owe to the “bombers” of the next generation.