May Her Memory Be A Revolution

What a colossal loss.

May her memory be a revolution. 

May our collective sadness become a raging fury of action.

Here in France, we are six hours ahead of New York; nine hours ahead of San Francisco. Often, when I go to bed, I feel a dread about American news I’ll need to face when I wake up. This morning I woke up to panicked texts saying: NOOOOO. IT’S TOO MUCH.

My morning twitter feed ends up being six hours worth of people processing — but shown all at once. There are tweets from 6 hours ago officially announcing her death. Tweets from 5 hours ago wishing her memory will be a blessing. Tweets from 4 hours ago condemning McConnell’s ongoing hypocrisy. Tweets from 3 hours ago with meaningful tributes from those who knew her personally. Tweets from 2 hours ago talking strategy for preventing a replacement before the election. Tweets from 1 hour ago with old footage of Republican senators swearing they would never support a nomination this close to an election. Tweets from 30 mins ago showing record-breaking fundraising for Democrats running for senate. But it’s all mixed in, and the feed shows all of it at once, a deluge in no particular order. 

On Instagram it feels different. While scrolling, I saw many tribute posts for RBG, but no strategy talk or anger or displays of blatant hypocrisy from Republicans — though some of that stuff will for sure show up in Insta stories (including my own).

Probably because of the wave of info that I absorbed from Twitter, I went from weeping like a baby to deep anger in about 20 minutes. I saw a tweet from Natalie Lovin that said: “I’m ready to punch Kavanaugh in the face all over again” and I felt that in my bones. (Two years ago this month the Kavanaugh hearings were happening and they still make me throw up in my mouth whenever I remember them.)

Take a moment. Breathe. 

And then we fight for our country the way Ruth Bader Ginsberg always did for us. 

Check your voter registration. Make a voting plan. Ask your friend to make a voting plan. Share your plans with each other. (You can find my voting plan in my Instagram highlights.) Pick a senate race that’s flippable. Support it any way you can. #BidenHarris2020

22 thoughts on “May Her Memory Be A Revolution”

  1. Thank you Gabby. This expresses so well the sadness and anger I’ve been trying to process since last night. After reading her biography a few years ago, I came to admire her. After watching the documentary I adored her. My life as a woman in the United States is better and I have more opportunities because of her work. She profoundly influenced me for good.

    Today is also Rosh Hashanah. My kids attended a Jewish preschool and one celebration I remember from those days is a table of apples and honey for everyone to eat and wish each other a happy new year filled with sweetness. In large part we have the ability to make that happen based on the people we vote for. Biden said in his town hall this week that he is running as a Democrat but that he would be the president to *all* Americans. We need that leadership across all levels of government.

  2. A woman who literally fought her -entire- adult life to ensure liberty and justice *for all*. She will be the standard for those who will pick up her legacy and keep the work elevated and moving forward.

    She reminded us that she worked tirelessly during her daytime hours, went home to her daughter and from the moment she walked in the door until the time that little girl went to bed, she turned her attention to the good things of family and enjoyed that peace…and when her daughter fell peacefully asleep, she went back to work, preparing for the the day.

    She taught us *how* to fight continuously while maintaining our mental health and finding balance. Her life was one giant textbook on how to really, truly, be free.

  3. RBG fought so hard to stay alive. She knew what McConnell would do. It breaks my heart she felt the need to dictate her wishes to wait on filling her spot. 2020 has been the worst year of my 72 years. But I know what won’t work. Jamming the phone lines at McConnell’s office. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t listen. Surrounding his house and harassing him. We look like terrorists to everyone else. What does work is VOTING! VOTE. Make sure your friends vote. Donate to candidates who can win. Harrison in S.C. can beat Graham. Kelly can win in Arizona. We can defeat Trump. We can take the Senate and keep the House. Over 200,000 Americans are dead from Covid. Trump is happy to change the conversation to SCOTUS. Don’t let him. Focus on the end game.

  4. I’m just so distressed. Policy difference, okay—insane hypocrisy, I can’t. I gasped when I heard the news and then the roll in you described with the almost instantaneous action by the repulsive republicans. I’m so mad and it’s heartbreaking because that leaves such little room for the sadness of her death.

