by Angela Smith, HEAL Coordinator
So, Donald Trump is now the president elect and many activists and allies to HEAL are asking: "What do we do now?" I wonder if they would be asking this with the same level of fear if Hillary Clinton was the president elect. I know I would be.
The biggest problem with the US government is the rampant corruption. We have the ability to reduce and eliminate corruption. Donald J. Trump suggested introducing term limits for federal legislators. Progressives also support introducing term limits to help stop the corruption. Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell has already said there will be no term limits considered by the Senate. So, on this issue, I would personally side with President Elect Trump's position to impose term limits. But, just like with most things, Congress will not back the president elect's proposed agenda regardless of what the people and public want them to do.
So, while we know the two corporatist parties (Democrats and Republicans) are solely interested in personal wealth and power for themselves and other "elites" and do not care about workers, human rights, education, and other public interest issues (i.e. healthcare); we also know that we have to build effective third-parties going forward to challenge the corporatist duopoly. Volunteer and help build the Green Party, Libertarian Party, and/or any other third party or independent faction organizing to challenge the establishment. If you truly care about workers, human rights, equality, and other public interest issues, the Green Party is your best bet now and going forward. Help build that party going forward and consider running for office as a Green candidate. Learn more and sign up to volunteer here: http://www.jill2016.com/postelection
The biggest problem we face is that people want instant gratification and when they don't get what they want immediately, they give up and go back to business as usual. HEAL doesn't do that and we don't really respect people who do that. We know we are making progress because we work hard to make it so daily no matter who is in the White House and no matter what our opposition looks like on any given day. I've been an activist and organizing locally with various organizations and groups since 1986. That's right, 30 years of organizing and working and fighting for change. I've participated in many successes and had my fair share of disappointments as well. I celebrate the wins and don't allow losses to kill my passion and dedication or mutate me into some defeatist jerk who just tells everyone that making any effort on any issue is a waste of time and resources and that they should just give up. To those defeatist naysayers who just want everyone to be as hopeless, faithless, and miserable as they are, I'm happy to quote former VP Dick Cheney and say "Go F*ck Yourself".
We have to volunteer, mobilize, educate the public, and show courage while encouraging others to do the same. We must not give up because people are "too ignorant" and we must not give in because people are "too afraid" to challenge politicians and policies that hurt them. For survivors of institutional abuse like myself, we've already been raped, abused, tortured, had friends and fellows killed, and have been denied justice and proper redress for our grievances. If you tell me Trump is going to sick dogs on protesters, I'm going to say how is that any different than what is happening in North Dakota in the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline? The problem isn't red or blue, the problem is our whole damn corrupt system and we have to organize to challenge it. We have to get out the vote for third-parties. We have to run for office and fight to challenge the power while working diligently to push those in power to do their job and act in the best interest of the majority of the people. We must be vigilant and for those who just don't have the time, resources, or inclination to be vigilant, at least pay attention to and support those of us who are so vigilant like the Green Party and reject any fear-based propaganda and manipulation by the ruling "class". Vote for what you want, not against what you most fear based on lies and propaganda. Read and understand political platforms and policy votes. Take charge of your mind and develop critical thinking skills. Read more.
Survivors of institutional abuse tend to isolate and believe our injuries are special or different from the women and children being sex trafficked, the worker being exploited, the prisoner being tortured, and the environmental activist being disappeared. But, we are not special and our injuries are not so different from those experiencing other forms of oppression, persecution, and abuse. We must unite with all who are being treated inhumanely and unjustly and in so doing build a coalition of the disenfranchised, marginalized, oppressed, and persecuted. This is how we will win.
 http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/01/20/a-progressive-case-for-term-limits and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/2/24/840195/-