A citizens guide to resisting Trump

Our new era of activism

We’re not OK with this.

No matter how you slice it, Trump is a widely unpopular president. And we, the majority of Americans, soundly reject his horse shit.

But we need to do more than read the news and complain. We need to join forces. We need to act. We need, ironically, to “take our country back.” For the majority, here are a few guidelines for how we can protect American democracy from tyranny.

Unify

Our country is uniting around a common enemy — Trump. Any and every American can fight Trump’s agenda every day. That means phone calls, marching, organizing, and getting locally involved. Trump’s biggest fear is that we as a nation will join forces, unite, and reject his hateful agenda.

Let go of your pre-election baggage. Give up any Hillary baggage, any Bernie baggage, any Republican baggage, or any other issues that may have divided us before the election. All hands on deck. We are the anti-Trump nation and we are growing.

Focus on Trump

The problem starts at the top. It’s easy to express disgust of Trump’s henchmen and surrogates, but we need, as a nation, to unify around keeping Trump accountable for his words and actions. Call out his lies. Call out his hypocrisy. Call him out when he dangerously undermines American principles. Never relent.

Push for impeachment. There is plenty of evidence that demonstrates Trump’s violations of the constitution. The goal is to get the impeachment process started. We are the anti-Trump nation.

Trump is at risk of being impeached because of his (alleged) violations of the constitution, like

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press
Conflicts of interest, Emoluments Clause of the Constitution,
Freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment.
Potentially colluding with Russia during Russia’s election tampering.

Respect Trump’s supporters

Trump’s base is angry. It’s tempting to engage them in debate. Remember that there is nothing they hate more than being told they are wrong, uneducated, crazy, or racist. Just don’t do it. Don’t talk down to them. Don’t condescend to them. Don’t judge them.

Our fellow Americans will make their own decisions. Whether they change or don’t change their minds is up to them. Your desire to persuade them is irrelevant. Keep pushing your logic-based position, but do not directly confront those that disagree with you. Assume that about one third of Americans will never agree with us. We are the anti-Trump nation.

Fight for American principles

Trump’s biggest offense is repeatedly attacking fundamental American values. Don’t confuse this fight with Democrats complaining about the the right, or even the alt-right. We will rip-and-replace Trump because we are democracy-loving Americans who reject an authoritarian highjacking of our government.

Now is the time to fight for preserving American principles. Save any conventional progressive vs. conservative arguments for another time. This fight is not about big government vs. hands-off government or pro-life vs. pro-choice. This is about preserving our liberal democracy and not allowing an authoritarian state. We are fighting Trump because he threatens the very definition of America. Remember, he is not just a conservative Republican that conflicts with “liberal elite” ideology. He threatens all of us.

Avoid false equivalence arguments

It’s unproductive to engage in arguments that compare Trump to Obama. A few examples include common arguments like

  • ‘We put up with Obama, now you have to put up with Trump’
  • ‘Respect your president or get out. Show respect’
  • ‘Give him a chance, he’ll stop tweeting and become presidential soon’
  • ‘This is what America voted for. It’s a mandate.’
  • ‘Liberals are snowflakes that don’t work hard’
  • ‘Hillary would have been worse’

These are all irrelevant arguments that assume that the losing side is poorly adjusting to the new Republican government. Reject this line of thinking altogether. Never accept the position that we, the losing majority, should sit back and get used to Trump’s America. The reason this will never happen, and we’ll fight until he’s out of office, is that his agenda consistently contradicts core American principles. We are the anti-Trump nation.

Let the election go

The election was a fascinating turn of historical events worthy of potentially hundreds of books and documentaries: Russian tampering, FBI tampering, voter suppression, a witch hunt for Hillary’s emails, etc. But let someone else write these books. Just let it go, it’s in the past. There’s a much more pressing issue: There’s an incompetent liar with ties to Russia holding the presidency. We are the anti-Trump nation.

Don’t wait for new Democratic leadership

Who will lead us through this progressive movement? Spoiler alert, it’s all of us. There is no one face of the progressive resistance. And there’s no time to stop and wait for an ideal leader to emerge.

Hillary and Obama have been smart to step out of the spotlight. Bernie should do the same. Ironically, current Democratic leaders do not represent the resistance or the future of the Democratic party. Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Schumer — they are doing everything they can, but it’s not enough. New leadership will emerge and catch up with this new swelling progressive movement.

Focus on jobs

If we weren’t lodged deep in a constitutional crisis and dealing with a potentially treasonous president, we’d be focusing on more important issues like infrastructure and job growth.

What IS the future of jobs in America?

The #MAGA tagline implies a nostalgic “bring back the glory days” line of thinking. Bring back coal mining and manufacturing jobs. Push out immigrants who are stealing our high paying jobs. Punish American companies who abandon American workers.

But the real issue is much more complicated.

What is the future of work?

Automation is a reality.
Globalization is a reality.
Global warming and the shift to sustainable energy sources is a reality.

No government policy will reverse those macro trends. The real question, which our past presidents have failed to address is how will America compete in a post-automation, post-globalization, post-fossil-fuel-burning economy?

We just don’t yet know the answer. It’s the fear and uncertainty that has triggered a dangerous wave of populism, nationalism, isolationism, xenophobia, and nativism.

Sadly, our federal government hasn’t come up with a sufficient answer to the question of the rapidly changing work environment. “Regular Americans” felt ignored while Obama passed laws to extend civil inclusion of all Americans. For Trump supporters, giving transgender Americans bathroom rights may have been the last straw.

Once we remove Trump, we can re-focus the national discussion to the future of work: job training, tax breaks for entrepreneurs, and policies that drive innovation and industry growth.

But for now, we’re coming for you, Trump.