Dearest Pancake Brains,
I wrote How to Start a Revolution with the goal of inspiring the political agency that clicked for me when Donald Trump won the election. On November 9th, 2016, I woke up and thought, “Holy shit, I have to do something about this.” In that moment, I finally understood the absurdity of regarding freedom in abstraction. (Democracy is not a thing we have, it is a thing we DO.)
I’ve written to you many times about the habits of active citizenship that imagining equitable public power requires, though I admit it can be a big ask to get people to believe that voting and protesting can actually work when it feels like everything is irrevocably fucked. Alienation is heavy, and hope requires a ton of willpower.
In the effort of continuing to inspire your commitment to civic duty, I’d like to share this essay by Christopher Michael, “Make America Great for the First Time: Political awakenings, avocado toast, and Lauren Duca,” in which he contemplates the necessity of political agency by sharing the details of his own awakening.
“The cancer rotting at the core of America is blatant but I have enough privilege to ignore it if I choose,” he writes. “I can sit back and sip my Starbucks, watching the world burn like a millennial Joker. I can let a retweet be the extent of my political activism and it’s likely I’ll be the last to be oppressed, but I don’t want to be that way anymore.”
The whole piece is bursting with vulnerability. We need more of that.
With earnest irreverence,