Warning: this is about to become a political blog. I am interested in discussing ideas in order to refine them. I am not interested in being argued against—whether politely or not. In other words, if we share a general world view, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking and to reflect on my views in light of your ideas. I am not interested in oppositional debating. I am definitely not interested in being trolled. What I want is civil, productive discourse among people with shared concerns. Not too much whining. Not too much ranting. Lots of “how can we address this together?”
For the moment, the story of how I got here:
After Trump was elected President, I had sleepless nights staring at the ceiling that I knew must be somewhere in the darkness above me. The mingled sense of terror, nausea, and disempowerment dragged along behind me like the chains attached to Marley’s ghost. (I know the analogy isn’t perfect, but it sure felt like I was dragging Marley’s chains.)
I an not a phone person and suddenly everyone was in crisis mode, posting calls to “phone here today” or “if you make one phone call….” What I can do is write, so I figured I’d go with my strength.
Following the lead of the wonderful people at Postcards for America, I decided I would commit myself to speaking out in that format. OK, so postcards aren’t phone calls, but I just can’t (don’t try to argue with me about this) do phone calls. Postcards also aren’t letters—but what they have over letters is that their messages are immediately before the recipient, who can’t decide to leave the envelop sealed and chuck the whole thing.
Because I knew the number of postcards I could write would be very tiny, compared to all the craziness we’re up against, I invited other people to write postcards with me. Every since the inauguration, Melissa and I have been hosting monthly, two-hour bouts of postcarding. It’s sort of like the postal/political equivalent of running a bunch of wind sprints one after another.
Pretty quickly my “job” became assembling lists of issues and addresses that I could bring to our postcarding sessions. My first few attempts weren’t much. Since then I feel as if I’ve been doing work towards a Master’s in Library Science or something. My lists have gotten longer and more specific. I’ve figured out how to tell which pieces of legislation are before which committees. I’ve tracked down governmental and corporate addresses.
We had our latest postcarding session last weekend, and the ideas/issues list I brought was forty-one pages long, with 70+ issues, and multiple addressees for each issue. (Obsess much? Why, yes, I do.) Our postcarders look over the list, choose what speaks to them, and write. Melissa and I brings postcards and stamps. Participants chip in some stamp money when they can. In a two-hour session we can get anywhere from eighty to one hundred and eighty cards done, depending on how many people join us.
I have, however, identified two problems with our monthly format:
1. Things happen quickly, and issues can change/pass/deteriorate significantly between our postcarding sessions.
2. I’m doing a lot of research and delivering it to a relatively limited community. At a good postcarding session we have a dozen or so participants. I also post my issues/addresses lists on Facebook, but I’m not sure how much use they get.
Hence, I am returning to my blog. I’ve done knitting. I’ve done book reviews. Now I’m doing saving democracy. My goal is to post a few times a week, highlighting specific topics and making suggestions for action. Yes, I’ll include phone numbers when I can, even if I hate making phone calls. I know that some of the people who (I hope) will be reading this may prefer calling to writing.
Feel free to respond to what I say, to update me on issues, to suggest topics. I’m going to maintain my practice of previewing comments before they go live, but I promise to be as open as I can to any civil viewpoints. (It’s my party, my blog, my space. I reserve the right to be heavy-handed sometimes about what I do/don’t want on this page.)
Feel free to drop by and check things out—or to subscribe. If you’re a knitter or a reader who hates my politics, I understand that you may ditch me. That’s OK. You get to make your choices. I get to make mine.
I think that explains the underlying premises and ground rules for What If Knits 3.0. Let’s see if we can knit our society together while other forces try to tear it apart.