When big changes and dangers arise, you have to think big. You don’t put out a forest fire with a glass of water. Thinking small can prevent you from even recognizing trouble, let alone your options for overcoming it. There’s never been a time when thinking big matters more than now. Many across the United States are now trying to figure out how to survive Trump, but it may still be possible to stop him. His regime is not yet inevitable. It’s a long shot, but one worth trying, the way someone diagnosed with a disease with a 3% survival rate might want to do what it takes to try to be part of the 3%. You don’t get there if you give up at the outset. Trump represents a catastrophe on a scale many seem to have trouble grasping, an attack on what remains democratic and uncorrupted in our old and messy system of government, a threat to international stability, to efforts to address climate change, and to human rights at home and around the world. Is it possible to prevent him from taking power? Why not explore the wildest possibilities, when the alternative is surrendering to the worst? It may be very possible – but only if we imagine it is possible and work to make the possible the actual.
It is too soon to give up. It is too soon to reconcile ourselves to surviving Trump when the possibility of preventing him is before us. It was a huge surprise that Jill Stein and the Green party chose to demand recounts in three swing states, and another that the Clinton campaign got onboard. What the recount reveals may also be a surprise. People have used “game changer” a lot, but the game of figuring out what this election means and where it takes us seems to change daily, and some of that change depends on what we do. Why not seize history before it tramples us?
What if the recount Jill Stein and the Green party have initiated finds that Trump’s small, surprising lead in three swing states vanishes when the ballots are reviewed? What if Alexandra Chalupa’s report now on its way to Congress presents compelling evidence that the election was hacked? What if the election investigations Republican senator Lindsey Graham and others have asked for reveal corruption or collusion? What if someone (please) finally does some really solid work on investigating the numerous ties between the Trump campaign team and Russia and finds – well, shouldn’t we know what the influences and collaborations, if any, have been?
We are in a national emergency as an alarmingly incompetent and utterly amoral gang prepares to destroy the climate, human rights, the foreign policy positions the US has relied on for stability since the second world war, and more. You don’t have to love Clinton or Stein to see that this is a radical departure from where we have been.