So That Happened. What Now? Time to Take Political Action.
Our electoral college is soon to confirm a climate-change denying, racist, misogynist, free-press, jeering nationalist to the nation’s highest office. It’s a fear-filled outcome for some, especially those who have already been targeted throughout the Trump campaign. Many minorities, women, Muslims, and other non-Christians are now holding their collective breath waiting for the next shoe to drop. Will deportation squads start rounding up immigrant families and sending them “away” — wherever that is? Is Roe v. Wade in danger of being overturned? How about marriage equality? And what will so many low-income folks do about healthcare when Obamacare is repealed?
Yes, there is much to worry about. No doubt a few, if not many, bad things are going to happen. But to paraphrase the wise Edmund Burke, hope is only lost when good people do nothing. Our country, our environment, your neighbors, and Information Press need your help in doing something — lots of somethings, in fact. Looks like it’s time to take political action.
Information Press has long been a strong advocate for the environment and will continue to spread the word about climate change and citizen activism. We are also advocates for minority and women’s rights, religious freedom, and LGBTQ rights. In the wake of this shocking and potentially disastrous presidential election, it’s more important than ever to work for the causes you believe in. It’s easy to become overwhelmed as each day brings new concerns. White nationalists, climate change – and science – deniers are being tapped to fill key White House positions. What can citizens do to help mitigate the fallout of a presidency that’s shaping up to be one of the most anti-progressive in modern history?
When They Go Low, Take Political Action!
One – First, honor your mourning process. Take the time you need to wrap your head around the election results. We all know it’s going to okay, but we don’t all come to being okay at the same time. Survivors of sexual assault and others are experiencing triggers of PTSD, immigrant families are living in fear they’ll be separated or sent back to dangerous environments, seniors are terrified about losing the Social Security and Medicare they depend on for basic financial survival. It’s not about one side’s candidate losing, it’s about who won, and the fears are real. Avoid people who tell you to “get over it.” Move at your own pace, just remember that you can’t grieve forever.
Two – Act! Donate your time and money to a cause you support. There are many worthy causes that need your help, but no one can do everything. Perhaps this election can spur you into following up with a long-held interest. What are you passionate about – the environment, helping the needy, or increasing religious tolerance? Now is the time to follow that passion! Planned Parenthood, the Anti-Defamation League, Earth Justice, Earth Day Alliance, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the NAACP, and yes, Information Press, are just a few organizations that need your help. Click here for a more comprehensive list.
Three – Boycotting is an easy but effective way to take political action and make your voice heard. Don’t shop with businesses who support policies or politicians you find offensive or dangerous. Turn up the volume on your boycott and send the business a note (be kind) to let them know why you won’t be spending your money with them anymore. Here’s a list of businesses that promote Trump brands to get you started.
Four – Take it to the street. Peaceful protest is a protected constitutional right of American citizens. Never doubt it’s also a powerful tool of change. Protests increase visibility for a cause, demonstrate the power and solidarity of the people, energize participants to do more, and are a great place for networking with other activists. If you’re moved to join or organize a group protest follow these guidelines from Veterans for Peace.
Five – Advocate. Tensions may be high for the next several months with many people fearing a rise in hate crimes and violence. Befriend a Muslim or Latino family who may be worried about deportation and offer your support. Consider this list of suggestions to help speak out against racism every day. It’s not necessary or even smart to confront an aggressor. Call 911 immediately when you see a verbal or physical attack. Stand by a victim and let them know they’re not alone. Stay with them and help them get to a safe place. Film the incident if it’s safe to do so. Remember, silence equals complicity.
Six – Show up and sign up. Feeling cheated by the Electoral College, the American voting system, or two-party politics? Stay mad! A lot of passion has been displayed this political season, but if the past is any indicator, most Americans will become complacent again soon after the new president is inaugurated. Start or continue working for changes in our political system now, not in two or four years. Connect with grassroots organizations. Call your preferred party headquarters or visit change.org to learn more about political actions that need your support. Calling your elected representatives to let them know where you and your vote stand on specific issues is also important.
Seven – Support the free press. There are many legitimate reasons to be disappointed with and distrustful of the media right now, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need them. In fact, when a presidential candidate limits press access, encourages rally crowds to turn and boo the press box, and suggests the U.S. should adopt oppressive British-style libel laws, protecting the freedom of the press seems more urgent than ever. Do apply your own critical thinking skills to all news reports but especially those found on the Internet and through social media sharing. Check your sources; don’t spread false information. Be willing to pay for print or online subscriptions to reputable news outlets and donate to free journals such as Information Press.
Lastly, stay positive. It’s just one election. Some of the policy victories progressives have worked so hard to win are going to be undone – it’s inevitable. But the pendulum keeps swinging. Life is still good. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and take political action.