You know how New Year’s Resolutions fail right around the end of January? #Resistence might be going through the same thing. The exuberance of the Women’s March has worn off, we didn’t do that much about Trump’s Cabinet picks, and President Bannon, despite SNL’s best efforts, is still in charge. So how exactly do we keep up the fight when the hours are long and the results disappointing at best? We, like the New Year’s Gym Newbie, do what people looking to make a change always do. We reframe, pivot, and keep going. Specifically by:
1) Contact Not-Your-Representatives
It’s important to contact your actual Representative and Senators to either ask them to stand up to Trump or to thank them for already doing so. But given that I have three Democratic Congresspeople, they’ve been doing a pretty good job without my input. And while it’s nice to call to thank someone for doing their job right, it can get boring. Lucky for me, we can contact any Congressperson we want to. You want Jason Chaffetz to actually do his job on the Oversight Committee? You can call him (202-225-7751), and ask him to do so. You want Paul Ryan to stop with the Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself movement? You can call him, too (202-225-3031). You can call Maine Senator Susan Collins to thank her for voting against Betsy DeVos, and convince her that country is more important than party. 202-224-2523. Or call a local representative who’s being an asshole. Near me it’s Rep. Randy Hultgren who is refusing to speak with constituents or hold a town hall. Luckily for me, he is on Twitter. There’s no reason not to respectfully contact any elected member of the U.S. Congress, and ask just what the fuck they think they’re doing.
2) Get Involved In Local Races
This one sounds a lot like the first one, but is slightly different. Remember how Joe Wilson was flooded with campaign donations after
he shouted “You lie” at the President of the United States during the State of the Union speech he was a huge asshole? Or when the Koch brothers targeted specific Congressional races in order to take control of the House? Those same shitty campaign finance laws are still in place. And, while I disagree with most of them, I have to acknowledge that not using them to our advantage would be foolish. So all of the Congresspeople and Senators mentioned above? You can follow their campaigns too. And donate.
3) Identify Specific Things To Fight For
Like the ACA maybe.
No, it’s not perfect, and I’d much prefer a universal system. But given that the Republicans have no interest in replacing it, it’s the best we can currently do, and is worth fighting for. Attending town hall meetings, contacting your representatives, and staying focused on one issue makes a difference and makes the work involved manageable.
4) Stay Involved In Local Groups
This one is more about self-care than specific goals. Democratic, liberal, and progressive groups are popping-up like terrible guitar players on a college campus. Indivisible working to get more of them coordinated. Facebook is your friend. If the work involved feels less like work and more like a chance to hang out with friends, it’ll be easier to keep going. And as much as the last month has felt like an eternity, we’re only a fraction of the way in. Time to strap in for the next four years.