Why It's Time To Stop Dwelling On 2016 And Begin Fighting Like Hell

It's understandable that some people have fallen into a post-election despair — I know that I have. All things considered, it's easy to do so when you peel back even the first layer of what a Trump presidency will entail. Combine that with Hillary Clinton's crushing upset and the league of practical super-villains the president-elect is drawing into his cabinet, and you make for a devastating 2016, to say the least. But as easy as it may be, don't dwell on what happened in 2016. Instead, use this momentum — be it fueled by justifiable depression, anger, or a simple will to see Trump fail — and fight like hell in 2017.

And there is still plenty to fight for. Access to abortion is under attack, the rights of LGBTQ Americans hang in the balance, and President Obama's legacy looks poised to be undone on multiple fronts. Truly, the list of vulnerable places — from a seat in the Supreme Court to the playgrounds of our schools — seems practically endless.

But there is one area that we can concentrate on perhaps more than any other: the 2018 midterm elections. In order to not only take back the White House, but indeed have any power at all in Congress, Democrats and their allies will need to focus their efforts in 2017 on the upcoming midterm elections. It's our best shot to beat back the worst of Trump's presidency and secure a better, more progressive future for 2020 and beyond.

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The good news is that this fight can largely be carried out on a state-by-state. Though there has to be a concentrated effort, there's no need to be in the epicenter of politics to make a difference in the 2018 midterms.

If the presidential election taught us anything, it's to mobilize local support, vote early, and turn out in larger numbers. Campaign for your senators and representatives. Make phone calls, send messages, help yourself and others get out the vote. All of this and more will need to be done in both 2017 and 2018 to champion progressive senators and representatives, and ultimately siphon power away from Trump and his hateful policies.

It will be no easy feat. The Senate map already favors Republicans, as they will only have to defend eight seats. Democrats will have to contend for 23 seats, plus an additional two held by independents that swing liberal. Several of the fights to maintain seats will occur in states that handily went to Trump in the presidential election.

So with all of this being said, just remember that as defeating as 2016 was, there is no time to dwell on it. The midterm elections are a mere blink away, and focusing on the loss will do nothing to curb Trump's effect on the country. Even in her own defeat, Clinton put it best: "This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. It is, it is worth it."