34 Cents Resistance
A few shockingly raw chilly evenings ago, after our false spring, a small group of women in my town gathered after work at a local gastropub to hoist a few and to write postcards. Some of them were pre-made from the Women’s March, others picked out of personal stashes. Official USPS cards are 34 cents. Others require a 47 cent first class stamp.
By all accounts, despite the ill weather and despite their exhaustion, the women who came had a great time, both because of their socialization with others of the same general age and life situations, and because at the end of their time together they had produced an impressive pile of protest: messages to policy makers. A scene of determination and resistance.
According to their Facebook page, organizers of a postcard blitz today (March 15) are urging Americans who oppose the policies of President Donald Trump to make their objections known by flooding the White House with postcards. In an event dubbed the “Ides of Trump,” organizers hope to see delivery of a million or more cards indicating disapproval of Trump and his agenda to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The name is a twist on the expression “Ides of March,” which most people probably know from its use in the Shakespeare play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, in which a soothsayer ominously warns the doomed title character to “beware the Ides of March.”
While our Unitarian Universalist Association offices in Boston are closed due to blizzard conditions today, they have sent out a Facebook post predicting a “blizzard” of cards written, as The Boston Globe reports, “in quiet coffee shops, bookstores, and Unitarian Universalist churches… armed with the antiquated tools of an emerging resistance: markers, cards and postage stamps.”
As the minister affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF), I am charged with mobilizing our members and large social media following (2,000+ on our email list and 1,500 on our Facebook page) to act on behalf of justice and equity for women and girls. So my personal card — or cards — to our 45th president will call him to account for the horrendous choices he made when he selected cabinet members, and for some of his early executive orders and policy initiatives. I will write that his pronouncements and actions in this arena alone are grounds for dismissal.
I will tell him that, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions — an intractable abortion opponent — the Justice Department is unlikely to defend reproductive rights, from contraceptive coverage under federal insurance plans to clinics asking for action against law-breaking protesters. I will tell him that Tom Price, now his Secretary of Health and Human Services, is also virulently anti-choice, that he will actively oppose a birth control provision under insurance plans, and that he refused to disavow a fellow legislator in Georgia (when he served in that state’s general assembly) when he said publicly that a raped woman could not get pregnant.
Or a more succinct version thereof.
On another card, I will list out just some of the ways that the just released Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will harm women and their families:
- The bill specifically blocks people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.
- The bill seeks to eliminate private insurance coverage of abortion by prohibiting financial assistance (tax credits) to be used to purchase a plan that covers abortion beyond life-endangerment, rape, and incest.
- It prevents new states from expanding Medicaid starting in 2020 and implements an enrollment freeze that will drastically undermine Medicaid coverage;
- It slashes funding for the Medicaid program, which low-income women and people of color disproportionately rely on for health care. And it ends in 2020, for the Medicaid Expansion population, the Essential Health Benefits requirement which requires most plans to cover basic health care, including maternity and newborn care.
Which in itself is enough to call for firing for gross discrimination and cruelty.
These are the issues that move me to write the President today. The postcard campaign encourages us to choose our own concerns and passions, hand-write them, and send them to:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC. 20500
If you are so moved, include #idesoftrump on your card. You are advised not to include your return address. It is not necessary.