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Hullabaloo


Sunday, February 19, 2017

 

A new hope

by Tom Sullivan


Four hundred new activists in Asheville, NC prepare to engage the state Democratic Party.

You will need some good news after the horrific events that didn't happen this week in Sweden. There is some. But let's back up a moment first. This happened last night in Melbourne, Florida:

"You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."

That, from a president of the United States you never thought possible.

The media tried to make some sense of Donald Tump's fake news. The Independent:

One of the country's official Twitter accounts, controlled by a different citizen each week, reacted with bafflement.

Its current administrator, a school librarian, said: "Nothing has happened here in Sweden. There has not [been] any terrorist attacks here. At all."
Or it might have been Pakistan. Who knows? Mediaite went on the hunt:
A quick Google search turns up a whopping zero results for any combination of the search words “incident,” “attack,” Sweden,” and “February 18.”

What Trump seems to be referencing is actually a segment that aired last night on Tucker Carlson about a documentarian and the film he made regarding immigration in Sweden. (If we’re splitting hairs, the interview actually took place earlier this week but the segment only aired last night. But there’s no need to nitpick.)

Somebody tell Tucker Carlson he's Trump's new national security advisor.

The good news is that in the wake of electing a president of questionable mental stability who gets his national security updates from Tucker Carlson, people who never considered engaging in political action suddenly find it imperative.

While Trump was on Air Force One headed to Florida, four hundred people crammed into the Rainbow Community Center here for a briefing on what to expect next week at their first Democratic precinct meetings. The meet-up was organized by the local Our Revolution chapter. While there were a few familiar faces, the organizers included first-time activists, a couple of Bernie Sanders convention delegates and a former Hillary for America (HFA) staffer. The stunned HFA veteran observed, as with the Women's March on Washington and here, all it took was launching a Facebook page and people came without further prompting.

It wasn't superior organizing skills. People are on edge. Neighbors I had not seen in years walked up and announced, "We're back." When I arrived, the line was wrapped around the building. People in this "independent" town are re-registering as Democrats to have more say in the political process. While some online colleagues were fretting about the reappearance of Obama's Organizing for America blamed for undermining state parties across the country, OFA never managed to draw a crowd anything like this.

Third party talk was all but nonexistent. Expediency and urgency is the order of the day. Fighting gerrymandering, taking back the majority in the state legislature from Republicans, and turning the Democratic Party back into a party that represents students and working people is the focus. The groups is teaming up with the large Indivisible group that has formed here for a rally next week. It is one of thousands. Local activists are organizing their own town hall event on saving the Affordable Care Act from the Republican axe and effectively daring their congressmen and senators to show up.

Daily Action gives activists directives for action every day. A Capitol Hill mom started it. Emily's list is encouraging thousands of women to run for office as "part of an activist wave that began with the election of President Trump."

Can't imagine what has got everyone so spooked, can you?