Almost all of us can spare a few bucks now and then to organizations that make a positive difference. It’s especially vital to support groups that are being defunded or targeted by legislation or propaganda. Depending on your interests and values, these might include the ACLU, Border Angels, National Association for Women, Planned Parenthood, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Many worthwhile organizations also need volunteers if you can donate a little time.
12. Wear your badges proudly
In the 1990’s a Serbian university student named Srdja Popovic organized a movement called Otpor! (Resist!) that was instrumental in bringing down the dictator Slobodan Milosevic. One of their most potent tools was the simple symbol of a clenched fist, which they spread all over the country. A seemingly innocuous image like that has the power to galvanize and inspire to a greater extent than most people realize.
For the present struggle, there are several candidates for such an emblem, but perhaps the most promising is the “resistor” modeled after the electronic symbol. This image is the logo of the “I Am a Resistor” movement (thus the spelling of resistor with an “o”, as in electronics applications). Images like this, along with slogans and other promotional iconography, help remind resisters that they are not alone, and spur them to action.
One caveat, however: placing anti-Trump stickers on your vehicle may significantly increase your chances of being vandalized.
13. Reclaim the banner
You may have noticed that a great many Trump supporters love to wrap themselves in the flag, and to cast aspersions on the patriotism of anyone who doesn’t concur with their beliefs. Don’t forget that it’s your flag, too; and it was never intended to be the coat-of-arms for demagoguery. Flaunting the flag doesn’t prove you’re patriotic any more than wearing a bathing suit proves you can swim; but it wouldn’t hurt if you showed that you can fly the colors as well as those guys. And it might even make them a little more kindly disposed toward you. (And if you have religious convictions, there’s no reason to let them co-opt the Bible, either.)
14. Bust the octopus
This may not be a pleasant fact to hear, but progressive change in Washington is all but dead. The GOP is very close to establishing a (permanent?) monopoly on the federal government. They have strongly signaled that they will maintain an edge in the Supreme Court by childishly refusing, until the end of time, to consider any bench nomination by a Democratic president. In fact, they have acknowledged that when they gut stuck with a Democratic president, they will fight any and all measures he or she advances — even the ones they absolutely know to be beneficial for the American people.
They have established a stranglehold on Congress through ferocious gerrymandering, and they have gamed elections with voter laws (ostensibly to prevent fraud that is in fact quite rare) designed to eliminate minority voters who are far more likely to vote Democratic. Furthermore, the trend toward urbanization skews the electoral college in their favor by shifting more relative weight to rural voters — a presidential vote in Wyoming, for instance, carries nearly 4 times as much weight as a presidential vote in California. What all of this adds up to is that although more and more people are voting Democratic (or trying to), their votes are counting for less and less.
The U.S., in short, has all but devolved into a one-party state, and it is not the party whose policies most citizens favor. Thus, real progress depends on breaking up the monopoly. Among other things, that involves eliminating gerrymandering, discriminatory voter restrictions, and the electoral college. But it also means focusing on politics at the local level. Many “blue” states are oases of sanity in a nation gone mad; some states and municipalities have even issued official declarations defying the disease of Trumpery. Even some scientists, alarmed by the Trump policy of muzzling science, are gearing up to run for office. It is quite possible that some of the state and local leaders from these communities will work their way up to the national level. That is, in fact, part of the strategy that put the GOP where it is today.
15. Harness the power of laughter
Another potent tool that Otpor! used to topple tyranny was humor. This included TV commercials and street theatre, among other things. Again, Michael Moore is an excellent role model here; humor is one of the elements that make his films so appealing and popular — who can forget the sight of him lugging a basket of laundry up the steps of the Capitol at the end of Sicko?
Donald Trump has already illustrated just how powerful a weapon humor can be against him. Like other totalitarians, he is utterly humorless himself. Accordingly, he has reacted like a spoiled child to being impersonated on Saturday Night Live, throwing one of his numerous Twitter tantrums when he should have been preoccupied with government matters. The more he is made the butt of humor, the more distracted and petty he will become, and the more he will demonstrate to the public how grossly unfit he is.
Note: Humor is NOT the same thing as sarcasm or mockery.
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