What Do We Do Now?
1/20/2017 by Dylan James Harper
One of the biggest recurring issues with the broad political left is its inability to coalesce no matter how dire the circumstances. The right’s fee for entry is far more affordable, as evidence by Donald Trump winning over anti-political correctness atheists, anti-abortion Christian evangelicals, and everyone in between. In response to the election of a Klan-endorsed candidate, who’s achievable goals are the deport as many individuals as possible, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and make abortion inaccessible, the left has floundered. The leadership of the liberal left has either removed itself from public view as much as possible, or made little effort, even rhetorically, to hinder Trump’s agenda. Meanwhile, the radical left, still confined in the West to pithily named Facebook groups, and sparsely followed Twitter handles, has dedicate itself to both further trying to purify leftist ideology, and listing all the ways the liberal left has let them down. This has left many who are rightfully unsure how to proceed, and with Trump officially in office, there’s literally no time left to stall. If you fall into this category, here is where to start: make political a central part of your life.
When I wrote about safety pins, one my biggest focuses was how inept that level of subtlety is in actually enacting any meaningful change. Now is not the time to be subtle, work in metaphor, or be coy in your disagreement with Trump’s agenda. The left can talk all it wants about Trump losing the popular vote, but he wouldn’t be president if there weren’t a sizable amount of the population that either desired his presidency or was indifferent to the prospect of an admitted rapist and Nazi sympathizer leading the most powerful military and economy in human history. These are the people that will benefit most from your subtlety; don’t give it to them.
Not everyone is in a position to safely promote their political views, and please prioritize your physical and emotional well being (you can’t save someone from drowning by pulling them onto a sinking ship). There are circumstances where sharing your beliefs can have adverse consequences, and I’m not trying to argue that anyone who isn’t willing to go up against the harassment brigades on Twitter that will bully and doxx is somehow aiding Trump. Again, it’s important to take care of yourself. What I am arguing for here is clarity.
Be clear as to what your political beliefs are, why you hold them, and how they’re impactful whenever possible. You will have many opportunities. A family member will tell you they don’t want trans individuals using the “wrong” bathrooms; a student will say a gendered or homophobic slur; a close friend will make a racist joke. All of these are opportunities to state clearly and unequivocally your political beliefs (and make no mistake, both saying a slur, and opposing its use are political). You don’t need to be confrontational if it’s not safe for you to be, and not every situation is going to allow for a long nuanced discussion, but even statements like “I’m not comfortable with those types of jokes” can go a long way.
Individually, you will not be able to get any sort of visible result, but that’s not the goal. The goal here is to try and start building a culture that will not tolerate Trump’s agenda. That has to start on an individual level. It has to start with you. Learn about bigger systems when you can, participate in activism whenever possible, but start here. Make politics a central part of your life.
Dylan James Harper is the Chief Political Editor for CSuiteMusic
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