Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Valentine for America

Yesterday, I sent an email to a number of my friends. I'm reposting it here in the hopes that maybe more people will read it and join me. I'm amending my initial thought this idea should be implemented solely offline. Social media is too powerful of a connector and vehicle to be ignored in this day and age. We've got real work to do.


Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and I’ve been wondering about what present you send the person who has everything? What do you send a person who is perpetually consumed by numbers (confirmed and false) and takes time out of his busy schedule to watch news coverage of his own inauguration and promptly loses his mind when he realizes it might not have been as grand as he imagined? What do you send a person with skin thinner than onion paper?

You send him a message.

I’ve learned over the years that people who feed off attention, combust when people stop giving it to them. I’m asking you to join me in a massive unfollowing and social media blackout of Donald Trump on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram on February 14, 2017. Let’s send him a message in proportion to his feelings of inadequacy toward the election results, by reducing his online presence, refusing to mention him in our own tweets and posts, and generally enjoying a day free of discussing him in any venue. Hell, we might even take that time to do some of the person-to-person organizing we desperately need to do in our country.

He likes to argue that there are nearly 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records. He likes to say he’ll deport all 3 million of them. He’s repeatedly claimed there were 3 million illegal votes cast by undocumented immigrants in the election that cost him the popular vote. He’s very concerned with popularity. If I were a betting man, I’d say his net worth is closer to $3 million than the billions he claims…so let’s reduce his online following by 3 million individuals and let his name go dark on our screens at least for one day.

If we are to have any success in stopping the harm this man is causing, we must starve him of attention. If he wants march toward silencing us, we must to prove to him that at any time we can ignore him.

I stupidly started following him on Twitter during the election and have yet to unfollow him. It’s not hard, I just haven’t done it. When I look at Twitter and go on Facebook, I’m bombarded by his scowl, his arrogance, and the fruits of his destruction. We’re fanning the flames. We’re giving him what he wants. He is fueled by the sound and sight of his own name.

If you’re up for trying something like this, help me by forwarding this email to anyone you know who might be active on social media (even if that’s not you) or who has a wide reaching network. There are about 200 people on this email. If each of you forwards this to your networks we can reach a critical mass in a very short time.

When you forward this to your networks, help us all keep tabs on how many recipients we have by completing this brief, anonymous questionnaire. Lastly, if you do want to post on social media about this campaign, I’d ask you to only post: #SilentValentine. If people ask you about it, then send them the email. 

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day.

p.s Why just social media? I have no illusions that the print and television media are willing to serve the public good unless the public good pays their bills. Their relationship with Trump is one of mutual benefit and has been since his campaign began. I would love for there to be a total media blackout of Donald Trump for an entire day, but I have no reason to believe that mass media outlets would be willing to take the financial hit it would cause them. Social media, on the other hand gains it power and presence through us and our participation as individuals.
If you think you know any print or television media professionals, who might be willing to participate in such a blackout either individually or through their outlets, please forward this to them and copy me (

p.p.s Starving Donald Trump of attention does not equate with a call for silence about the policies and executive actions he is putting forth. In fact, the opposite is true. We must exhaust every option of stopping his ideas from becoming law. Do not stop writing and calling your representatives and senators. Do not stop highlighting the facts he and his followers fail to acknowledge. This is simply a call to exploit his need for public consumption of his presence.

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