Losing in GA-06 and SC-05 last night sucked. The Georgia election, especially, was deflating. It was billed as a referendum on Trump, the great enemy, and his proxy won. If we can’t win with all the time, talent, and treasure given to Ossoff, how can we continue to fight? We propose three reasons:
- People still need our help. This is an evergreen rallying cry, and for good reason. ICE and the DHS are still tearing families apart around the country, Californians are feeling the effects of climate change, and the Bay Area faces a homelessness and displacement crisis. There’s still good work to be done and we’re all still needed to do it.
- We’re dedicated… but maybe not motivated right now. The difference is often overlooked, but it’s important. Motivation is the fleeting feeling of inspiration to act; dedication is a set decision to perform an act. The latter isn’t dependent on the former. Or put another way, if you’re dedicated to something you do it because you decided to do it, even if you don’t really feel like doing it at the moment. Dedication is what’s necessary to keep us going through the rough patches. We’re all dedicated here, so we need to keep at it.
- The effects of our work aren’t linear. Rebecca Solnit put it best in her essay, Changing the Imagination of Change:
Effects are not proportionate to causes – not only because huge causes sometimes seem to have little effect, but because tiny ones occasionally have huge consequences. Gandhi said, “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” But those stages unfold slowly. And as the law of unexpected activist consequences might lead you to expect, the abolition movement also sparked the first widespread women’s rights movement, which took about the same amount of time to secure the right to vote for American women, has achieved far more in the subsequent eighty-four years, and is by no means done. Activism is not a journey to the corner store, it is a plunge into the unknown. The future is always dark.
We need to keep working and keep hoping because we don’t know the future. And since the future may be better, we have to work and contribute in the hopes that we’ll make it better. It’s kind of circular, but also sustains itself.
So take some time to recharge. Take today off from the news and achieve that goal we’d set at our last meeting. Maybe read some more about hope by Solnit. Then let’s get back to work.
IEB Outreach Team