We have a president “who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be ‘unpredictable’ with nuclear weapons and as president-elect made sweeping statements about U.S. nuclear policy over Twitter,” according to Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California.
Where do we go from here? Do we, U.S. citizens, have the power to change this? As I stood in the sea of people waiting for the march in Denver to begin, I was electrified by the passion, kindness and determination of every person around me. Yes! We have power.
It takes organizing, of course, and every one of us participating at the level of activism at which we are still in our comfort zone, but we should push ourselves to the edge of it every day. Congressman Lieu and Sen. Ed Markey have blessed us with a rallying point, at least around the use of nuclear weapons. They have introduced the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. They assert that Congress must act to preserve global stability by restricting the circumstances under which the U.S. would be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon.
We need to have their backs in order to massively support this bill.
How can you organize your synagogue, your church, your neighborhood? The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center ( rmpjc.org and rockyflatsnuclearguardianship.org) can help you figure out what you want to do to be part of what needs to be a huge swell of activism.
Several former progressive congressional aides have delivered to us a manual for bringing our voices to Congress. “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda” is a toolbox for how to make Congress listen. It will help us to be a solid bulwark for legislation that protects our world and against weakening of laws and institutions that are protective of people and our national and global environment.
Former Colorado state and federal legislator John Schaffer has recently written about the impact that “self-appointed watchdogs” can make even though legislators roll their eyes when these determined people approach the podium at public meetings, as if the legislator’s status to govern were their own private entitlement, not leadership granted to them by the people.
We each need to be a watchdog in our own ways, both individually and in groups, to bring about a truly just and peaceful world.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.