Dear President Trump,
Last night Laura and I were stopped at the light right by our house, waiting to turn left and we noticed a modest sized poster in the window of a house that reads “Dream Big / Fight Hard.” Neither of us knew who or what it was referencing, but we both liked it (and still do). Fortunately she remembered to look it up when we got home and it’s one of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign slogans, no doubt old news to lots of folks, but almost certainly new news to you. When I looked it up again this morning to see if I could find other nifty Warren slogans, I saw that she has a terrific LGBTQ pride version that says “Dream Big / Fight Hard / Live Proud.” It’s awesome. I also saw another great one that you could so never touch:
“The Best President Money Can’t Buy”
That’s a real zinger, isn’t it? Personally, I think of zingers as being sharp, incisive, and refreshing (kind of like Red Zinger tea, though I’m sure that’s way too hippy-dippy for you so you probably have no idea what I’m talking about). But really, the idea of a president (or any other politician) who can’t be bought, who is immune to big money influences, is so refreshing that it brings tears to my eyes. Why? Well, if a politician can’t be bought by lobbyists, corporations, special interests, other countries, or ultra-wealthy patrons then that person is beholden to her constituents and she is clear that she needs to work on their behalf. Quite a concept, huh? Actually, it’s pretty much a “duh, that’s how it’s supposed to work” sort of deal, so it’s actually sad that someone funding her campaign on grassroots donations from individuals is so novel and moving. But here we are.
Then there’s my personal favorite “Persist” short for “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” This is the one I have on my car. What I love about it is that it not only references a classic Warren-story, but it also references girls and women generally, because to be a female person in this life is to be persistent whether in taking care of one’s family day in and day out down to the smallest details or in advocating for one’s own and other women’s advancement in the workplace over and over even when exhausted and demoralized by the stupid fight.
But let’s go back to the “Dream Big / Fight Hard” slogan. It’s a good one too (Warren definitely seems to have tapped someone with a terrific sense for slogan-coining). Intermixed with the online images of it is a smattering of sweatshirts and posters that say “Dream Big / Work Hard,” which is probably what the campaign slogan is riffing off of. I’m glad, though, that Warren went with the “Fight Hard” idea since heaven knows she has worked incredibly hard for a long, long time. Plus, she knows that most all of us work hard and she knows that for most of us, working hard isn’t enough to remove the barriers keeping us penned into our stations. To really change how things work and for whom things work, it’s going to take dreaming big and fighting hard. Yes, I absolutely wish we were past having to think that things like equal pay for women (all women), compassionate immigration laws, thoughtful environmental protections, a just legal system, and fair and free elections are dream big sorts of things, but we have to deal with our here/now reality, and really, for us in America in 2019, these are big dreams worth fighting for.
May we be safe from bought politicians (because they are scary).
May we be happy to support public officials with integrity.
May we recognize that resuscitating our democracy will mean getting big money out of elections.
May we make peace with change.