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Today, It Starts

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Politics | January 23, 2017 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Politics | January 23, 2017 |

Over one percent of the American population was in the streets protesting this weekend. That was incredible, it was historic. But it was not the end, nor even really the beginning.

Today, it starts.

And we can take a few days to bask in what happened. We can retweet the devastating snark, pass around the photos of triumphant signs and vast crowds. But we cannot take a victory lap, because this weekend was not the game, set, or match, but merely the entry into the arena and the thrill of seeing the crowd roar to its feet. So we can take a moment to revel, but only a moment.

Because today, it starts.

The drama is the easy part. The big actions and sweeping speeches. The crowds surging at barriers and singing chants and waving signs. But history is not made in moments but in months. By the slow accumulation of irresistible force. A thousand failed movements are remembered through tears, because they blazed for that moment, but died in the months. This moment is done, and there will be others, but only if first come the hard months.

And today, it starts.

Dictators win because they are patient, because they sit atop the hill and wait out the forces arrayed against them. Because people have to go home, they have to feed their kids, go to their jobs, while the dictator has no such compunction. He reclines on his throne and waits for the exhaustion to take hold. For normalcy to reassert control over the lives of the little people. Dictators don’t fall in extraordinary circumstances, but in the normal. Because we make challenging authority normal, because we make democracy normal.

So today, it starts.

Every day, add another moment to the growing pile. Every day, take a small action. Whether it’s to donate, to send an email, to make a phone call, to take ten minutes to find an organization that can tell you what small act to take tomorrow. But do something, every single day. Be able to say, today, I did this.

And today, it starts.

Nothing you do individually will matter, and that is how they will always try to grind you down. The enemies of democracy will always tell you how powerless you are, how your little rebellions and efforts are all for naught. Their sneers are masks for their terror. They know that their only weakness is death by a thousand cuts, and so that is your mission: not to slay the dragon yourself, but to be that thousandth cut.

Because today, it starts.

It’s not the thundering tsunami that wipes away the grotesque machine of power, but the slow and ever mounting rise of the entire ocean. The water pushes its cold pressure in from all sides, worming its tendrils in through the entire structure, so that when the next wave comes, the foundation falters. So gather your strength now, and make your first cut today, so that years from now when the months are forgotten and we only remember the moments, we will be able to point to this day and say:

Today, it started.

Dr. Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at You can email him here.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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