After The Women's March: Should We Be Excited? Yes. Will It Be Boring? Absolutely.
See, it’s funny because it’s very, very true.
The Women’s March was, in many ways, a goddamn godsend. The fact that it was so large, the fact that it was so much larger than Trump’s inaugural crowds, the fact that it happened the day after he was sworn in, the fact that no one saw it coming. These things all helped to cement the fact that a significant part of the country is unhappy with the new president, and we have the ability to do something about it. So what exactly do we do about it?
1) We Don’t Get Discouraged
First and foremost, we don’t allow all of the godawful things coming out of the White House make us fee like giving up. That’s what these measures are intending to do. Trump is pissed that we had such tremendous numbers (really, the best numbers anyone’s ever seen. Everyone says they’re the most tremendous. It’s gonna be beautiful), and he attempting to reassert his power through shitty executive orders. Stay aware of the situation, but don’t let it break you. Remember that you’re not in this alone, and that big results don’t happen overnight. We’re in this for the long haul.
2) We Pick Our Battles And We Stick With Them
This doesn’t mean that Democrats and liberals roll over and die on some issues. *cough* *cough* Elizabeth Warren’s approval of Ben Carson as HUD Secretary *cough* * cough* It means, individually, we identify manageable, accomplishable tasks, and complete them everyday. This means calling your representatives every possible day. 5calls.org even supplies a list of topics to call about, a script to use, and a running log of how many calls have been made (as of this writing, the site might be down because too many people have accessed it. Not a bad thing). Accomplishable tasks also include donating when you can afford it, attending monthly or weekly meetings of activist groups, or your local school board, city, county, or state meetings. Shit, even getting on Twitter can help you stay in touch, listen to and learn from people you’d otherwise not come into contact with, and show your support for protest and resistance accounts (you have started following Rogue POTUS staff and Rogue NASA, right? Remember that Trumpy hates them).
3) We Keep Our Long Term Goals In Mind
You know what’s no super sexy or life affirming? Local elections. Would you also like to where you’ll (hopefully) find the next President of the United States? In your local elections. Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996 with only 48,592 votes. Twelve years later, he was entering the White House. Not every person governing a small district in a State House is going to become the leader of the free world, but we can’t afford to pretend elections for County Commissioner are no longer important. Find a local election, find a candidate, hell, run yourself. Or if you’re not the politicking type, find your local swing district, and do what you can to ensure a liberal wins that seat. Small steps, big changes.
4) We Don’t Lose Hope
Yeah, this one is similar to not getting discouraged, but encompasses a bigger viewpoint: we don’t let ourselves become all-consumed by politics. There’s “informed voter,” and then there’s “obsessed.” Don’t become obsessed. Obsession will rob us of our ability to connect with other people, and that’s the last thing we can afford to do right now. Continue reaching out, continue helping people, continue being happy, and continue taking care of yourself and others. Protest does not mean we need to martyr ourselves; it means we need to start adding this element of resistance to our normal lives.
5) We Stay Patient, But Not Too Patient
The biggest and easiest reason to become discourage and lose hope is because it seems like nothing is changing. That’s because things are changing very, very slowly. But they will change provided we keep showing up, and making them change. This is a new way of life for most of us. And as with any life change, it’ll take some time to adapt. Hang in there, I promise it’s worth it.