As we enter what could be a period of violent upheaval in this country, you might want to think about how you would react in various scenarios.
The ABC show "What Would You Do?" plays with light versions of social issues, but the legitimization of white nationalism, sexism, LGBTQ-phobia and strong-arm tactics in general coming out of the recent presidential campaign has already spawned incidents of violence.
The wonderful Women's Marches all over the country and in the world in general made a commendable display of peaceful protest. However, the climate in authoritarian circles, and in the right wing, is not at all receptive to protest demonstrations.
What would you do if law enforcement covering a demonstration opened fire with automatic weapons? Would you back down immediately, take cover, and run? Or would you march forward to be mowed down, as a rebuke to the vestiges of conscience left in the world? If you fled on the first day, would you come back for a second day? If you fled on the first day, would you begin to organize for civil war?
What would you do if you saw a group of white people beating up a brown person? A non-heterosexual person? A Jewish person? What would you do? How would you intervene, if at all?
What would you do if Jewish businesses were vandalized and ransacked in your town? What about Muslim businesses?
What would you do if lynching began again, law enforcement did not investigate, and district attorneys did not prosecute? What would you do if perpetrators who did face token trials always went free?
The current administration drew heavily on the influence of paranoia and hatred to build momentum for their campaign. They used voters disenfranchised by corporate influence, economically burdened by overpopulation and by technological advancement, feeding the popular myths about poor people, dark people, unfamiliar religions, and government conspiracies to advance the real conspiracy, which is corporate dominance of political, social, and economic life.
What would you do if oligarchy took over your country and you still had to look the word up every time you heard it, or just ignore it and hope it goes away?
It will start so slowly that you can easily tell yourself it's going nowhere. And it may really simmer down. But if it doesn't, you should have some idea what you would do.