The time has come to take our coun­try back

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Leonard Pitts is syn­di­cated by Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices. Leonard Pitts Jr. The Mi­ami Her­ald

Colum­nist Leonard Pitts says he has no in­ter­est in com­pro­mis­ing in the wake of Don­ald Trump be­ing elected pres­i­dent.

It is time for the coun­try to heal, time for us come to­gether.

Or so peo­ple have been telling me since last week, when democ­racy laid the big­gest egg in Amer­i­can his­tory. Well, here is my re­sponse: I have no in­ter­est in see­ing this coun­try heal. And I refuse to come to­gether.

Un­der­stand: If this were just about pol­i­tics, I’d never say some­thing like that. No, I’d do what you’re sup­posed to when the can­di­date you fa­vored is de­feated. Suck it up.

But my anger is not about any given pol­icy of the new pres­i­dent. No, it is about him, about the elec­tion of a fun­da­men­tally un­sound, un­se­ri­ous and un­fit man, a misog­y­nist who brags about sex­ual as­sault, a bigot cheered to vic­tory by the Ku Klux Klan. I have no idea how to “heal” woman hat­ing and no de­sire to “come to­gether” with the Klan.

I am sim­i­larly im­pa­tient with those who say we must give the new pres­i­dent a chance to lead and hope for his suc­cess.

Is that what Repub­li­cans did for Barack Obama when they gath­ered on the night of his first inau­gu­ra­tion and plot­ted a con­spir­acy of ob­struc­tion­ism to crip­ple his pres­i­dency? Is it what Don­ald Trump did when he spent years ques­tion­ing the ve­rac­ity of an or­di­nary birth cer­tifi­cate?

More to the point, the call to let Trump lead and hope for his suc­cess fails to ad­dress ob­vi­ous ques­tions: Where is he lead­ing us? How are we defin­ing suc­cess? Should we ap­plaud even if he “leads” us into an­other un­nec­es­sary Mid­dle East con­fla­gra­tion? Are we ex­pected to be happy if his “suc­cess” comes in crim­i­nal­iz­ing abor­tion?

Frankly, I won’t cheer him even if he is not a dis­as­ter. In the un­likely event the man who con­sid­ers global warm­ing a Chi­nese hoax took ac­tion to stem that threat, I’d be happy, yes. On the im­prob­a­ble chance the man who swore to re­peal the Af­ford­able Care Act crafted some­thing bet­ter, I would be glad, sure.

But at the end of the day, the man who did those things would still be a misog­y­nist and a bigot.

For­give me — or don’t; I re­ally don’t care — if that re­mains a deal breaker for me. I refuse to par­tic­i­pate in this process of or­ga­nized am­ne­sia, to co­op­er­ate in nor­mal­iz­ing a man who stands for ev­ery­thing Amer­ica should not.

So what now? Well, now those of us who feel the same way must make it a pri­or­ity to get off our as­sets and vote in 2018. And in the mean­time, re­sist.

Sun­day evening, on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver of­fered a list of or­ga­ni­za­tions that de­fend the causes and peo­ples that will be most threat­ened in the com­ing Re­ich and sug­gested you vol­un­teer them your time and money. I think that’s a great idea, so I pass his list on to you:

Planned Par­ent­hood (planned­par­ent­hood.org); The Cen­ter For Re­pro­duc­tive Rights (re­pro­duc­tiverights. org); the Nat­u­ral Resources De­fense Coun­cil (nrdc.org); the In­ter­na­tional Refugee As­sis­tance Project (refugeerights. org), the NAACP Le­gal De­fense Fund (naac­pldf.org); the Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth (thetrevor­pro­ject.org); and the Mex­i­can Amer­i­can Le­gal De­fense and Ed­u­ca­tion Fund (maldef. org). I’d also add The South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter (spl­cen­ter.org) and the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union (aclu.org).

It’s time the ma­jor­ity that be­lieves in a pro­gres­sive, in­clu­sive and com­pas­sion­ate Amer­ica did more than just tweet about it. Noth­ing wrong with tweet­ing, but forces of ex­clu­sion, ha­tred and rage have over­taken the high­est of­fice in the land, so it’s also time for some old-school ac­tivism. Time to march. Time to as­sail law­mak­ers. Time to boy­cott. Time to stand and be counted. Enough is enough.

Let’s take our coun­try back.

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