One year after Trump’s electoral college win and resounding popular vote defeat (never forget), there are still daily headlines about Twitter shenanigans that border on declarations of war, budget cuts that gut vital services for millions of Americans and Trump appointees and nominees who are not even remotely qualified for their titles.
It follows that a feeling of helplessness could threaten to overtake the masses. Not everyone is a left-leaning billionaire with the discretionary cash to spend millions on a TV ad campaign to impeach Trump. And not everyone has the desire or resources to “be the change” and run for office. But fret not, there are accessible, practical ways for the everyday person to not only survive the Trump administration, but resist, thrive, and ultimately push 45 and his feckless cronies out of Washington and the various local offices throughout the country.
Given the state of the world, tweeting might seem like a frivolous time-wasting activity, but it is an important and far-reaching tool that 45 has used successfully to intimidate, ridicule and spread misinformation. Twitter is 45’s favorite playground to hurl childish insults at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and black athletes [PLEASE INSERT LINK HERE]. And it’s the platform he uses to dispense his barely decipherable word salad that often has something to do with “fake news” (aka cold hard facts that are not in his favor). While it’s tempting to retweet his ridiculous commentary with an eye-roll emoji or some other mocking word or graphic choice, try beating down his tomfoolery with facts.
Even when Trump is right about something, he still manages to be wrong. For example, when Trump tweets about how bad the picture of Senator Al Franken groping a sleeping woman is (it is bad), an appropriate response to that is to retweet his comment with a link to the audio of Trump gleefully bragging about grabbing women by the p*$$y. Or when Trump takes to Twitter to gloat about employment gains or economic surges that were actually engineered during the Obama administration, be sure to tweet back with facts. Do not let misinformation and flat out lies become accepted, unchallenged truth. Use resources like AP FactCheck to separate real news from fake news.
Register to Vote (and Help Others Get Registered)
In order to be an educated voter, you have to be a regular ol’ voter first, so that means getting registered and depending on the state, that can be a daunting task. While some states like New York, offer online voter registration options and allow convicted felons to vote as long as they are not currently on parole, other states have different requirements. Arizona, for example, has been accused of illegally blocking voters by requiring “proof of citizenship” documents such as a birth certificate or passport in order to vote in state and local elections.
Many states also require registration a month or even several months before election day and that means that people needing those documents, might miss the deadline because of typical governmental red tape. Sometimes citizens who are registered, get to the polls and find themselves not on the voting rolls. The Ohio ACLU claims that the buckeye state’s voter roll purging kicks off eligible voters and disproportionally those who are poor and economically disadvantaged. The moral of the story is to find out your state voter registration guidelines well before the election and use sites like Vote.org to do it. The 2018 mid-term elections seem far away, but now is the time to get started. Tell a friend!
Be a Loud, Proud, Educated Voter
The swift career/life takedowns of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., and an ever-growing list of Hollywood stars accused of sexual harassment and/or assault provides a possible blueprint for doing the same with politicians and political grievances. Roy Moore, a U.S. Senate hopeful from Alabama, is having his #metoo moment thanks to numerous women coming forward accusing him of sexual misconduct towards them when the women were teenagers and Moore was an adult. Even with his R. Kelly-like response to whether or not he dated teenagers, it remains to be seen if Alabama voters are disgusted enough to keep Moore out of office.
However, bringing down a celebrity or politician doesn’t have to be about sexual deviancy. How about being loud, disruptive and impossible to ignore about the political slights committed by politicians from hyper-local to the national stage? Countable helps constituents stay in the know with local, state, and federal legislation and also provides direct contact information for elected officials.
Instead of being the person trading hyperbolic barbs with a clueless Trump supporter who consistently votes against her own interests (53% Really?), focus on spreading the truth about the people in office. Spreading the truth requires having knowledge and that means digging in on Countable, your city and state official websites, and knowing who represents you, how they represent you, and what you can expect on your next ballot. How many times have you gone to the polls and been confronted with a ballot measure you knew nothing about or a hyper-local elected position that you didn’t even know existed? That stops now. Dig for the facts, share your knowledge, and vote accordingly. If nothing else, just listen to Black women. We’re always right. You’re welcome for Virginia.