  5. I am alternatively weeping and furious. RBG was such a positive influence on this country. Because of her brilliant mind and persistence, women can have their own checking accounts, sign their own mortgages, and make choices about their own bodies.
    But, Republicans couldn’t even wait more than an hour before shouting that they need to fill her spot as soon as possible. Not only is it disrespectful, it shows that their main goal is to cement their cruel agenda for future generations.
    I have talked to my 13-year-old son about the possible trajectory of this country if we do nothing – what his adult life might be like if we do not fight. He’s so angry that adults are acting like idiots – he wanted to do something, anything.
    We are going to the farmers market tomorrow to register voters. He can’t vote and wants to remind those who can to do so. It’s his future and he doesn’t even have a say….

    1. My son and husband were photographed by the 34th Democrats registering voters. So proud of my very shy 13-year-old – he spent hours walking up to complete strangers, engaging with them and talking about the importance of voting now. He’s such a good young man..

          1. Thank you JF! He’s always been a kind and sweet boy, and his empathy has forced him to work beyond his shyness. A lot of what has happened during the past 4 years has really shocked him. After the 2016 election, he asked to march with me at the Women’s March (when he was 9 years old). He has since joined other peaceful protests – including at an ICE detention center and BLM protests. He’s an activist in the making and we are very proud.

  6. So grateful to you, Gabby, and your readers’ thoughts here too.. Such much courage and wisdom. RBG would want us to be brave and strong and true and to work hard like she did. Let our admiration translate into all kinds of good and useful deeds. Yesterday, for instance, I made big (for me) donations to 12 Democrats running in states where they have a chance to win the Senate races. In RBG’s memory, I sent money to Rev. Warnock (Georgia), John Hickenlooper (Colorado) , Jon Ossoff (Georgia), Cal Cunningham (North Carolina), Dr. Al ,Gross (Alaska), Jaime Harrison (South Carolina), Mark Kelly (Arizona), MJ Hegar (Texas), Steve Bullock (Montana), Sara Gideon (Maine), Theresa Greenfield (Iowa), and Amy McGrath (Kentucky). Much love!

    1. I literally cried in the grocery store parking lot. I am devastated and disgusted at the blatant disrespect from Republicans. I can’t stand their gloating. This has been an awful year. I’m going to hang a picture of RBG in my office to remember her by.

  7. I #ragedonated the last 2 days. It seems like a lot of people did. Act Blue raised almost $200M over 2 days. Even in death, RBG inspired us to keep fighting. Donate, Vote, and get everyone you know to register and vote.

  8. So crushed about the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I hate that her passing is already being tarnished by the greediness of the Republicans. But there are still Republicans out there who can stop this from happening. I copied this from a post on FB:

    Reports say that Lisa Murkowski has already stated she WILL NOT vote for a new supreme court justice until after the next president is in office. Call her!
    Lisa Murkowski: (202) 224-6665 (Hates Trump)
    Mitt Romney: (202) 224-5251 (Hates Trump)
    Susan Collins: (202) 224-2523 (Is going to lose anyway – so should hate Trump)
    Martha McSally: (202) 224-2235 (Vulnerable)
    Cory Gardner: (202) 224-5941 (Vulnerable)
    We have to have FOUR Republican senators who will vote against in order to save the supreme court. Don’t waste your energy complaining to McConnell. Don’t try to reason with him (but you said in 2016…) that is a waste of energy.
    And give a shit-ton of money to every senate candidate we need to win an election and stay in office:
    John Hickenlooper in Colorado.
    Mark Kelly in Arizona.
    Sara Gideon in Maine.
    Cal Cunningham in North Carolina.

    1. Susan Collins has also said she will not vote for a new justice. Calling both Murkowski and Collins to thank them for their stand, encouraging them to hold that ground, and asking them to reach out to their fellow Republicans to do the same is still a good thing to do.

      1. I posted this on my FB page too, and unfortunately, I just heard Gardner said he WILL vote on a new supreme court justice. I hope we can find another Senator to do the correct thing!

