So, Trump was elected. It hurts my heart to even write those words. Trump was elected and now we, the healthcare loving, equal rights touting, environment protecting people are the ones left grossly underrepresented in our government.
We protested. Hell, we’re still protesting. He’s still the president-elect. We have promised not to tolerate legislation that undermines our belief system, but none of that legislation has presented. Besides, our governors and congressmen and women will tackle that for us when the time comes, right?
So what do we do right now?
This is the question I have been struggling with ever since that awful Tuesday. And now that I've finally stopped grieving I think I’ve formulated an answer.
First: Turn off the news. Just try it for a day it will make you feel better. In the time you save not watching the world burn you can —
Second: Amass a list of the things you most believe in — Do you cherish the environment? Are you a proponent of racial equality? Want women to finally have equal pay?
Decide what you’re most afraid that a Trump presidency will condone. Then FIGHT IT.
Environmentalism Starts with You
If you’re afraid Trump is going to reverse legislation that combats climate change, then stop buying individually packaged water bottles. Recycle (it seems like a no-brainer but a lot of people don’t do it). Compost. Reduce your waste (don’t buy tomatoes that come in plastic packaging, return your egg cartons to the farmers market for reuse, use tupperware instead of ziplock bags and wash and reuse the ziplock bags you do consume. Use reusable bags for your produce — those thin plastic bags you get at the farmer’s market are harmful too) landfills produce 30-70 million tons of methane every year and most of that comes from our country. Talk to people about conserving and recycling. Enact change in your neighborhood, volunteer in your local parks, help reforest our country by donating to the Arbor Day foundation, plant a tree in your yard. Any and all of these actions will help. I promise.
Learn more about how you can help the environment every day here.
If you’re afraid Trump is going to divide the country by racial lines then stop making racist jokes. You claim to be tolerant but a joke just pops out, everyone thinks it’s funny, right? Wrong. Fight it. Even if you think you’re being facetious (no one would believe that you’re serious right?) Humor like that is racist and it divides us. Stop. And help your racist grandma or uncle or cousin stop too. Check out this Wiki How about how to talk to racist family members. There are a ton of other ways to combat racism that you can enact in your daily life. The main way we can break past division is to embrace each other and to show one another that we’re not that different.
Women's Rights are Human Rights
If you’re anxious about women’s rights, you can help here too. Not only should you ensure that women in your workplace are receiving equal pay, but you can volunteer at women’s shelters, donate to women’s education funds, buy from organizations that support women, or better yet buy used or American made products since most clothes manufacturing is done by women in third world countries. Donate to Planned Parenthood. Volunteer as an escort at planned parenthood. Stop referring to grown women as girls. Support organizations that are female focused, donate to Women investing in Women foundations, tutor young girls in your community, and be a good role model for the women in your life. This article enumerates the ways we can stop marginalizing women every day.
Say No To Bullying
If you are concerned about the disparagement of anyone or bullying of any kind check out this graphic. Memorize it. It's ostensibly about Islamaphobia, but it could be useful in any situation. It is so easy to do nothing in the face of bullying because we're scared. Now you don’t have to. And you don't even have to confront the attacker.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
Pick any one thing that you’re most worried about and google “What can I do to help __________” Schools or prison reform or homelessness or undocumented immigrants. You don’t have to do everything, just one thing, that’s all. In your day-to-day life try to enact change that supports one thing you believe in, one thing you’re worried about, one thing.
Put sticky notes around your house so you don’t forget, sign up for e-mail newsletters, donate, volunteer, change your habits to positively change the world. You don’t have to be the next Mother Theresa or Gandhi, you just need to take the things that you believe in and vote for and want for your children, and figure out how to live them.
If you don't do this, you have no reason to protest when Trump passes damaging legislation.
We can no longer sit by, watch the news and wait for someone else to enact change. We have to live it.
It was Lily Tomlin who said
“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized I am somebody.”
If you are afraid what a Trump presidency might do to our country, Good. Be afraid. Now do something.
The government is a reflection of the American people. They're not going to change the world for us. We have to fight for it first.