Frida Berrigan

What it's like running for office in the age of Donald Trump and climate change

“YES!” he yelled, thrusting his fist in the air. “We get to live in the mayor’s house!” My son’s reaction when I told his two sisters and him that I was running for mayor of our town became the laugh line of my campaign. But in real time, I had to burst his bubble. “Oh Seamus,” I said, smiling, “the mayor just lives in his own house. There is no ‘mayor’s house.’ If we win, we’ll keep living in our house and it will become the mayor’s house.”

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What It’s Like To Grow Up With the Constant Threat of Violence

Guns. In a country with more than 300 million of them, a country that’s recently been swept up in a round of protests over the endless killing sprees they permit, you’d think I might have had more experience with them.
This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.“

As it happens, I’ve held a gun only once in my life. I even fired it. I was in perhaps tenth grade and enamored with an Eagle Scout who loved war reenactments. On weekends, he and his friends camped out, took off their watches to get into the spirit of the War of 1812, and dressed in homemade muslin underclothes and itchy uniforms. I was there just one weekend. Somehow my pacifist parents signed off on letting their daughter spend the day with war reenactors. Someone lent me a period gown, brown and itchy and ill-fitting. We women and girls spent an hour twisting black gunpowder into newspaper scraps. I joked that the newspaper was anachronistic — the previous week’s Baltimore Sun — but no one laughed.

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Raising Children in the Age of Trump Without Losing Your Mind

As a mother and an activist, here’s what I’ve concluded as 2018 begins: it’s getting harder and harder to think about the future -- at least in that soaring Whitney Houston fashion. You know the song: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way...” These days, doesn’t it sound quaint and of another age?

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Gardening As One Way to Fight Trump-Era Hopelessness

In the wake of Donald Trump’s inauguration, George Orwell’s 1984 soared onto bestseller lists, as did Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which also hit TV screens in a storm of publicity.  Zombies, fascists, and predators of every sort are now stalking the American imagination in ever-greater numbers and no wonder, given that guy in the Oval Office. Certainly, 2017 is already offering up a bumper crop of dystopian possibilities and we’ve only reached July. But let me admit one thing: the grim national mood and the dark clouds crowding our skies have actually nudged me in a remarkably positive direction. Surprise of all surprises, Donald Trump is making the corn grow in Connecticut!

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The Donald, a One-Man 9/11, Is Making Me Love My Country More, and Fight Back Harder

So reality has inexorably, inescapably penetrated my life. It didn’t take long. Yes, Donald Trump is actually the president of the United States. In that guise, in just his first weeks in office, he’s already declared war on language, on loving, on people who are different from him—on the kind of world, in short, that I want to live in. He’s promised to erect high walls, keep some people in and others out and lock up those he despises, while threatening to torture and abuse with impunity.

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How Do I Explain Our Terrorized Country to a Child?

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Parenting on the Brink: Wrestling With Fears Too Big to Name

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Growing Up in the Shadow of the American War State

The Pentagon loomed so large in my childhood that it could have been another member of my family. Maybe a menacing uncle who doled out put-downs and whacks to teach us lessons or a rich, dismissive great-aunt intent on propriety and good manners.

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Can You Be a Political Radical and Change Diapers at the Same Time?

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from the introduction of “It Runs in the Family” by Frida Berrigan (O/R Books, 2014).

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