7 Unexpectedly Positive Things That Have Come Out Of Trump's Presidency So Far
Some days I feel like Trump is single-handedly keeping journalists employed. His constant opposition to everything America stands for is causing people to rise up, band together, and speak out. This has resulted in myriad unexpectedly positive things coming out of Trump's presidency. I'm fairly certain that this is not what he intended when he became president, but hey, I'll take it. Trump is known for speaking mostly about himself, and more specifically how great he is, and how many people love him. Barf.
However, millions of Americans aren't on the Trump love train, and the actions he's taken thus far (a mere month into his presidency, mind you) have sparked a civil rights movement of enormous proportions. This isn't the first time I've seen a president with damaging policies fuel a movement, either. A personal anecdote: during George W. Bush's presidency, my former boss started a progressive news website out of his home in response to Bush's invasion of Iraq. By the time I started working there, we were a staff of three working in a small office in Portland, Maine. Since then, Common Dreams has exploded, largely because people are hungry for change.
The same thing is happening now as the country chafes under the Trump administration's thumb. People are subscribing to newspapers again. Non-profits are being formed. Americans are supporting each other in powerful, poignant ways. So I'd like to take a minute to thank Donald Trump for helping us find our collective voice again, and allowing us to respond in unexpectedly positive ways to what we've seen from his presidency so far.
1. Newspaper Readership Is Up
Thanks to Trump's actions, traditional newspapers are enjoying a boom after years of declining readership. According to the Economist, The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have all received boosts in subscriptions and page views.
What's more is that since the election, shares in the New York Times Co. have risen by 42 percent. And NPR has even created an entire team devoted covering Trump's presidency.
2. More Women Are Running for Office
Many women who find Trump unfit to be president are channeling their frustration into something positive for the future by committing to run for office. According to NPR, early signs from the groups that work with women considering running for office indicate a level of intense interest not seen in at least 25 years.
"Some of it is absolutely a reaction to President Trump and his policies," Jean Sinzdak of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University told NPR. "For others, it is Hillary Clinton's loss," because the fact that we don't have a woman president "sort of woke them up to the idea that maybe we haven't made as much progress as we thought."
Interested in running? Run for Something is looking for candidates to help build a progressive bend.
3. People are Supporting Each Other
American's have turned out to support each other in record numbers since Trump was elected, with the Women's March being reported as the largest protest in U.S. history. And since Trump has given people endless things to protest, people are banding together to oppose the temporary travel ban, climate change, LGBTQIA rights, and more.
Here are additional anti-Trump protests to keep on your radar.
4. 'Saturday Night Live' Is Funnier Than Ever
Much to his chagrin, Saturday Night Live has declared open season on Donald Trump. SNL's hysterical sketches of Trump played by Alec Baldwin, Kellyanne Conway played by Kate McKinnon, and Sean Spicer played by Melissa McCarthy have given the show a solid ratings boost.
More importantly, the show has helped the country blow off some much needed steam by being able to laugh hysterically during these dark days. Can we give McCarthy the Emmy already?
5. Donations to Human Rights Organizations Have Surged
People are across the country are opposing Trump with their wallets. The Atlantic reported that donations to organizations committed to protecting human rights, including women's reproductive rights, surged after Trump was elected president. Ashley Fetters wrote in GQ that this phenomenon is being referred to "rage donation, the act of feverishly throwing money at a cause you believe in because you just don't know what the hell else to do."
To illustrate this point, the ACLU raised more than $24 million the weekend Trump announced the Muslim travel ban, almost seven times what it received annually in 2015. And, hey, five of those dollars were from me.
6. Two Words: Trump Memes
In times of distress, we all need to laugh. Luckily, Trump consistently provides fodder for meme makers. His avalanche of recent executive orders, for example, has spurred a new string of executive order memes, because it's funny, and you need to laugh today.
7. The Tech Industry Is Getting a Boost
It's a great time to be an app developer. According to new data from App Annie, Trump is causing a political app boom, with the top five political apps receiving a combined 300,000 downloads across iOS and Android over the past three months. Users are turning to apps for assistance in finding their representatives, tracking their votes, exploring their political leanings, and more.
"There has been a huge increase in holding elected officials accountable," Andrew Koehlinger, project director for VoteSpotter, told USA Today. Membership on the 3-year-old app has risen more than 10 percent to 100,000 users since November.
Yes, things are scary right now. But there is, as they say, a silver lining in every cloud. Just look at everything we've accomplished so far — and think about how much more we can still do.
I don't have to say "let's get to work," because we've already done that. Instead, let's stay there — and keep moving forward.