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4 Questions to prepare you for post-election chaos - John Bergen

We are now less than two weeks out from the election. I cannot count the number of conversations I have had, with community members, church folk, family, and friends about this moment. Asking ourselves, “What will we do in this or that scenario?”


This is a time of great fear and uncertainty. Perhaps the hardest thing, for me at least, is that I do not know what will happen. No analysis can fully predict what will emerge from this maelstrom of pandemic, white supremacy, voter suppression, hatred, and fear. And so it is easy for our nervous systems to take over. We can feel overwhelmed, stuck, and terrified.


To navigate this moment, I am asking myself four questions, and I offer them to you as well.


One: What are the spiritual practices I need to navigate this moment? I am returning to prayers and sacred texts that I have memorized, spiritual tools I can carry with me to face whatever is coming. I am returning to breath. I am returning to song, humming through my days. I am returning to my ancestors and their brave commitments to nonviolence.


Two: What are my priorities for action? I could prioritize using my energy to provide support to those who are most at risk in the event of violence or a coup, those who will face ICE raids, police violence, military violence, disruption of necessary medical services, loss of food. I could prioritize holding the politicians I vote for accountable through organizing, protest or direct action. I could prioritize protecting my community from white supremacist violence. Any of these, or any combination, could be right for me. They require different preparation.


Three: Who is on my team? Who am I checking in with in the days leading up to and the weeks after the election? Who am I going to protests with? What are our agreed-upon risks in different scenarios?


Four: What is my safety plan? This is important for all of us, and I imagine that many of you who are most at risk have already made these plans. Who is checking in on me, stopping by my house if I don’t return texts for a day? Do I have food and other supplies stocked in case of martial law? Do I have a place to go to get out of the city? Out of the country? Who can offer me financial support, logistical support? And for those of us with immense privilege: Can we offer shelter, financial support, logistical support?


We don’t know what comes next. We can plan, we can pray, and we can prepare. May the God who brought your ancestors through walk with you in this moment.


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