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Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda
Wed, 1/4/2017
This article originally appeared on indivisibleguide.com

NOTE FROM THE INDIVISIBLE TEAM

Since this guide went live as a Google Doc, we’ve received an overwhelming flood of messages from people all over the country working to resist the Trump agenda. We’re thrilled and humbled by the energy and passion of this growing movement. We’ll be updating the guide based on your feedback and making it interactive ASAP. You can sign up for updates at www.IndivisibleGuide.com.

Every single person who worked on this guide and website is a volunteer. We’re doing this in our free time without coordination or support from our employers. Our only goal is help the real leaders on the ground who are resisting Trump’s agenda on their home turf. We hope you will take this document and use it however you see fit.

We want to hear your stories, questions, comments, edits, etc., so please feel free to ping some of us on Twitter: @IndivisibleTeam, @ezralevin, @angelrafpadilla, @texpat, @Leahgreenb. Or email IndivisibleAgainstTrump@gmail.com. And please please please spread the word! Only folks who know this exists will use it.

Good luck — we will win.

INTRODUCTION

Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever call himself President-Elect. In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress (MoCs) who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist — and we have the power to win.

We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own MoCs to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism — and they won.

We believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda — but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.

To this end, the following chapters offer a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents. The guide is intended to be equally useful for stiffening Democratic spines and weakening pro-Trump Republican resolve.

We believe that the next four years depend on Americans across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda. We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize us and our neighbors. We hope that this guide will provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen.

Here’s the quick and dirty summary of this document. While this page summarizes top-level takeaways, the full document describes how to actually carry out these activities.

 

CHAPTER 1

How grassroots advocacy worked to stop President Obama.

We examine lessons from the Tea Party’s rise and recommend two key strategic components:

  1. A local strategy targeting individual Members of Congress (MoCs).

  2. A defensive approach purely focused on stopping Trump from implementing an agenda built on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.

CHAPTER 2

How your MoC thinks — reelection, reelection, reelection — and how to use that to save democracy.

MoCs want their constituents to think well of them and they want good, local press. They hate surprises, wasted time, and most of all, bad press that makes them look weak, unlikable, and vulnerable. You will use these interests to make them listen and act.

CHAPTER 3

Identify or organize your local group.

 

Is there an existing local group or network you can join? Or do you need to start your own? We suggest steps to help mobilize your fellow constituents locally and start organizing for action.

CHAPTER 4

Four local advocacy tactics that actually work.

Most of you have three MoCs — two Senators and one Representative. Whether you like it or not, they are your voices in Washington. Your job is to make sure they are, in fact, speaking for you. We’ve identified four key opportunity areas that just a handful of local constituents can use to great effect. Always record encounters on video, prepare questions ahead of time, coordinate with your group, and report back to local media:

Town halls.

  1. MoCs regularly hold public in-district events to show that they are listening to constituents. Make them listen to you, and report out when they don’t.

  2.  

Non-town hall events.

MoCs love cutting ribbons and kissing babies back home. Don’t let them get photo-ops without questions about racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.

District office sit-ins/meetings.

  1. Every MoC has one or several district offices. Go there. Demand a meeting with the MoC. Report to the world if they refuse to listen.

  2.  

Coordinated calls.

Calls are a light lift but can have an impact. Organize your local group to barrage your MoCs at an opportune moment about and on a specific issue.

WHO IS THIS DOCUMENT BY AND FOR?

We:

Are former progressive congressional staffers who saw the Tea Party beat back President Obama’s agenda.

We:

See the enthusiasm to fight the Trump agenda and want to share insider info on how best to influence Congress to do that.

You:

Want to do your part to beat back the Trump agenda and understand that will require more than calls and petitions.

You:

Should use this guide, share it, amend it, make it your own, and get to work.

Indivisible, Trump resistance, anti-Trump protests, anti-Trump movement, Trump agenda, Tea Party, pressuring Congress

Comments

I am anxious to assist in whatever capacity in my city to stop the Trumpian Agenda--starting with rejection Senator Sessions for Attorney General.

Has a group started in the state of Alabama? If so, I'm with you.

He is a crazy fool, a bigot and lots of other things, that i cannot type.

I would love to participate. Group? Where? Count me in. I'm way NE.

I know there was a demonstration at Sessions' congressional office in Mobile with the president of the NAACP being arrested. I'm not sure what else is being done around the state. I live in Florence, and am more than willing to join protests, send letters, etc. Just let me know.

