I was working D.C. when the Tea Party first started to evolve and I went one fall day to a snap protest near the Capitol to see what these folks were like. They were angry. They were mad. They displayed signs that were overtly racist.
Here is one that I have always kept:
A year later, they took Congress and here we are today.
In a week, Donald Trump is coming to Missoula, my hometown. I am liberal. I am angry. I want to yell into his face. I think that is why he and the Republicans picked Missoula. The angry liberal mob, the one that doesn’t have racist signs and merely asks for human rights, is the Republicans’ new ace in the hole. I guess when it’s women, people of color, and their allies asking for a voice people freak out. When white men do it then that’s okay.
Look, I know the equation sucks. But folks, we have to hold Congress. The creeping authoritarians now fully control two branches of government and want to solidify their hold on the third. They love authoritarian governments. They used Russian intelligence agencies to interfere in the 2016 election. They want to get away with it and pay no price other than the insane amounts of cash an entitled few white men in power and in business will get.
This is why I am part of the “angry liberal mob.” (Insert eyeroll emoji.) But if that image costs us American democracy we need to take a pause and think about how best to move ahead. Personally, one of my favorite moments in American cinema is when the Whos in Whoville sing after the Grinch steals all of their belongings to get even. If Missoula can come together and sing and be united and showcase the idea of community while they try to tear us apart it will send an amazing message. The nation will be watching us and whatever happens will be in campaign commercials running through election day.
Whatever you do, Missoula, I will be there for you.