What's Coming in 2018

I was pondering what to write for a New Year's post. I don't generally do a post for New Year's, but somehow it seemed a good idea for this year. For one, it's a big year for me. Two, I think it's a big year for all of us - at least potentially.

I think I have one major intention I have for the year - and that is simply (simple, but not easy) to be present and open for the wide variety of things I know are going to happen this year. A lot of things are settling and changing in my life, and I'm meeting a lot of new people, and making new friends. The littler intentions are:

  • Get more involved in local community activism.
  • Write more (fiction, essays.)
  • Learn lots of stuff (I'm currently focused on data science and machine learning.)
  • Take care of my body and heart.

I also think that this is, for this country, a make or break year. This is the year we either break the grip of this authoritarian-capitalist cabal, or the country enters into a death-spiral.

Frankly, I'm not so worried about California, New York, and the 1/2 dozen other progressive coastal states with vibrant economies that don't actually need the rest of the country. I'm sure that the local pressure for things like single-payer health care, educational investment, renewable energy, livable wage, affordable housing, etc. will continue and in fact increase in those states in the face of a country going in the other direction. If things get way much worse, we can always just leave. (Yes, that's complicated, but it's not impossible.)

But I am worried about the millions of immigrants, people of color, LGBTQIIA folks, disabled, and poor and working-class people in the states that don't have such vibrant economies, and are held in a headlock by the right. (And those DO correlate.)

Next year, like every year, I'm going to vote. But my vote is going to have zero effect - I live in a super-deep blue county in a super-deep blue state. I already have a representative I can really respect, and one Senator I really like (the other one I often have trouble with, but not since last year.) My state reps are, on the whole, great people. So I'm going to give time and \$ to whoever is challenging the two geographically closest GOP congressional representatives whose districts either are mixed or lean Democratic: Jeff Denham (10th district) and David Valadeo (21st district.)

And I'm going to keep doing what makes sense to me to do, which is what I think we all need to do. No judgement on who is doing it "right." No holier than thou. No purity tests. No "my strategy is better than your strategy." Let's just do all of the things, and keep bending the arc of history toward justice.