Day: January 31, 2017

That’s Just What They Want You To Do

Look, there are a lot of conspiracy theories and rumors going around, and some of them are probably real, but as you speculate about which ones those could be, please keep a hold on these two inarguably true things:

1. When something seriously evil happens that places innocent people in physical danger, that’s not a “distraction” we should ignore to look for the “real” threat. Keep looking for other threats, by all means! But while real people are under threat from something that has actually happened, you’re not “fooled” if you defend them. Holding your fire to keep your powder dry until the “real” threat looks a lot more like getting played than whatever theory you’ve heard that says standing up against oppression is “walking into their trap.”

2. Mass protests are having a measurable and widely-reported effect, according to both leaks and on-record eyewitness accounts from aides in the executive and legislative branches. They are the main thing having an effect. You have seen over and over again how Trump and Spicer and Conway have gotten shrill and paranoid whenever the national mood is mentioned, and how desperately they try to defend their legitimacy.

When you have called your congresspeople (which you’re doing, right?) you have probably noticed the strain in the voices of their staffers. That’s not business as usual. You can watch news broadcasts of town hall meetings and see how rattled congresspeople are.

It is really, REALLY unusual to not care what other people think about you. I’m not even talking about “your job is at risk.” I’m talking about how horrible it is when you think you are disliked by your peers. As humans, as social animals, we want to believe we’re good people and our work is appreciated and society will include and protect us. Even criminals want that, so badly. Even if you think Trump doesn’t care (he does) or Bannon doesn’t (fair enough), the people who will be carrying out orders are definitely affected by what they think the public at large expects of them.

So if your conspiracy theory says protests are useless, it is probably not a good theory, or at least that part of it is not good, and once again seems like it’s trying to tell you you’ll get more done by not doing anything right now, which is kind of silly don’t you think.