As I write this it is Memorial Day, a day when we as a country mourn our lost veterans and give thanks for service members past and present.
I do feel sad on this Memorial Day, but it’s mostly because our veterans and current service members have such a totally incompetent and unworthy commander in chief. America owes them all an apology.
I’m also sad about the 1,500 or so children that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ripped from their parents and put into “foster homes or whatever” (in the immortal words of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly) only to completely lose track of them. It’s sickening. And it’s happening right here, right now.
I’m also sad that the NFL will punish players who kneel for the national anthem in protest of police murdering unarmed black and brown men, women, and children. If you’re outraged by people kneeling during the anthem but you haven’t managed to muster that same amount of outrage over homelessness among veterans in this country, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest your issue isn’t respect for troops so much as it is contempt for black and brown people.
But I’m not just sad. I’m pissed. And I hope you are, too. There’s so much work to do to stem the tide drawing us all into the cesspool of Trumpism.
One of the most important things you can do is to work to elect decent people to government. You must vote, of course, but beyond that, get involved with a campaign. Make phone calls, knock on doors, talk to voters. There are so many great people running across the country, and they really need your help.
You’re busy — I get it; we all are — but do you want to face your children/nephews/fur babies years from now and say, “When Trump was president I binge-watched every season of The Great British Baking Show and BoJack Horseman because I just couldn’t even.”? No. No, you do not.
Because that’s how people like Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) continue to hold office. Rohrabacher — whose name has come up repeatedly in the Russia investigation that is definitely not a hoax — recently declared that it should be totally fine for people to refuse to sell houses to gays.
“Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don’t agree with their lifestyle,” Rohrabacher told a group of Realtors.
Later, when asked for clarification, he doubled down. “We’ve drawn a line on racism, but I don’t think we should extend that line,” Rohrabacher told the Orange County Register. “A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”
Now, I have strong doubts that Rohrabacher is even cool with the line being drawn at racism. But for anyone who was wondering where the fight over bakers making cakes for gay weddings was heading, this is it. This is why cakes matter. It was never about cakes. It’s about real people’s lives.
Thankfully, this display of anti-gay animosity led the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to stop supporting Rohrabacher with campaign contributions. And they took it a step farther: “We certainly hope that Congress will… support the elimination of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” the group declared in a statement.
I’m also happy to report that Rohrabacher’s days in Congress may be numbered. “For the first time in 15 terms, Rohrabacher, a perennial shoo-in, might finally have cause to worry about his incumbency,” wrote the Register. “Rohrabacher’s 48th Congressional District swung narrowly to Hillary Clinton in 2016, causing Democrats to target the newly-competitive seat as one of 23 they need to retake control of the House of Representatives.”
If you’re in Orange County, support Rohrabacher’s opponent this fall. [At press time, the morning after California’s June 5 primary, Democrats Harley Rouda and Hans Keirstead, were still duking it out to become Rohrabacher’s challenger.]
If you live elsewhere in the country, no doubt you have your own Rohrabacher to battle. Put on your volunteer armor and get to work.