This is the second poem of Rumi’s I’ve read where he uses the metaphor of heat vs cold. In “Be With Those Who Help Your Being,” he writes, “Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath comes cold out of their mouths.”
More than anything else, being involved is about being part of my community. I guess it’s a bit about learning new things – I don’t know anything about organizing, being an organizer, or even about how my skills are most useful in a grassroots organizing situation.
Yesterday, I went to a meeting of some folks associated with Indivisible Berkeley. One thing I learned yesterday is that there are many such groups, and many of them are recent. Recently, many established organizations have found themselves flooded by grassroots support, and have started efforts to capitalize on that.
For example, Indivisible itself was started by a group of former congressional staffers, and has acquired many chapters around the country. Through them, I learned about People Power which was started by the ACLU.
This is fascinating that well-established political operatives and agencies are realizing how powerful of a groundswell there is, and are offering resources.
I go to these meetings partly to educate myself – partly, also, because I want to figure out what I can say to myself ten, twenty, fifty years from now, about what I did to build connections in the community that allowed me to become more politically involved.
I took a few days off because the barrage of negative acts enacted by the President became a bit much but pleasingly when I returned today to Twitter, I found that there no fewer than 24 accounts that are believed to be “rogue” groups of employees from various government agencies, including the fucking White House itself!
The Trump Administration is definitely practicing a well-known deal-making strategy – start by asking for much more than where you are willing to end up. This is obvious in their sustained, outrageous, acts that move the political discussion far to the right. Any reconciliation achieved ends up being more to the right of the spectrum, and gives GOP members of Congress some cover to say, “Look, we made him behave moderately.”