This is very encouraging! As I am from the State of Washington, I feel like there is not much more I can do here locally since our Congresspeople are largely pushing back (2 Dem Senators and my Rep is Dem). Where we truly need the most help are in the states that are marginal (close races) as that is where the greatest return is for the investment. Tougher places like South Carolina, Alabama, etc also need help but the climb is much steeper because of how red things are. However, like Howard Dean suggests, WE NEED EFFORTS IN ALL 50 STATES! I am so happy to see people on here from those states stepping up and looking for local indivisible groups :)

I hate what might happen after Trump is inaugurated on Jan 20th my birthday. I am sick to my stomach to think of what he intends to do with the ACA, Obama Care. Poor people, middle class and we seniors will suffer the consequences of this presidency and sicko team.

To me, this is a train wreck in slow motion. We all see the inevitable outcome if this evil cabal is allowed to continue. I think our country is more and more a global disgrace. I'd like to get very active in this battle for ourselves and the soul of our country. "And now these three remain..." 1 Corinthians 12:13

I have to be a part this, Really upset about election! Let get the Douald!!!

I am starting to believe the donald and the republicans will govern putin style. I personally do not want to live like that. I'm with you.

The repubs work very hard on the terms they use to have a psychological effect. They say it's a democRAT bill not democratic. They call their "Let`s have more pollution bill" "Blue Skies ". I'd like to suggest we be very careful about our language so we don't reinforce this. They call it ALT RIGHT for a reason. It sounds so much better than WHITE SUPREMACIST.

The repubs work very hard on the terms they use to have a psychological effect. They say it's a democRAT bill not democratic. They call their "Let`s have more pollution bill" "Blue Skies ". I'd like to suggest we be very careful about our language so we don't reinforce this. They call it ALT RIGHT for a reason. It sounds so much better than WHITE SUPREMACIST.

I am a staunch Democrat and progressive ideologist. If the Trump administration is sworn in by next week, and the GOP backs their agenda to dismantle every progressive program that has been established during President Obama's term in office, then this country will be returned to the COD WAR days, and that is where the Republican Party has historically operated in successfully. It is my conviction to become involved with the grassroots organization, INDISPENSABLE, in an effort to voice my opinion and encourage our congressional representatives to fight for our rights as citizens of the United States.

The time is now for the pendulum to swing the other way against the Alt-Right Movement and Trump's destructive agenda before it gains any momentum!
Through vigilance there is hope!

I will be vigilant and hopeful but do you think we can stop them.

Donald trump has worked hand in hand with Russia to destroy the democracy of this country and win this illeagal election, He must be stopped, we have 2 weeks. I will be going to d.c. for the march. it is critically important that we all stick together join ACLU.

Where can we purchase buttons that say
INDIVISIBLE
Please advise.

The thought of Trump controlling the United States is threatening. I will help distribute information in hopefully getting him impeached as soon as possible. So helpful knowing Indivisible exists!

This is an easy thing to accomplish if your group has the funds to purchase merchandise. I was the ways & means chairwoman for my dog breeds, AKC national dog club. It was my job to fulfill requests from state, local, & the national AKC club for tee shirts, pins, tote bags, etc. We always used artists from our club and designed the logos for the theme of the club's dog shows. Of course the larger the order the bigger the discount. In the case with INDIVISIBLE, it would be smart to have a national organization to link local groups together in order to get a much larger discount.

I'm a senior citizen, with mobility issues; but, if I can help from home, please let me know. Please.

I've spent my life just circulating info on Facebook but have not physically participated in a march for more than 20 years... it's time to be active, call, go to my MoCs , and get this info out to all I know.

Just watched segment about this site on the Rachel Maddow show and it gave me a renewed spark of hope that things can be done to thwart Trump and the Alt-right agenda of his Republican cronies. I have never been so distraught over the outcome of an election but the shock of Trump's win has had me really down and feeling like nothing can be done to stop the Alt-right Republicans but this movement has given me renewed hope!

Watched my favorite girl Rachel too. That is why I am on the sight today. Ditto your sentiments. Ready to act. Sent "Indivisible" to family and friends.

I am retired and live in Tampa. Would like to join up with others in the area opposed to Trump. Please advise.

Ian, I am also in Tampa and would like to get a group together

I'm in Clearwater and have been looking for a group as well. Please advise if anyone has information on a local group.

