Patriotism and resistance



To the Editor:

I am an activist. I visit the local offices of my members of Congress. I write letters. I send emails. I call. I attend rallies and marches.

I am not paid. I am guided by my own conscience and by thoughts of others who have clear, informed and reasoned opinions. I do not act at the direction of any one person or organization, which may or may not receive so-called dark money. There are, I believe, thousands of people like me.

As one voice working peacefully, I may garner an ear for a brief period of time. As one voice among many working peacefully, I can be both heard and understood and may even cause change.

The tradition of resistance to power began in our nation with our opposition to British rule. Since that time, it has manifested itself in various ways throughout our history. We have seen it in opposition to slavery before the Civil War, during the fight for women’s suffrage, in opposition to the undeclared Vietnam War and during the fight for racial equality in the Civil Rights Movement. In our nation, resistance is a part of patriotism.

After the election in 2016, I accepted that my world would be changing because the elected leader of our country was changing and was a person I found different from any other elected leader I had known in my time on this planet.

During the transition, I wrote letters to him, his vice president, leaders in Congress, my own congressional representatives and other members of Congress. I shared with them who I was and in what I believed, and gave them a list of how I would like to see our nation move forward. When I learned of the Women’s March, I made plans to attend. After I returned from that event, I heard about and read the Indivisible Guide, written by former congressional staffers. The guidebook was their understanding of what the Tea Party movement had done so well. When I heard about a nearby meeting of Indivisible, I attended.

The leaders of our local group are, to me, wise and talented people who plan, discuss, debate, listen, share and invite others to join them. Like me, they seem to read widely from a variety of sources. Like me, they seem to check their sources to ensure that they are receiving balanced and factual information. While they agree with the positions of the national Indivisible group on many issues, their views differ on others. They also have been known to work on local issues or state issues in addition to the larger national issues. They are funded from their own pockets, with those who can contribute needed supplies doing so, and those who cannot contributing their individual talents.

I believe that every citizen in this nation of ours should have decent housing, a secure supply of nutritious food, clean water, public education, inexpensive and quality health care. I believe we should support and keep our promises made to present and former members of our military. I believe we should support and keep our promises made to our seniors.

I believe we should revise our immigration laws to make them fair and secure, and that we should find a way to support DACA (and do so quickly.) I believe we need to support our children with SNAP and CHIP. I believe we need to have decent jobs that pay well with time off to play.

I believe we need to respect the rights of individuals. I believe we need regulations/laws to protect that which is shown to be neglected and/or abused, be it people, animals or our environment. I believe we need a qualified, fair and independent judiciary as well as qualified, fair and independent law enforcement agencies.

And I, an unpaid volunteer who was taught to question and reason and think and check sources, am willing to work with others to achieve these goals in our nation. I invite everyone to join me.

Jayne Ashworth

Bernard

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