Our Town

When my daughter told me one of her friends had just shared a video of a Trump caravan blocking traffic in Marin City, a predominantly Black community one exit from my house, my first reaction was hatred for the intruders. But then I took a deep breath, which for many reasons can feel like an act of courage these days, and thought about John Lewis and the many other people who spent their lifetimes fighting the good fight for voting rights and democracy. They didn’t respond to hate and intimidation with more hate and intimidation. They responded to it with a stiffened resolved, more energy, and more determination to unify the nation. I thought of my friend Cory Booker who has suffered plenty of hate (including via the lies of the president), but who resolutely refuses to hate back. And I was reminded that you don’t beat hate with more hate. You don’t beat divisiveness with more divisiveness. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t to suggest that I’m cool with militia-curious truckers trying to intimidate my friends and neighbors. I just signed up for a text message list and the next time the trucks show up, so will I. But not to hate. To lock arms with the people in my community who are on the right side of history and want to move the nation in the right direction. In the short term, that movement takes place in the form of voting. If anyone in Marin City was considering skipping election day this year, I’m pretty sure the caravan convinced them to hit their polling place tomorrow. And with 93 million votes already cast, they’ll be in good company. Yes, it’s endlessly sad and frustrating that we’re being led by someone so severely deranged that he supports the efforts of highway vigilantes trying to run his opponent’s campaign buses off the road. But we can’t let a handful of acts of intimidation scare us away from the polls. We need to use them as inspiration to make this a landslide. Donald Trump doesn’t get to define what these moments mean and he doesn’t get to decide who wins this race. It’s not his election. It’s ours.

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