[OP-ED]: Let’s get to work!
Sitting down to write this New Year column, I could almost hear the collective sigh of relief with which 2016 would be sent off Saturday night. Nevertheless, I found myself debating what kind of piece I should do.
Should I give my readers an upbeat, optimistic message? After all, the arrival of a new year is supposed to be a hopeful moment filled with possibilities for new beginnings, fresh starts and a brighter future.
Or should I write how I feel at the end of this terrible 2016 in which --from Fidel Castro to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher (and so many others) -- every day seemed to bring the death of an iconic figure or a beloved artist? And, much worse, a year in which the country’s darkest political forces, led by Donald Trump, rose to power after the most divisive, debilitating and mendacious campaign anybody can remember?
No, I couldn’t write the usual sugary platitudes this time around even if we are all relieved 2016 is ending. Reality won’t let me do so because the new year is poised to be even more painful and difficult.
As filmmaker and activist Michael Moore has warned, “As bad as you think it’s going to be, it’s going to be worse.”
Moore’s words should be taken seriously. After all he is one of the very few people who disagreed when pundits, experts and commentators of all stripes predicted a landslide Hillary Clinton’s victory.
“[If] you can't quite believe a malignant narcissist will now sit in the Oval Office, or if you are simply still working your way through the 17 stages of grief, then I am here to say to you, ‘There's no crying in TrumpLand -- Let's get to work!’" said Moore. “All hands on deck! Brush yourself off and let's get busy because: a) All hope is not lost; b) There are more of us than there are of them; and c) The roadside is littered with the ended careers of self-absorbed, narcissistic politicians whose arrogance led them to do things that caused their early resignation or impeachment.”
2017 will be –should be -- one of active resistance and organizing against Trump’s and his acolytes’ intention to persecute and massively deport immigrants; end Obamacare and deprive millions of Americans of health care; enact racist policies and curtail freedom of the press and impose an authoritarian style of governing that would undermine even more civil liberties and democratic decision making.
As Moore said, “Let’s get to work!”