This is from my sister's congressman in CT. It’s a good message for everyone.
Following the brief shutdown and its (very temporary) resolution earlier this week, the talk is all about the Beltway politics – who's up, who's down? Did the Democrats cave or live to fight another day? How does it play in November?
If you are consumed by these questions, stop. Please stop.
Take a big step back from the screen and keep your eyes on the prize. The stakes are high as we face a Republican Party dedicated to enriching America's wealthiest elite by eroding most Americans' health care, retirement security, and opportunity to earn a decent life. We are "led” by a President who will attack anyone and anything, including the basic foundations of our democracy, to feed the sordid maw of his elephantine ego.
History will hold us accountable for how we respond to this moment. Right now, we are failing that test.
Fact: The Republicans control the House, Senate, and the Oval Office. They hold all the levers of power. Occasionally, their remarkable dysfunction will allow us to hold the line, but those moments are rare. Elections have consequences and right now, the Republicans are in charge.
Without a single major lever of power in our hands, we won't get 100% of what we want every time, and we have to keep up the good fight until justice is delivered.
Our best course is to hew to our bedrock message of economic opportunity and justice for all Americans even as we stand against the ominous nonsense coming from the President.
So here's what we need to do, right now: All of us—activists, leaders, friends, and allies alike—need to remember that we are in the throes of a long struggle together. There will be wins and losses, good days and bad. On bad days, we need to resist discouragement and backbiting in favor of a renewed commitment to work together. Donald Trump wants us to fall into the trap of discouragement and internal strife. The selfish, cringing doctrines of Trumpism thrive on division and fear. Our cause prevails when we stand united and secure in our beliefs.
When I'm uncertain and discouraged, I think of my friend and civil rights hero John Lewis. The year before I was born, John lay bleeding and broken in the shadow of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. People were being killed, the president was fickle; even the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. was being questioned. John never gave up, never gave in. He just stood up and kept on with the steady struggle of principle and justice over oppression.
Even the heady, historic success of the civil rights movement was checkered with mistakes, uncertainty, and setbacks. Victory was assured by responding to adversity with gritty determination, no matter the short-term frustration.
I have watched Republican leaders promise their activists the impossible over the past six years. Trump's victory is a reaction to that craven leadership. Let's not repeat their mistakes. We need inspiration and passion — and we also need realism and care. The point is to win the war, not fight every battle.
Make no mistake, with care and craftiness, we can take advantage of the President's incompetence and Republican division to win some battles. We did that in turning back the Republican attempt to take health coverage from 20 million Americans. But the larger prize is to put the reins of government back into responsible hands.
Don't be discouraged. Know that right is on our side and that we will prevail when we are united, determined, and strong.