Thinking of spring...

We already know that one of the tactics of the Trump administration is chaos. I'm not sure they are strategic in their chaos, but they do chaos well - and often.

One of the results of this constant chaos is that folks can no longer engage well. Everything feels too overwhelming, and it seems smarter to just turn off the social media feeds, go back to bed, and pull the covers over our heads. Because just as we try to focus efforts in one direction, they slam us in five new directions with the current day of outrages. And those outrages that they don't create are supplemented by things like the most recent school shooting in Florida.

Yet through it all, signs of change are showing up. Just like the flowers that break through snow-encrusted ground as harbingers of spring, the results of special elections are the harbingers of what can be accomplished at the voting booth. As shown in this mid-December 2017 Washington Post article, the turn-out efforts are paying off. Races that once looked like lost causes are turning out to be not only contestable, but winnable.

Some express dismay that national leaders cannot seem to galvanize a congruent anti-Trump set of messages. But I don't think we have to have top-down messaging. It can help, of course, but the real way we can see a sea-change in 2018 is if we, at the local level, keep up our own ground game. We know our neighbors, we know our local officials, we know our local issues. While many issues are also national in scope, changes in hearts and minds can come more easily among folks who deal with each other face to face. People won't be changed by clever, if cogent arguments, but by hearing the stories of neighbors.

Spring is coming, so let's feed our often-tired selves, and get ready to bloom where we are.