What It Means to Be Brave

I’ve been traveling this past week and heard that June 15th was the date set as the Impeachment Day of Action. I wasn’t going to protest because I didn’t have a sign and I thought, “Well, I blog and write about it all the time so that’s my contribution.”

But then something changed. I saw a comment online about people being apathetic and I saw how this comment was being trolled by Trump supporters. To me, every troll comment counts as maybe 1/10th of a person, because trolls use multiple accounts. Trolls aren’t real life. I would know this as well as anyone, after what I have been through.

When I went on Discovery, Discovery warned me that they use trolls to spy on their reality show participants. And before I went on Discovery, I blew a whistle on a human trafficking ring that uses trolls. So let’s just say, I am no stranger to being trolled. I was getting trolled before I became famous. Every time I say anything, write anything, I get trolled some more. I have trolls upon trolls who spy on my blog and spied on my social media when I used it, whose sole purpose is to go online onto forums like Reddit to talk shit about me.

But you know what? That means they fear me. For just one little person like me to provoke so much trolling actually means a lot. It means they fear the things I have to say. They project that fear by cyber bullying.

I realized, “Trolls are just imaginary. They are figments of my imagination.” Well, trolls are a combination of bots and real people sitting in office buildings and getting paid to spread divisiveness and mistrust, as well as the now ambiguous term “fake news” and propaganda, etc, etc, etc. Some trolls are just unhappy adolescents sitting in their parents’ houses and trying to boost their self-esteem from pressing buttons. Trolls like to find big words and parrot them to make themselves sound smarter.

Trolls like to feel big.

And we know, after the 2 1/2 year FBI investigation, that trolls are actually very real. They are real, yet they are not. They are real only if you let them control the narrative.

And the truth is, trolls are cowards. Trolls only feel emboldened to troll because they gang up on certain individuals together, in a concerted effort. Trolls feel powerful because they are a part of a larger network of bullies. And groups of bullies try to silence other people. They try to spread fear and apathy.

True courage is being able to stand up on your own and say what is right, what is true. True courage is not needing to hide behind or within a group of other people in order to feel like you belong.

So I went and got myself a poster board. And then I went to the center of the town I was in, parked by the intersection, and stood up through my sun roof during rush hour traffic. I held my sign with the simple word, “IMPEACH,” on it, as high as my arms would reach.

I stood there for hours, completely silent. I stood there with my shoulders back, with a smile on my face when I could bare it. It’s hard to smile when you really think about what is happening to our Democracy. I stood there and alternated the direction I held my sign so that cars from four directions could read it.

It has been proven that protesting works. Protesting works the way the media works. When people see visuals that go along with words and dialogue, they think. That is why TV programming is called programming. Protesting in person has a greater impact because it is real. It is tangible. Protesting and holding signs, as simple as it sounds, provokes people to think. It gets people to vote. It forces people to see.

People were honking. They were occasionally shouting, “IMPEACH!” I just stood there.

I’d as might as well have been naked.

I was standing there, all by myself, with waves of about 200 cars at a time stopping at the light. I felt vulnerable. I have been to many road rallies in the past as one of a group of people. I have organized road rallies and provided poster boards and water and pizza for the protestors. But this time, I was alone.

Was I alone because people had become apathetic? Was I alone because many people were not aware that we were protesting today? I was in a strange town. I didn’t know anyone. I was alone.

A young man walked up to me and started calling me “stupid.” He said, “You’re just eating up fake news, FAKE NEWS!”

I replied, “Have you read the Mueller Report?”

He said, “No! I don’t need to! Nothing happened!”

I replied, “The Mueller Report found ten proven and detailed instances of criminal obstruction. The DOJ policy is that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. Do you—”

And this young man interrupted me again to shout “FAKE NEWS!”

Trump has told almost 11,000 verified lies since his inauguration.

Not wanting to go into the fact that this man was completely ignorant of current events, I turned away from him and stared at the intersection while he kept yelling at me. I was silent.

Inside, I was thinking, “The Mueller Report proved 10 cases of obstruction of justice and did not come to a conclusion because it is prohibited for Mueller to do so. Mueller passed the baton onto the House of Representatives. And impeachment is a process. It goes from the House and then the Senate votes on it. The Senate, run by Mitch McConnell, is stopping every single resolution from the House in its tracks. The Senate is complicit in Trump’s criminality. God, boy, you need to do some learning.”

But this person was being insulting. He was not interested in having a conversation, and I was busy being brave for the tens of thousands of other people in this town that did not have the time or balls to be brave themselves.

I was standing there, representing tens of thousands of people and all their testicles. With the strength and courage of ten thousand bright and shining pairs of testicles, I stood there all on my own.

And then I felt it. It started in my chest and radiated through my soul.

“IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP!” I said.

Honks.

“IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP!”

People started yelling from their cars, “IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP!” and more honks ensued.

“IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP!”

With every statement, I could feel a light inside me, rising up my spine. I could feel something indescribable. I continued:

“IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP! IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP!”

Oh yes, I said those words. I said those words loud and clear. And the people around me started chiming in. You would not believe the reaction that thousands of people can have to one lone protestor.

People were practically climbing out their windows to shout back “Impeach him! Not my president*!” Claps and cheers and honks echoed through the streets.

One. Lone. Protestor.

Do you feel me?

That is what it means to be brave.

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