Accountability over outrage

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 8:00 PM | comments: 0

I don't write about politics the way that I used to. There are a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which is a suspicion that no one is listening. Another reason is that I think it just adds to the noise. When it comes to politics, I've frankly been outraged most of my adult life. Some presidents are better than others, but I honestly believe they were all decent human beings with good intentions, even when they failed. Donald Trump is not one of those decent human beings.

But being outraged over his latest shit show doesn't change anything. Indeed, I think the fatigue has set in already, which leads to either acceptance or uprising. Fortunately, it seems to be leaning toward the latter. In terms of what any individual can do about it, outrage has few results. Accountability, however, does get results.

We've seen a man rise to power who takes no responsibility for his actions, which isn't itself as disappointing as the people who will overlook those actions (the subject of another post). However, what we're seeing is that those who support a fundamentally immoral person are being called out and held accountable. It's happening in backlash to people in Congress. It's happening at the state and local level. It's happening in the courts. Corporations, educational institutions and non-profits are feeling it. The message being sent is clear: If you choose to be on the wrong side of history, where racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and hate are the order of business, people will remember. We can have spirited debate about economic policy, and that's cool, but when you fundamentally appeal to the worst traits of humanity, people will remember. You will be held accountable.

And keep in mind, it's not a left or right issue. There is plenty of ridiculous behavior to go around.

Activism is not likes and shares on social media... that's just outrage. It is our duty as Americans to hold those accountable that work so hard to tear down 200 years of slow progress. Let your elected officials know they are accountable. They work for you (this includes the president). Support those organizations that engage in accountability.

Outrage takes too much energy to sustain. Use that energy to demand accountability.

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