Why join the rebel alliance if the death star is already built?
These are strange days.
Some of us have decided that we’re not going to take the results of the 2016 election lying down.
It’s no longer an issue of what party you belong to for us.
We have decided to join the rebel alliance, a movement that as yet has no clear leader or center, just ideas and actions.
This uprising exists to take every single legal action we can to ensure one of the following outcomes:
- the incoming president-elect never takes office
- if he is sworn in, to see that for his crimes & misconduct, he is impeached (or tried and convicted for treason) within the first 100 days of office for his offenses
- if he is not impeached or tried within the first two years, that we elect a Congress that will thwart him
- if he still hasn’t been impeached, continue to take every legal action we can to uphold what we believe to be an imperfect democracy, but still the best one on the planet.
The odds are, we won’t win the early battles.
It was always unlikely that the electoral college would do its job.
Of course, that only ensures that we have the ammunition we will one day need to abolish it.
It’s also unlikely that the follow-ups plans between now and the current President-elect taking office will stop him.
Why would I think like this, when I want the remote outcome to occur?
Because I’m a lifelong activist.
I know that plan A, B and even F perform more than one function.
We’ll come back to what those goals were, and some things to do next in a moment.
First, if you’re new to exercising your rights as a citizen to participate in civic life, we should probably pause to adjust your expectations.
It’s not your fault, but it’s likely that you might have a skewed view of how working for justice normally shakes out.
Spotty history textbooks and nostalgic movies may paint the picture that on day one we march, and on day two, we get what we want.
That’s the exception, sadly, not the rule.
The way it works is more like Star Wars.
Quick summary of Star Wars. It’s a series of scifi movies based on a fictional world.
In this world, a group calling itself the Rebel Alliance constantly fights against the rise of the evil Empire.
These rebels are a small faction.
Some of its members are overtly working full time to defeat the Empire.
Others work in secret, helping our heroes get out of tight spots. Or in other instances, pretend to play along with the Empire in order to spy.
There is ALWAYS hope. Unless you give in to fear.
There often seems to be little hope in Star Wars films, and the rebels are barely staying in the fight. And yet, they continue to resist – they gain some small victory, but then the struggle continues in the next film.
Star Wars is thus more accurate to what overcoming injustice is really like.
Rosa Parks refused to get up on December 1, 1955.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott started four days later, but lasted over a year, not ending until December 20, 1956.
Chattel slavery in the Americas began in the 1600s.
It wasn’t officially abolished until 1865.
Contrary to popular belief, it didn’t just suddenly end with the Emancipation Proclamation.
Both black and white activists, freedmen and slaves, conspired to push the agenda of freedom, until a sitting president turned what was right into the law of the land.
Changing the world happens a little at a time.
It comes about as the result of small cumulative actions.
There are often periods of steady, quiet, even boring work, that every now and then amounts to a huge landmark victory.
Yesterday, the hope was that the results of many small actions would lead to an unprecedented event in history.
Only one elector per state had to flip.
And yes, the effort was thwarted. Even those who pledged in public to flip did not do so. Instead, some of Hillary’s electors turned instead.
So why bother?
Why bother to fight for justice, even in the case where we were almost certain to fail?
Why join the rebel alliance if the death star is already built?
That it’s the right thing to do may seem like thin comfort.
What makes all the calling, marching, petitioning, writing, hashtagging, volunteering, donating and risk worth it?
We Shall Overcome
It may seem like a cliche, or even romanticism.
But freedom is worth it.
We must look at the failure of the Electoral College to do its actual job as one tiny lost battle in a long war for justice that we will win.
The purpose of attempting to get these electors to flip wasn’t just to get them to reject the incoming president-elect.
It was also to show that we, the people, are dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, to keep that story in the news.
It was to keep certain other things out of the news.
It was to have certain people looking right, while we were doing other things on the left.
It was also to to prove that if the Electoral College didn’t represent the wishes of the people, we don’t need them and it should be abolished.
There have been very few chances to prove to states who believe they benefit from this system that it’s smoke and mirrors.
Therefore, in the short term, if the electors did what we hoped, we won. In the long term, if they didn’t do what we hoped, we’d be disappointed.
Maybe for the next two years. But eventually, we still win.
America didn’t become free of England in a few days.
We’re lucky in that our current campaign, no blood need be shed in order for us to avoid a sharp decline of the United States into fascist rule by a demagogue.
At the same time, we can’t sit back and expect Congress to do as we say.
Right now we still have the right to vote.
We still have influence over our representatives and congressmen.
We still have the meeting on January 6, 2017 at 1 pm Eastern, when the elector votes will be counted.
And since some of Hillary’s electors defected, it actually made our next job a bit easier.
What do we do next?
We call all our representatives and senators, starting with the ones represent us directly, all the way down to the junior and newbie members who are hungry for exposure.
We remind them that we know the exact date that their term is up.
We get leaders who are loyal to the people in place to replace them if they do not comply.
And we make our request. We want them to object to all of the votes of each elector, in every state where he did not win the popular vote.
The grounds? Our election was tampered with- until we have a full investigation, how do we know by how much?
If those votes are thrown out, we could keep the demagogue out of office yet. At this point, only one outcome would lead to the winner of the popular vote is put in office.
We may need to agree on a Republican candidate in order to get our colleagues across the aisle to act in everyone’s best interest.
The votes may not be thrown out. Failure of this mission is possible. Failure of the overall objective is not- that’s simply a matter of time.
Find out who your representatives in Congress are.
Donate to organizations that can help preserve our rights under the law, who can provide legal help, and buy publications like Teen Vogue that are willing to continue to do what is right, and publish facts instead of lies.
This was one battle in what will be an ongoing struggle – made shorter by every person who actively participates.
It is a struggle we will win. Hopefully with no blood shed.