How to get involved in the resistance against Donald Trump
In the coming weeks and months, Californians will be challenged to live up to their best, their highest ideals in the face of a relentless campaign of division, hatred and propaganda emanating from Trump’s administration. It will be tempting to sit back, hide one’s head in the sand and simply try to wish away the storm. That’s not good enough. We must be vigilant, engaged, committed and determined to resist.
Here are five call-to-action steps Californians can—and should—take in the next four years:
1. Don’t shy away from the fray: We must make our voices heard and our protests seen. Nonviolent resistance—demonstrations, pickets and so on—will be vital in keeping the progressive flame alive in an era of intolerance.
2. Engage in consumer boycotts: Companies that collaborate with Trump’s agenda—taking part, say, in the building of Muslim registry databases—must know that empowered consumers will hit their bottom line in response.
3. Go on the political offensive: Create a better, fairer counternarrative by embracing workplace protection laws, a higher minimum wage and universal health care. As the remnants of the Great Society and the New Deal come under sustained assault, progressives must convince voters that their policy ideas are better and more socially just.
4. Create space: Turn houses of worship, university campuses, schools and local neighborhoods into de facto sanctuaries, places where communities will work to protect immigrants and that will be readily mobilized. Do this via smartphone and social media messaging as a way to resist roving deportation squads, vigilantes and those willing to inflict violence on Muslims and other targeted minorities.
5. Build a counterculture: Begin envisioning a true, across-the-board alternative to the Trumpian world by creating health clinics that will provide care to those who stand to lose their health insurance; finding ways to keep private funds flowing to organizations such as Planned Parenthood as federal funds are withdrawn; creating consumer networks to support companies that pay their workers a living wage and provide decent benefits; creating art that stresses our common humanity rather than buying into Trump’s divide-and-rule strategy; making consumer choices that help rather than hurt the environment during an era in which the federal government will be waging a war on the environment.
Californians can do this. We are big enough to create our own narrative—and to draw much of the country into our progressive orbit.