...just not the asshole part.
I listened in on a conference call with Indivisible Austin yesterday. Of all the Indivisible groups around the nation, they're the most advanced. Because the authors of the Indivisible Guide original worked in an Austin office, they immediately stepped in to help Indivisible Austin and have formed the center of the Indivisible movement. I recommend taking a look at their page (which we've liberally borrowed from) and listening in on the conference call recording.
One of the most interesting things in the call was the discussion of Indivisible Austin's first action. They had their second meeting awhile back - the first "real" meeting - and it was a resounding success. 140 people showed up to their meeting (or, as I like to call it, one Tweet (get it?)). After the meeting, they got word that one of the Representatives who voted for the Ethics committee "reform" was going to be at a parade for a local high school championship just outside town. They had very little time to respond, so two members in the congressman's district quickly ran to the store, made signs, and headed to the event.
Now, as I'm listening to this, I'm thinking: high school football championship? Do we really want to be disrupting a high school football championship parade? I know I don't want to be the person who ruins an event for a bunch of kids who worked really hard. And those were the exact thoughts of the two members of Indivisible Austin who went to the event. Nobody wants to ruin a parade.
And, much like many of us, neither of these people were fans of confrontation. The one member, Shea I believe, specifically said that he isn't a fan of arguments or confrontation. He's not interested in causing trouble or fighting. And that's true of most of us. We want to get our message out and cause trouble for the Representatives who cause trouble for America, but we don't want to be dragged out of an event screaming at the speaker while we throw fake blood at the local church choir. Or something to that effect. But aggressive, angry conflict wasn't needed and isn't needed. At this event, words weren't need at all. We can save those for a town hall or a visit to our Representative's office, not the local parade. And we can always be respectful.
What they did was simply hold up their signs where their Representative could see them. And, according to the two members, he was visibly shaken as he made his way down the parade route. The signs just said "Ethics Matter," but he knew exactly what it meant. And he knew it wasn't good for him and it ruined his enjoyment of the parade just a little bit while not disrupting the event. No one was angry, no one said a word. Although the two members were nervous, their hearts pounding, they stood their ground and held their signs high. And when it was done, they went home, message delivered.
So involving ourselves in events doesn't have to mean ruining events. When troublesome congresspeople (or governors, in Illinois's case) come into town for any event, we can't let them just get away with cutting a ribbon and shaking hands. We need to let them know that we are watching them, and they can't get away with hurting America without facing reprisal.
Starting in April, our Representatives will be home for two weeks out of most every month. We need to be ready and organized to meet them, either to strengthen their backbone and send our encouragement, or to let them know we are standing strong against them.
Because we will stand strong in this world of Trump and, as always...