“Resistance” is the word of conviction in Seattle lately. The election of Donald Trump has sent some into a frenzy, taking every action possible to show their outrage and disapproval of his administration. Most recently, the Seattle City Council got on board to “Trump-Proof Seattle” with the passing of an income tax on the wealthiest citizens in the city. The goal of said tax was to be prepared if Trump pulls federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities, and chip away at the city’s “regressive tax system.” We’re yet to see if the funding will actually be used for either.
But let’s face it. This is all a distraction. A way to pander to louder constituents while making grand gestures without any real impact. The question remains if this time-consuming act does anything to help Seattle’s urgent issues. As an aspirational stoic, I am reminded of a passage from one of the most famous Stoics, Marcus Aurelius.
“Does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
The best answer to an administration you disagree with is simple: do your job. Be a good person. Act with self-control and contribute to your community. Aurelius reminds us in his timeless prose, if we all stay focused doing our work, and doing what is right, there will be no need to “resist.”
Before Trump was ever elected president, Seattle had a growing homelessness issue. Before Trump took office, our chronic traffic congestion was only getting worse. Way before Trump was even the Republican nominee, housing affordability was a hot topic in Seattle. None of that has changed. There is still much work to be done, regardless of who is in the White House. With the exception of the ill-executed Travel Ban, nothing from the White House has really had a direct impact on our city. And if we were to use the travel ban as an example, it was the fact federal judges did their job that the Trump Administration is taking this case all the way to SCOTUS.
You may be tired of the childish tweets. You may be concerned about what’s happening with Russia. You might be worried about the overall incompetence. It can be tempting to be “outraged” and to make bold gestures, but none of that will help Seattle. The best thing you can do is your small part. Take care of your family. Work hard and with integrity. Volunteer in your community. Stay informed on local politics. Do your job.