Diana and I were back in Portland, with Lucien, Peter, Saul, and family – trying to avoid talking politics. I have been working in the Reed College Library, where so much of State Change was written more than a year ago. Lucien, Peter, and I had a lunch discussion in the Reed Student Commons.
“Did you see that full page ad, in today’s Times?” Peter asked.
“Not yet, go on,” I said.
“It’s by a group called refusefascism.org , arguing for a month of resistance, ‘reaching a crescendo by the Jan.20, 2017 Inauguration’.”
“Who’s behind it?”
“A few names I recognize: Cornell West, Bill Ayers, Alice Walker. It doesn’t seem to be connected with the Women’s March.”
“There’s been a lot on the web,” Lucien added, “saying don’t rationalize or give Trump the benefit of the doubt, don’t cooperate, don’t back off – protest, make noise, get involved.”
“Remember the poster on the door at Mississippi Pizza the other night?” I asked. “It defined the place as a safe house, a safe place – inclusive and welcoming all.”
“Yes, that’s going on all over Portland,” Peter added.
“And Seattle – all along the West Coast.”
“And Jerry Brown’s taken a very strong position on rights and the environment – California will ignore Federal actions against the environment and human rights.”
“The good news is Trump’s no Hitler,” I suggested. “Hitler wrote a real book, had a real philosophy, had a vision and plan – albeit demented and evil.”
“Didn’t Brooks have a good take on Trump the other day?” Lucien asked.
“Yes,” I said. “I captured his quotes – just a second.” I opened my new rose pink 2 pound MacBook and read:
“[Trump] has no experience being accountable to anybody. …His statements should probably be treated less like policy declarations and more like Snapchat. They exist to win attention at the moment, but then they disappear.”
“Hitler wasn’t accountable to anyone either – if someone got in his way, he just eliminated them,” Peter said.
“He could’ve been taken out,” I said. “I just read a book titled To Kill the Devil – on the many attempts to assassinate Hitler. He had several very close calls.”
“His death would have changed history in a very positive direction,” Peter said.
“Death is a very effective means,” I suggested, “if it’s accomplished early enough that the victim doesn’t become a martyr.”
“If the death is perceived as ‘accidental’ rather than as an assassination, then martyrdom is an unlikely outcome.”
We all nodded in agreement.
Lucien had to go to his soccer game. Peter and I walked through the Chemistry Building, looking for the box of chemical waste he deposited on the second floor now some 18 months ago. It was gone.
I went back to the library – there was work to do.