Ten Things You Can Do Now to Fight Back

Like so many of you, I have been reeling since the catastrophic election. But it's been almost a week now and it's time to look forward to what we can do. And there are some things.

Support a Free, Professional and Independent Press

As infuriating as press coverage of this election was, we need to realize that abuses of power must be met by well-funded, independent journalism. We've seen the alternative -- the faux news that has turned so many Americans away from the idea that there are facts and truth, making them vulnerable to accepting any nonsense that fits their own narrative. We need to support real journalism.

1. Buy a paid subscription to a newspaper or news magazine. There are still many excellent choices. You can choose home delivery or digital versions, but pay up.

2. Do the same for everyone on your gift list. Get them the Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Economist, or your town's daily newspaper.

3. Join a call for identifying professional journalistic standards by which all news sources can be measured and the creation of an industry board that can certify journals as meeting those standards. The logo or certification link can be posted on websites, FB posts and memes to let us know this is a serious source.

Support Non-profit Organizations that are Keyed Up to Fight Abuses

Whether climate change, reproductive rights, hate crimes, human rights, foreign policy or corruption are your biggest concerns about the incoming administration, there are capable organizations with energy and experience that stand ready to fight back. They need your donations and whatever time you have to offer.

4. Make a donation -- preferably a recurring monthly donation -- to the organizations that are doing the work you most want to see step up. I chose the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center. Choose who you like, but give your support.

Ensure that 2018 Ends GOP Control of Congress

The GOP control of all three branches of government is the biggest threat to progressive ideals and, frankly, the planet. In 2018 -- in spite of gerrymandering and voter suppression -- we have to take back the majorities.

5. If you live in a GOP Congressional district or a state with one or more GOP Senators, get involved now with the campaign of a Democratic opponent. If there was one this year, call him or her to find out if they'll run again. If not, consider running yourself. If not you, persuade someone else you think could win. "I don't know anyone" isn't an excuse. Get on it.

6. If you live in all-Democratic districts, stand by to donate to the campaigns in other districts.

7. Ensure that your state's legislature will be Democratic controlled in time for the 2020 census and redistricting too.

Call (don't email or tweet) or Visit Your Congresspeople and Make these Demands

There are things even minority Democrats can do the minute they return to Washington.

7. Demand obstruction of his agenda, particularly in the areas of tax law, deregulation, foreign policy, Supreme Court and other judge appointments, inappropriate cabinet choices (like a climate change denier for EPA), and attempts to overturn progress we've made. Don't countenance the GOP's eight years of nastiness, lies and all-out war on President Obama by letting your Congresspeople roll over.

8. Demand continuous government investigations of business corruption and unsavory ties, collusion with Russia, blatant dishonesty, past crimes and every other ugliness that rears its head. Democrats may not be able to launch Congressional committee investigations without the majority, but any Congressperson can demand a report on any subject from any federal agency. The NSA, CIA, IRS and DOJ probably have plenty they could share. And this needs to begin now, before his minions can threaten professionals in those departments. Those reports can be brought up in committees and on the floors of the House and Senate over and over and some could be leaked to the press. But the pressure needs to not let up at all.

Stay Informed

9. Don't back away from the ugliness that is and will be Washington and the US role in the world. Read a daily newspaper, share news stories with your social media circle, and keep engaging with others. His strength will come from our fatigue. Don't allow that.

I realize a list of ten is preferable to a list of nine. So please add number ten in the comments section for me!


  1. Excellent points. Support your public radio stations. They actually do fact based journalism. The AM radio dial is dangerous but not thoroughly toxic. Somewhere on it (1230 AM and 89.1 FM locally in my town of Medford, Oregon) readers will probably find a public radio system. Chip in.

    Oh, and one other thing: be open to the idea that progressive politics needs to be culturally respectful and partners with the people it--we--are trying to help. Our party probably comes across as condescending and clueless about rural and exurban people and values. One thing is certain: rural people voted against Hillary. The women there didn't vote like "women" and the "working people" there didn't vote for the policies we progressives thought would serve their interests. They voted for Trump. The gun issue is part of the problem. I don't like guns at all personally, but I recognize a great many rural people do. In more rural areas their work is more likely related to farming, mining, energy extraction, lumber, transportation. Outdoor jobs. The Democratic solution of getting education to do an office job in technology does not seem very responsive to their situation. Progressives tend to think that subways and buses and bicycles are good and pickup trucks are bad because they are fuel inefficient in comparison. OK, they are right. But we should not be surprised if we get creamed at the polls in areas where people get to work in a truck. Peter Sage, Medford, OR www.peterwsage.blogspot.com

  2. Good insights, Peter. Public radio is definitely part of the solution. And the distinction between outdoor and indoor jobs isn't one I'd seen before. Certainly many of my rural students expressed a preference for being outdoors for work.


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