4 Actual Actions You Can Take If You Feel Helpless

by Abby Johnston

Donald Trump won the 2016 election, according to the Associated Press. Those are words that many of us never expected to hear, but here we are. Trump is the president-elect of the United States. Every election some voters are inevitably going to be disappointed with the outcome, but it's especially pronounced because of the intense dislike for both Hillary Clinton and Trump. But if you weren't rooting for Trump, now is not the time to give up. Here are four actual actions you can take if the 2016 election has left you feeling helpless.

Sometimes it feels like everything is already laid out for us when our presidential candidate doesn't win. But just because your vote for Clinton didn't take her to the White House doesn't mean that that you just have to sit around for the next four years until you get the chance to vote Trump out of office. If you have a certain political agenda that you'd like to get accomplished, now is the time to start taking actions to get it across. So don't sit around and mope (for too long), get out there and try to make a positive change. Here's what you can do:

1. Write Your Representatives

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The job of elected officials to the U.S. House and Senate is to help represent the interests of their constituents (that's you). So if you disagree with the job that they're doing in Congress, let them know. If you think that there is a bill that they should be sponsoring, let them know. If they're hearing the same thing from enough people, who knows? Your letter could make a difference.

2. Study Up


You can't understand the degree to which legislators and the president are or are not doing their job unless you are following what's going on. Take it from a political wonk who is helplessly devoted to the minutia of Congress — most people stop caring about politics after the presidential election is over. Let's fix that! Take this energy and fascination that you're feeling right now and carry it forward. I know that paying attention to how the sausage gets made can be tedious, but it'll make you a much more informed citizen.

3. Donate To The Causes That You Believe In

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Put your money where your mouth is. Most contentious issues before the president and Congress have lobbying arms for both sides. These are often powerful voices in influencing legislation, so your best bet with being a direct contribution to one of those groups that match your interests.

4. Work With Grassroots Activists

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Donating money is certainly an easy way to make a difference, but what's stopping you from getting directly involved? You don't have to be an official lobbyist to take part in citizen-base lobbying with groups, who sometimes organize lobbying days at the national and state capitols. Elected officials will often meet with these groups to gauge their concerns.

So whatever you do after Election Day, just make sure that you don't become complacent. Because that never helped anything get accomplished.