9 Actions You Can Take Right Now To Ensure Trump Isn't Re-Elected In 2020
The election of Donald Trump has many moderates and democrats terrified of what the next four years could hold for our country. While the president-elect will not take office until Jan. 20, 2017, there are actions you can take to ensure Trump isn’t re-elected in 2020. It’s going to take a lot of analysis and reflection to process the events of 2016, and it's abundantly clear that both major parties have a lot of soul searching to do. But from what we can see from Trump's recent cabinet nominations, come January, a parade of right-wing conservatives who don't necessarily have a ton of experience in government could influence or undermine important policies involving everything from the environment to healthcare. With an unimpeded Republican-controlled House and Senate, the future may feel pretty darn bleak to many of us.
So just how can you help prevent four years of a Trump administration from turning into eight? As Trump's policies become clearer with every new appointment and he doubles down on his stances against reproductive rights and immigration, there is no time to lose. In all likelihood, members of the Electoral College will not change their votes come Dec. 19, despite the urgings of the viral Change.org petition with four million signatures and counting. Provided he gets through his impending lawsuits unscathed, Trump will legally be elected to the highest office in this great nation, and yes, we will lose footing on a huge number of progressive issues.
But there are ways to minimize the damage without losing hope or momentum with actions you can take right now. Here's what to do to move forward and enact change:
Make Sure You Are Registered To Vote
There are many shocking things about the 2016 presidential election, among them the fact that nearly half of eligible Americans didn't vote. According to Forbes' analysis, Clinton won the youth vote, but significantly underperformed with those under the age of 40 when compared to Obama's 2009 election. Many people just stayed home. In addition, changes to the Voting Rights Act made it increasingly difficult for many people to vote.
The solution? Vote. The first line of defense against a second Trump term is to make sure you are registered to vote — not only in the 2020 election, but also for the 2018 midterm election cycle (which has had a notoriously low voter turnout). If you're of voting age, find out your state voting requirements and register today to start making a difference. And on top of registering, make sure you have current photo identification when visiting the polls next election season.
Don’t Waste Time Playing The Blame Game
When looking for answers to explain the confounding election results, it's easy to start assigning blame for the mess. You can blame the media for blanketing election coverage with Trump instead of policy, blame Hillary Clinton for not being a "warm" candidate, blame Bernie Sanders for dividing the party, blame 53 percent of white women for voting against their own interests, blame FBI Director Comey for the email assertion, blame the nearly half of Americans who didn't show up to the polls, blame the increasing cost of health care, the economy, the deep rivers of racism, misogyny (internalized and otherwise), and homophobia that spread like a virus through this country. But pointing fingers only divides us further. Ultimately, we need to accept what happened and vow to be better in order to move forward. It's hard to come together as a country and become active when you are preoccupied with shifting blame.
Support Organizations That Will Protect Our Rights
Come 2017, many of the organizations we count on to safeguard our freedoms may be in trouble. Over the course of his campaign, Trump's proposed policies threatened civil rights and reproductive rights, challenge the First Amendment, and proposed to ban on all Muslims from entering the country. It is so important to take action and help organizations that will fight protect our rights from these campaign promises. Whether you choose to support them through a donation of time, skills, or money, progressive organizations and activist groups such as the ACLU, The Center for Reproductive Rights, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the NAACP, Border Angels, Planned Parenthood, and many more need your help now more than ever — as do all the people they help in turn.
Put The 2018 Midterm Elections On Your Calendar
While a lot of people are hoping for a blue wave come 2018, it is primarily seats held by Senate Democrats that will be contested in two years' time. Democrats must defend 25 seats, compared to the eight held by Republicans. What complicates the matter further, as PBS points out, is that "13 are from states Trump captured or narrowly lost. Among those are Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which hadn’t backed a GOP presidential candidate since the 1980s." Due to Republican redistricting, with the majority representing conservative districts, the house will be hard to take come 2018. The key for Dems will be to remember the old adage, "all politics are local," because in this case, they are.
Pay attention to local elections and gubernatorial seats, which will be crucial when it comes to redistricting and the state legislature. Set a Google alert, hang a sign up in your apartment, write a letter to yourself in the future — whatever it takes to remember to show up at the polls in your upcoming local elections.
If You're A Democrat, Decide What Kind Of Party You Want To See
"I think it's a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to go through some reflection," President Obama said in a news conference following Clinton's loss. With minorities in both the House and the Senate, and no buffer in the White House, it would seem that the party is on the decline. The events of 2016 will forced the party to change and adapt to win back its disaffected and disparate constituency. The loss has motivated a lot of people to get out and make their voice heard, and that is a crucial step towards rebuilding. As Obama continued, "We have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere." So start dreaming of your future for the party, and work to make it so.
Volunteer For The Campaigns You Believe In
If you felt you could have done more this election cycle, make a pledge to volunteer when the next presidential election rolls around. It's impossible to know where we will be in four years, but one thing is certain — the incumbent candidates will need your help and your skills, whomever they are.
Continue To Speak Up
If you want to ensure that Trump is not re-elected, it is important to vigilantly watch his policies and continue to make our voices heard. Organizing and joining demonstrations and protests on key issues is a powerful way to make your opinions known and force the conversation on a public scale. Merely showing up and joining together can send a powerful message that the people will fight Donald Trump every step of the way. After all, dissent is democratic.
Call Your Representatives
If you want to apply pressure where it counts over the next four years, you will want to save your representative's number in your phone. According to series of tweets by Emily Ellsworth, a former Congressional staff member, the most effective way to get your rep's ear is with phone calls. Lots of them. So next time you want to get their attention when an issue undoubtedly comes up, you know who to call (not the Ghostbusters).
And help to educate others, if that's something you're willing to do. The 2016 election was polluted by fake news — the power of which Trump harnessed on social media, at rallies, and in debate performances. There will be a whole new crop of voters next election, let's learn from our mistakes and make sure we can tell truth from fiction.
2020 may seem like a long way off, but there is plenty we can do before then to move towards a more positive future. There's a lot that's at stake here — so let's start taking action now.