The F Word: Being Stressed and Building Movements

You can see all our coverage from Standing Rock at lauraflanders.com. Thanks to everyone who is helping to make it happen. I heard the other day about a public radio program that is testing voters' saliva for hormone levels, but we don't need a spit test to tell us people are stressed. The 2016 U.S. election's taking place on shifting sands, by every possible measure the U.S. is coming of age right now and it is no longer confidentially affluent, on top of the world, or determined by men and whites. Millennials, those aged 18 to 32 finally make up as much of the population as Baby Boomers and 2016 voters are more racially diverse than ever, with a higher percentage of unmarried women and eligible voters of color.


The America of the future is here, even if the Trump campaign would have voters believe it's possible to deport, de-fund, demean, and shoot it dead. It's not. That's why I especially like the title of Jeff Chang's latest book, ”We Gon' Be Alright.” We may differ on what all right, but we gon' be we no matter what. Donald Trump's selling segregationist snake oil. Millions of repatriated immigrants won't rollback globalization anymore than we can re-confine love or gender or re-legislate hate. Research by the Washington Post suggests that Trump's base isn't even, themselves, in crisis.

Their wages, while low, are about on par for whites. The places where they live are in transition, but not the streets they live on. They're stressed onlookers, so let's talk about what's possible, even when people are stressed. No one, let's be clear, is more stressed than Native Americans in North America, and yet five-hundred distinct groups of them came together this year to protest that Dakota pipeline. Prisons are our most stressed out places, but hundreds of stressed out prisoners collaborated this year to pull off a historic labor strike.

Heck, 12 million fractious leftists managed to get behind a Democrat, albeit one calling himself a socialist. Then they went ahead and worked with their opponents to craft a party platform that's the most progressive in decades. Are we going to be all right? That depends on us, but we gon' be all right, even with, heaven forbid, a hater in the White House. Let's not let it happen.

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