1. Always remember and constantly remind others that Donald Trump became President by losing the popular vote and winning the Electoral College by the fourth slimmest margin in American history. About 25% of Americans voted him into office. And he managed this victory with help from the Russians, who decided that he was their preferred candidate.
This is important because Trump has been dominating the headlines day after day and will continue to do so. Add to this a Republican Congress and it's easy to believe that you are in the minority and that there is little hope of turning America back on a progressive path. None of this is true. You must remember this and (more importantly) remind others of this whenever possible. People are struggling and need hope. These facts offer a desperately needed dose of perspective.
2. Do not insult Trump voters or supporters. Avoid name calling at all costs. Remember what Michelle Obama advised us to do:
When they go low, we go high.
Insulting Trump supporters only serves to divide us further, and this is not good. It's what Donald Trump wants. It's easier for him to govern when America is divided. Insult Donald Trump all you want, but respect your fellow Americans. They have made a terrible and dangerous choice, but there may come a day when they will begin to question Donald Trump and his decisions. On that day, you want to be available to them absent any former hostility or malice.
3. Do not allow Donald Trump or his supporters to steal love of country away from us. Hold on tightly to words like "patriotism." Do not allow them to make the American flag or the steadfast support of our military their own. Assert your love for flag and country, your support of our servicemen and women, and your patriotic ideals whenever possible. Bring American flags to marches and rallies. Shake the hands of veterans and those currently serving in our military. Call yourself a patriot. Donald Trump wants to paint his opponents as subversive, weak, and un-American. We must make it clear that we love our country just as much as any other American.
4. No matter what Trump does in the coming days and months, remember these things that he is desperate for us to forget:
- Donald Trump has not released his tax returns despite repeated promises that he would, as every other President has done for the last 40 years. Regardless of what he says, more than 75% of Americans (including more than half of Republicans) still want him to do so. His refusal to release his tax returns in the face of these staggering numbers indicates that he is hiding something embarrassing and potentially damaging. We must not stop reminding people of this campaign promise not kept.
- Donald Trump is a sex offender or a person who believes that pretending to be a sex offender is an effective means of making other men like him. This is embarrassing for Trump and cannot be forgotten. Men do not speak like Donald Trump did on that Access Hollywood recording, regardless of what he would have you believe. Remind people of this incident. Do not allow it to be pushed into the past.
- Donald Trump established a fake university that stole millions from Americans. As a result, he was forced to pay a multi-million dollar settlement. He tried like hell to hide this settlement by announcing it on a Friday night in the midst of the whirlwind of other news. Don't allow this to happen.
- Donald Trump won the election with the help of the Russians who decided that he was their preferred candidate. This is no longer speculation. Trump himself has acknowledged it. Never let him forget it.
- Donald Trump failed to create a blind trust or divest in his business interests as promised and as every other President has done before him.
5. Support legitimate news sources like the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, and more. One of Donald Trump's most dangerous acts has been to undermine faith in legitimate media outlets that threaten to expose him for who he truly is. Thankfully, Americans have responded by subscribing to these legitimate news sources in record numbers. We must continue to support these journalists. They are the people who will investigate Trump and hold him accountable at every turn. Trump undermines the press because he is afraid of them. He has much to hide.
6. Limit your time spent on social media. It is too easy to become consumed with politics while staring at Facebook and Twitter. Your health is too important to sacrifice it to the endless stream of posts and tweets. You have the time you need to do the things that will make you happy: exercise, meditate, play with your kids, dance in your underwear, or read a good book. You're just spending it on social media. Assign yourself a limit and then get the hell off.
7. Call your Congresspeople. Call them often. Start by putting the names and numbers of your state Senators and Representative into your phone. Make it simple to call them, and then call often. You'll find yourself speaking to a staffer who is professional, attentive, and genuinely cares about what you have to say. Phone calls mean more to members of Congress than emails, letters, tweets, or Facebook posts.
8. Give credit where credit is due. For example, Trump agreed to extend Obama's 2014 executive order protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who work for federal contractors. He did so quietly, at 7:00 AM on a Tuesday, and never tweeted a word about it, but it's still a good decision. You cannot establish credibility if you aren't willing to recognize good decisions on Trump's part. The same holds true for Republican members of Congress. When they stand against Trump or his despicable policies, they must be credited for placing country ahead of party.
9. Stay positive. I have become fond of saying that we are fortunate to be living in interesting times with real enemies to battle and defeat. While I would prefer to be living in a world where Donald Trump is not President, I have chosen to embrace the moment and stand in opposition to this man. This is not a Democrat-Republican fight for me. It is a battle against a narcissistic, erratic, indecent man who is dangerous for our country.
My father fought in Vietnam. This is my fight.