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How to help take our country back in 2020
The best way of stopping the Trump administration
We need to unseat Trump (obviously)
We need to pick a Democratic candidate that both energizes the Democratic base (so they vote) as well as appeals to more moderate Republicans.
Voter suppression will be a big deal, and it’s clear the Trump administration is going to push this angle hard. We can fight this by helping orgs that are legally challenging voter suppression measures as well as by helping orgs that do get-out-the-vote campaigns.
We need to support anti-corruption investigations.
Investigative journalism is a particularly powerful tool for bringing down Trump and reducing corruption in general. The corruption that’s been revealed so far hasn’t stopped him yet, but vigilance will keep it from getting worse, and more information will convince swing voters to switch their votes. Also, it’s cheap. Most investigative journalism orgs operate on shoestring budgets.
We need to take back the Senate and keep the House. Control of the Senate is particularly important as the Trump administration has pushed a large number of loyalist judges into the system via Senate approvals.
There are plenty of organizations that are figuring out the most efficient use of your dollars to flip House and Senate seats, and you can support them.
We need to deradicalize the system, and that means changing how the national discourse happens. Removing Trump won’t remove the forces that put him in place, and it’s important to come up with an alternative narrative that addresses the concerns of a broad swath of Americans. Also… Social media isn’t the enemy! It actually can be a powerful tool for building bridges and helping moderate voices prevail; we just have to choose to use it that way by shifting norms.
What YOU can do:
You probably have various amounts of the following resources: Money, Time, Ideas, Social Influence. Here are some things you can do with each:
Donate to investigative journalism. In terms of low cost actions that can have a real impact, investigative journalism has a great return on investment. It can break stories that can dramatically change the course of elections, legislation, and politician’s careers.
Donate to ProPublica. ProPublica is a nonprofit investigative journalism group that has been responsible for exposing many of the most egregious actions of the Trump administration.
Donate to the CIR - the Center for Investigative Reporting. They have done excellent reporting around the child detention centers and other issues. Donate to ICIJ - the International Center for Investigative Journalists. This is an international organization that investigates corruption around the world. They were responsible for publishing and uncovering information within the Panama Papers, which exposed a broad range of corruption and secret money laundering, and led to the resignation of the Prime Minister of Iceland, among others. Donate to OCCRP - the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. This is another international organization that focuses on investigating organized crime and government corruption in particular.
Donate to the ACLU for civil rights work (Immigration, restrictions on illegal searches and seizures). They have done a lot of fantastic work over the last 2 years.
Donate to the EFF to prevent ISPs and others from reshaping internet access to their liking.
Donate to vote.org for fighting voter suppression and running GOTV campaigns. Voter suppression is often used to disproportionately target racial minorities as well as constituents who are less well off.
Find Democratic house/senate candidates in swing districts (eg Josh Harder) and donate to their campaigns (or use SwingLeft to find them!) You can also donate directly to SwingLeft. Also see Flippable, which does the same with state governments; since state legislatures control redistricting (aka gerrymandering) and there’s a redistricting happening in 2020, getting control there is particularly important. Support a range of local efforts to fight gerrymandering (biased redistricting that locks one political party in power by reducing the voting power of people of a particular race, class, or ideology) by donating to represent.us. Represent.us also focuses on general campaign finance reform and corruption reduction via the Anti-Corruption Act. Flippable also helps fight gerrymandering by getting more democrats in state legislatures, which control redistricting for national elections (and 2020 is a redistricting year). Sponsor a service that educates voters about candidate platforms in an unbiased and accessible way.
Write to representatives on crucial issues where their vote might be in doubt. Voter pressure helped save the net neutrality bill in CA
Ghost-write to representatives on behalf of people you know in more conservative states, convince them to send it.
Volunteer with get-out-the-vote efforts (eg vote.org) Spend time with conservatives you’re close to 1-on-1 to help them understand your views. Have that tough conversation. Engage and humanize conversation; use empathy, not confrontation, provide a positive message, encourage them to bring their statements to a logical conclusion (that may surprise them).
Ideas: Build a counter-narrative to Trump’s narrative. “#resist” isn’t a platform, it’s a reaction, and it still lets Trump set the agenda for the national conversation. In order to stop him, we need a more compelling narrative. Spread the idea of tribalism as bad and social cohesiveness as good. Re-frame us v. them mentality and tribalism as the ‘dangerous’ element causing issues. “Us vs a broken system” is a much more uniting narrative. Create narratives that help humanize the problems that are happening right now but also provide an alternative path forward that addresses the reason people are ignoring the problem. (Eg the hate toward immigrants is due in part toward job loss / hopelessness in rural areas; providing solutions that address that will be much more compelling) Research downballot candidates (eg judges etc) and publish your recommendations.
If you have wealthy (or even moderately wealthy) friends, convince them to donate to the above causes.
If you grew up in a swing state, reach out to people you have strong social bonds with in that area. Messaging can vary from making sure they vote to talking to them about your concerns about the current administration.
MAKE SURE ALL YOUR FRIENDS VOTE. Encourage thoughtful and nuanced communication and discourage tribalism / name calling / hot takes on your Facebook feed and your friends’ Facebook feeds and in other discussion. Share high quality content instead of clickbait. Research before you post.