Reflections on the transfer of power

By Damien Filer - January 13, 2017

The following is a transcript for a radio commentary provided by Progress Florida Political Director, Damien Filer to Sarasota’s community radio station, WSLR. It will air today, Friday, January 13th. 

This is Damien Filer in Tallahassee with the Progress Florida political report.

Well, it’s Friday the 13th. The moon is full. And in one week Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States.

Get your seatbelts on, folks. We’re about to find out just how much audacity hope really requires. 

Many who, just last fall, were feeling the Bern are now just feeling burned.

Americans from all walks of life are deeply troubled watching what is unfolding with the Trump transition, the hearings for his cabinet nominees and the expanding circle of scandals already engulfing his still yet to be sworn in administration. 

It would appear those of us who believe in our constitution and our rights to an accountable and transparent government of, by and for the people are in for a true test. 

Our democratic ideals, our free press and our core values as Americans hang in the balance in ways we have no precedent for. 

Now and forever, the great experiment of our democracy can only work when we all participate and hold those we elect to serve the American people to account. 

It’s a messy and a fragile experiment. And one that requires regular attention.

And yes, sometimes that’s a drag. And sometimes it’s exhausting. But it’s also a reminder not to take for granted the liberties we enjoy and celebrate in this country, liberties that so many in the world don’t have. 

It means paying attention. Educating ourselves about what’s happening and getting involved by calling and emailing and visiting our elected representatives. Letting them know we’re watching, and we care about climate change and a woman’s right to control her own body. We care about our neighborhood public schools and affordable, quality health care. And we care about who gets a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court. 

You can start by going to ProgressFlorida.org and signing up for a free daily digest of news coverage from around the state on a broad range of topics from politics to health, to education, tax and environmental policy as well as our state and federal courts.

And you can join our network of tens of thousands of Florida activists and participate in our call-in days, actions and events. Our voice is the currency of our democracy. If we don’t use it to invest in the ideals we hold dear we could risk losing them forever.

It is not the time to despair and complain. Rather, it is the time to raise our voice, act and engage. Not to fear what our country may do to us but to ensure we preserve the ideals of this country. 

Happy New Year to my fellow Floridians. I look forward to seeing your name on one of our petitions or joining you for a march or protest or committee meeting at the Capitol. Remember, this land is your land. 

Until next time, from Tallahassee, I’m Damien Filer for Progress Florida.