Yep, Donald Trump is our next president. Are you pissed off? Are you galvanized? Are you wondering what you can do to fight the impending atrocities? Good. Get off of Facebook and do these things now and for the next four years:
1. Hit the streets. Protest. Join peaceful demonstrations and meditation meet-ups and whatever other public gatherings you can find, to demonstrate to the world that this man does not speak for you. In addition to just making you feel damn good being surrounded by like-minded freedom fighters, it shows the world and the president-elect that he does not have a mandate and that he has work to do to unite the country. I just booked a flight to Washington DC to participate in the Million Women March the day after the presidential inauguration, and I can’t wait.
2. Get Involved. Pick a group that fights for the issues that you care about and donate your time or your money to them. These orgs have the existing infrastructure and political networks to fight the Trump administration:
- If you are concerned about the rise in hate crimes since the election, donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Anti-Defamation League.
- If you are worried about Trump appointing anti-abortion judges, donate to Planned Parenthood or NARAL.
- If you are worried about families being broken up by deportations, contribute to the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund.
- If climate change stresses you out the most, get involved in the National Resources Defense Council or the Center for Biological Diversity.
- If you care about keeping LGBTQ youth safe from harm, donate to the Trevor Project.
- If you want to fix the long-term problem of protecting voting rights, contribute to the Fair Elections Legal Network and follow the new organization that President Obama says he will be leading after he is out of office.
- And if you can’t decide which issue is more important to you, get involved with the American Civil Liberties Union, which works on a wide variety of civil rights issues.
If you can, make a recurring donation, even if it’s small, because these organizations will need more than just a one-time boost to staff the fuck up.
Can’t afford it, you say? I have an idea. Make a donation instead of flying home for Christmas. That way you don’t have to spend quality time with your Trump-loving relatives AND you can feel extra good about where your money went. As comedian John Oliver has suggested, you can make your donation in the name of those same relatives. Your Christmas shopping is done and it’s only November! Kill two very angry birds with one stone.
3. Support paid journalism. Our first line of defense against tyranny is well-funded investigative journalism. Newspapers have been struggling to stay alive in the face of crappy-ass websites that provide fake news for free (I see you, Breitbart and BuzzFeed), and this has contributed to the culture that actually elected a Twitter troll as President of the United States. I subscribe to the NY Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, KQED public radio, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and I am proud to do it. The price of freedom is only about $5-$15 per month. What a bargain!
4. Read the newspaper every day. Every time I read the phrase “President-Elect Donald Trump,” I throw up a little in my mouth. So I totally understand the instinct to bury your head in the sand and pretend it’s going to be alright. Well guess what? It’s not going to be alright, and your country needs you to stay engaged, to man the barricades. But the only way to do this is to know what the fuck is going on. And get out of your Facebook newsfeed bubble, because you know that is why Trump was able to beat us: unicorns and kitten videos and reassurances by Nate Silver that everything would be OK. Guess what, Nate Silver. Everything is not OK.
5. Notice hate crimes. They are on the rise thanks to Trump’s despicable rhetoric on the campaign trail, and now bigots have been emboldened by his election. Even here in leftiest-of-leftist San Francisco, we are seeing racist and xenophobic activity in our community. We have to be fierce in protecting our fellow citizens and stand up to this behavior. When you see a woman in a hijab being threatened on the bus or in the grocery store, rush to her side. Take pictures, take video, take notes. If your community has a hate crimes hotline, report what you saw. And if your community doesn’t have a hotline, call the police.
6. Elect more women. I can’t even believe that in 2016, only six states have female governors, and women only hold 19% of congressional seats. Trump’s election has made it even more urgent to get more women in elective office to fight against gender discrimination and rape culture. As actor Jeffrey Wright tweeted, “May the election of Trump bring forth the fiercest, smartest, toughest generation of ass-kicking women this country could possibly imagine.” Damn straight. Here’s what you can do: (1) Run for office yourself, (2) encourage women you know to run, or (3) donate to the Emerge program, a kickass organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office.
7. Stay Angry. Do not become complacent. It is a natural human instinct to calm down after an initial shock wears off, to normalize a totally unacceptable thing and learn to live with it. Already, I have friends who have said to me “Maybe he won’t be that bad,” and “Let’s give him a chance.” FUCK NO. Give him a chance to do what? To stack the Supreme Court with reality TV judges? To take away the health insurance of 16.4 million Americans? To accelerate our climate-induced doom? FUCK NO.
As Edmond Burke said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
See you in the streets, friends. Let’s do this.