4 Little Ways You Can Stand Up Against Donald Trump
So, you're someone who's not too happy about the rise of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. That might not be a completely safe assumption, but judging by the numbers there's a good chance ― he's only getting a plurality of support within the GOP, and the GOP only accounts for about 26 percent of the adult American public, after all. And maybe you're concerned enough about what Trump represents for America and our political process that you want to get involved. So, here are 4 little ways to stand up to Donald Trump, modest though they may be.
There's a somewhat brutal reality that needs to be faced: there really isn't any credible way for a groundswell of progressive, left-wing opposition to put a stall in Trump's trek to the GOP nomination, because he's still in the primary race, so it's still firmly up to Republican voters to decide his fate. But with his campaign seemingly driving some toxic attitudes that are dangerous to the broader society ― just see the staggering poll numbers on Republicans supporting his proposed Muslim travel ban, for example ― you might still want to oppose Trump personally, as an example to the people around you. Here are four simple ideas that might be useful.
1. Publicly Support Refugees
One of the most toxic and depressing things that Trump has been a part of (as have countless other Republicans, for that matter) is the stigmatization of Syrian refugees, millions of whom have been chased from their homes. It's a grave humanitarian crisis, and they're relying now on the ability of nations around the world to see them as the victims they are, rather than cave in to political pressures. If you're looking for a simple way to show your support, consider posting a message of welcome for refugees in your home, your window, on your car, on in your business. There's a restaurant in my neighborhood that keeps this striking pro-refugee poster (a collaboration between artist Micah Bazant and Jewish Voice for Peace) on the wall, and I think it's a very powerful image.
2. Denounce Racist Rhetoric
It probably goes without saying if you're a political progressive, or even if you're one of the countless conservatives who're fearful of what Trump means for America, but when racism and xenophobia start becoming normalized in public discourse, it can lead to some horrifyingly dark places. So whatever you do, don't just look the other way. This isn't just limited to dealing with Trump-related issues ― Trump's chief rival Ted Cruz has his own litany of discriminatory, demagogic statements about Muslims to reckon with, too ― but it's important to not let these bad ideas go unchallenged simply because it feels awkward.
3. Don't Give Him Your Money
If you're looking for a relatively simple form of personal protest, and something that'll hopefully help keep a little money in your pocket, consider making sure that you're not handing over any cash to the Trump Organization. It's probably not as hard as it would be, say, if you were avoiding a massive food company, since Trump's game is mostly in real estate, and his name is stamped on everything ― just don't stay at Trump hotels, or visit Trump golf courses, and skip that trip to Mar-a-Lago, obviously. A couple hits you'll have to take if you're a New Yorker, though: the beautiful Wollman ice skating rink in Central Park is partly operated by Trump, as is the Central Park carousel.
4. Don't Let Trump Supporters Off The Hook
That's not to say you should be rude, condescending, or go looking for a fight, to be clear. But assuming you feel safe getting into a political conversation with a Trump supporter ― maybe somebody you know already, since judging from some of the behavior of Trump die-hards at his rallies, approaching strangers might not be a great idea ― you should always take up the offer. It's important, both because you can help change somebody's mind if you argue in good-faith, however unlikely it might seem, and because being made to engage with the vast majority of non-Trump supporters in the world might help remind people that he's not necessarily the towering world-beater he acts like.