  9. So hard to follow RBG’s sage advice: “Don’t be distracted by anger, envy and resentment… these emotions just sap energy and waste time.” But know she’s right and so glad to hear the calls to action from Gabby and everyone for voting, donating, and contacting Senators.

    Just to cope, I’m focusing on how it’s validating to watch individual Republican Senators at yet another fork in the road, and to see how they continue to fall into lock-step behind McConnell/Trump. Damn the hypocrisy or lack of decency… apparently, there is no bottom. It’s been the same watching Trump’s evangelical supporters twist themselves into pretzels defending his every un-Biblical turn. A reckoning is coming and hopefully that’s in 42 days. Love the title of this post.

  10. At this point, after almost 4 years w/ Trump, re: the anger: I want complete and total revenge, particularly in light of Merrick Garland. I don’t want the Dem leaders to do anything corrupt and I don’t want any cheating (contra today’s current GOP), but I want a scorched-earth approach and to completely and totally destroy today’s GOP, because it is a danger to democracy itself. I’m a former R voter, back when it actually stood for truth and justice. Now? I want McConnell’s smug smirk wiped off his face. I want them to howl. We’ve been too nice. Sorry, Michelle. We don’t want to go high anymore. Let’s go low–lower than McConnell, even. (Well, not really, because that isn’t actually possible). No mercy. None.

  11. Dear Gabby,

    I’m a long time reader, but I don’t usually comment. I should have written long ago to thank you for your courage and clarity. In the hopes that I can also contribute some inspiration, I’m sharing here some correspondence that I’ve sent to US senators in the past day or so, some of which explains why I have donated to their opponents. For anyone who feels inspired to convey similar thoughts, please borrow liberally.

    To Senator Graham: In the spirit of open dialogue, I thought I would share that I just made a donation to Jaime Harrison’s campaign as part of an ongoing lesson to my children about the importance of integrity. I told my six-year-old daughter and my eight-year-old son that you are a powerful person who made a promise to the American people, and that you broke that promise as soon as it was convenient for you to do so. I explained to them that we would ordinarily not contribute to political campaigns in South Carolina, and indeed have never done so before, but that it in this special circumstance it was our duty to help the people of South Carolina send someone to the United States Senate whose word can be trusted. I will continue to support Jaime Harrison as much as I am able in the coming weeks, and will encourage my friends and family across the country to do the same.

    To Senator Martha McSally: In the spirit of open dialogue, I thought I would share that your tweet about the selection of Justice Ginsburg’s successor inspired me to contribute to Mark Kelly’s campaign. Although I was offended by the tweet, it did serve as a useful reminder that I need to be paying more attention to senate races in other states, and for that I thank you. Although I am not an Arizona voter, I am eager to work with Arizonans to send someone to the US Senate that values our democracy and will discharge the duty to protect it. I will continue to support Mark Kelly as much as I am able in the coming weeks, and I will encourage my friends and family to do the same.

    To Senator Cory Gardner (my senator): I feel strongly that Justice Ginsburg’s successor should be chosen by the winner of the 2020 election. This is a principle you should recognize because it is one you embraced clearly in 2016. It is time for you to acknowledge that, rather than trying to avoid legitimate questions from your constituents about this issue. We all know what you said in 2016, and we want to know whether you will stand by it. We are growing impatient waiting for you to figure out which way the wind is blowing under the pretense of taking time to “reflect” and “mourn.” It is obvious that you are dodging the issue while you make your calculations as to what is most favorable for your re-election prospects. Coloradans are fed up with this habit of yours. Commit to a position, communicate it to your constituents as is your duty, and face the consequences like an adult.

  12. Such a loss. She was an amazing woman. And yes, I am so angry that they have the nerve, against her last wish, to try to fill her position.

  13. I just watched a documentary about this amazing woman and I now understand what a loss she is, for your country. And especially with the elections coming.
    Have you heard of the french lawyer, Gisèle Halimi, who recently passed (she was 803 I think), a very strong woman also who has won important fights for women’srights, here in France. These women warrior are so important for the youngest generations, so inspiring. I am really sorry for your great loss.

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