This Is Not OK
Disclaimer: We would not normally use any part of our entertainment company to make a political statement, but we do not believe these are normal times. And a part of us is wondering if dividing these things was ever the right choice. Even if you are a registered republican we hope that you will take the time to consider this statement.
We are deeply disturbed by the events of the last few days. Nothing like this has ever happened in our lifetimes, nor our parents’ lifetimes. We are scared, and sad, and angry.
On January 11th, the incoming President-Elect held a press conference that was attended by as many applauding and paid staff (Business Insider) as it was actual press. The Russian Law Firm of the Year (Fortune) took over halfway through, and filled a table with folders of blank paper (The Independent) in lieu of an actual ethics review (Washington Post). The President-Elect refused to divest their business interests (Vanity Fair), and laid out a plan to launder foreign bribes through the state department (LA Times) instead.
All that in a single hour of news. This is not OK.
At 1am on January 12th, after enacting certain procedures that allow parties to pass votes without a supermajority, and the House banning the Congressional Budget Office from investigating the real costs (Salon) of these changes, the Senate voted 51-48 in favor of repealing Affordable Care Act protections (Wall Street Journal) for pre-existing conditions, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, keeping kids on their parents insurance until age 26, and contraceptive access for women. While this was “just” a procedural measure, and does not yet affect the law, it bodes poorly for the millions of US citizens, including our company, our collaborators, our friends, and our family, that have come to rely on these rights. Rights acknowledged by every industrialized nation in the world except the United States, who still lags in quality of care, access to care, and cost of care.
This is not OK.
America is a plural democratic republic – the only one in the world. We are unique in some ways. We have some unique challenges. We have some unique struggles. We have a plurality of perspectives. Finji’s co-founders grew up in rural Michigan, in tiny towns, but we also lived in some big cities. We’ve seen a lot of things and known a lot of different brilliant folks from all walks of life. We respect a healthy debate, and understand that compromise is not just a necessary reality but the way progress happens.
But what we’re seeing now is not that. This is not compromise. An unpopular President-Elect is about to take office and preside over a single-party government that has no concern for the health and welfare of their constituents. A party that just demonstrated they unequivocally value tax cuts for the hyper-rich over the survival of the poor. A party that came to and maintains power through abusing the Voting Rights Act, gerrymandering districts into oblivion, legislating against incoming lawmakers, and leveraging the slave-state-favoring power of the Electoral College. By establishing a majority in all three branches of government, they now have the power to legislate without opposition.
This is not OK.
The last 48 hours have shown what they intend to do with their power, and that they’re capable of following through. Our official statement is below. Please consider though that we understand that there are nuances and subtlety to governance that are hard to address in a single press release. We have serious problems ourselves with the Affordable Care Act. We understand that corruption is widespread in both parties, and that much of the harm that has come to pass this week is directly attributable to the passivity, weakness, and greed of the Democratic Party. We acknowledge all these things, but still feel it is important to make this statement:
We condemn the actions of this new government.
We condemn the actions of the President-Elect.
We condemn the President-Elect’s cabinet appointments.
We question the legitimacy of the methods by which they have gained control of our former democratic republic.
Thank you and good luck.
Note: some folks have rightly expressed concern with Finji being both a company and publicly expressing a “political opinion.” It may surprise the reader to discover that we too believe that it is wrong for business and politics to mix. Unfortunately, that is the status quo in the US. We ardently hope for a time when we do not have to speak up, but as it stands, this post is a grain of sand next to millions of dollars in deeply corrupt lobbying and campaign finance and billions of dollars in government subsidies to factory farms, fossil fuel megacorporations, and other industries. This post is next to nothing, but we will still be proud to delete it when it is no longer necessary.