It is exhausting to stay angry day after day. Never mind for the next four years.
A friend of mine says his wife — who participated in the Women’s March on Washington — is burning out by turning on CNN from dawn to dusk to rage at Donald Trump.
Another friend says one of her recent dinner guests kept interrupting the table conversation to glance at her phone to read Trump’s latest tweet, and then to break into a fury of criticism, only to glance back at the phone to blow up again over the president’s next nutty tweet.
It’s exhausting and distracting.
“Some people are already starting to feel it is hopeless, like there is nothing they can do,” says Sherry Campagna, a Native Hawaiian and the state coordinator of the Women’s March.
She is an environmental biologist who owns Kamaka Green, a renewable energy company, and led a delegation of women from Hawaii to join the march in Washington.
Campagna says after the euphoria of the marches some of the newly energized activists have fallen back into their daily routines of staying afloat in Hawaii with their jobs, child care, family needs and keeping up with the bills.
“The challenge now is to help them not to feel defeated, to urge them to stay in the fight,” she says.
Campagna and other coordinators of marches in Hawaii are setting up a new nonprofit to resist Trump issue by issue, month by month, year after year.
She says they are considering how best to create a broad, grassroots leadership structure to prevent the resistance movement from becoming a bully pulpit for any single leader’s personal agenda.
“We don’t want to be like Trump. We don’t want anyone who joins to feel marginalized,” Campagna says.
Kerrie Urosevich says the new nonprofit is likely to be an umbrella organization to assist and offer financial support to many smaller groups focused on particular protections and rights threatened by the Trump administration, such as access to affordable health care, support for renewable energy, quality public education, clean water, reproductive rights and racial and religious equality.
Urosevich helped plan the Women’s March on Oahu. She is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Hawaii Manoa, teaching conflict management for educators.
“Supporters don’t have to join with us,” Campagna says. “If someone is committed to making a change, he or she can do it on their own with just a friend. It’s the neighborhood action groups, the so-called ‘huddles’ springing up everywhere now that are making the difference. They are small pockets of resistance formed by friends, family, co-workers and church members that are starting to empower the movement. We are all in this together.”
Campagna says they know it’s unlikely Trump will resign or step down due to an illness or be impeached and convicted by Congress.
“We realize that there is no way for us to take him down.”
She says instead the Hawaii group will focus on the mainland congressional races in 2018 to get more Democrats elected to Congress. And where there is zero chance of a Democrat winning a U.S. House or Senate seat, they will support a Republican candidate hostile to Trump.
“November 6, 2018, that will be our Super Bowl,” she says.
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Denby Fawcett is a longtime Hawaii television and newspaper journalist, who grew up in Honolulu. Her book, Secrets of Diamond Head: A History and Trail Guide is available on Amazon. Opinions are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat's views.