I am in Oldsmar and would like to make a difference. The threat to our values and constitution are real. I have been doing what little I can but would like to organize for the Tampa area. The typical Silent Majority is going to have to fight this. More than anything, I see it as a fight for the truth.

I am in Oldsmar and would like to make a difference. The threat to our values and constitution are real. I have been doing what little I can but would like to organize for the Tampa area. The typical Silent Majority is going to have to fight this. More than anything, I see it as a fight for the truth.

Coordinated efforts and face to face meetings with MoCs are the way things will change.
Lets make it happen.

In early December, I had a number of sweatshirts customized with the message "NOT DEPORTED YET" and presented the sweatshirts as gifts for my PROGRESSIVE friends, with the main purpose being as a buffer to ease the level of depression of Trump taking office soon.

Everyone I gave the sweatshirts to, seemed very pleased with their sweatshirts and noted the underlying humorous and (not so) subconscious message included on it.

As an additional benefit, which I had not even contemplated when I bought these sweatshirts, it turned out that this message on the sweatshirts seemed to really upset many Trumpites, which makes these gifts all the more worthwhile.

The benefit of creating messages on sweatshirts and other outerwear is that the message is continuous when a person is outside, at school, shopping, at the health club or any other places where one encounters people.

Dear Friend.
I figured out population growth is exponential. And w/o borders, People just move to the good place and drop competition for wages,
Raise the DEMAND.. and cause GLOBAL WARMING>
Never any social med, nor any unions, nor lower seas, till borders, laws in a democracy are respected.
I know you mean well.
But the world is finite, or let someone live with you, or drive two in a car.
k*

If we just sit back with the "What can I do to make a difference?" attitude, this super narcissist (Donald Trump of course!), will roll over our democracy, just like Putin has rolled over the Russian people. In the immortal words of Andy Dufresne, "It's time to get busy living, or get busy dying!" This alt-right agenda MUST be confronted!!

We have the power to change. It's time we put it to use, these problems will not fix themselves were must do everything we can to push back against the alt right. Let's share and work together to protect our democracy.

I am with you from Pennsylvania. We must stand against Trump's attempts to destroy everything many of us have worked for years to achieve. My main concerns are the environment and global warming, animals both domestic and wild, social security and medicare. This narcissistic bully must be stopped, his entire agenda is greed.

Good Work! We must defend the Republic from this petty dictator. He reminded me of Adolph Hitler when he was running, and I was right. If you love this country, please don't stay asleep.

Taking a page from the publicist playbook, incessent presence of the message makes an impact. Place Dems like Corey Booker, Deval Patrick, Elizabeth Warren, Wendy Davis, etc. front and center on a regular basis from events like talk shows (The Daily Show, The Tonight Show), to NASCAR events to Ellen to DWTS (fun stuff so it isn't just politics--humanizes them). Social media!!! All media is important, especially local news. Publicize local efforts, especially successes. Avoid sounding like lecturing all the time. Find ways to make fun of things. For those who have physical limitations find ways we can participate even if we don't live in states with Republicans. I want a t-shirt opposing T'rump (teeny tiny arms unable to grasp the truth) to go with my "Anyone but Bush" t-shirt. T'rump is not a political movement--it is a cult! And he is the pond scum on top of the swamp.

I just saw Ezra Levin on The Rachel Maddow Show and I was so encouraged that I'm not the only one to feel hopeless and despondent after the election of the orange buffoon,
DJT. Thank you for the hope you're spreading.

I am probably wasting my time with this because I'm sure the admins filter what comments actually make it for the public to see, but it is still worth my time. This ridiculous attempt to obstruct everything a President does is the VERY REASON I VOTED FOR TRUMP. This country is more divided now than ever because of the general acceptance of this behavior. I have never in my life seen such entitlement and whining as I have since November, well, yes I have, I am a father to a 5 year old. Despite what mass media is telling you, this movement will not work, it is pointless, and you should go back to your normal lives. Jesus people, I did my best to stand behind Obama, even when I didn't agree with him... For the simple fact I am an American and he was our President.....It didn't matter what party he aligned with, he was the American President.

Let me get this straight — you were against obstruction, so you voted for the people who were doing the obstruction.

There have been several times I have disagreed with our Presidents over my adult years (I'm 63), but I just kept it among my friends and always in very respectful tones. After all they were elected as OUR president. Even as I disagreed with their policies or even questioned their intelligence, I did not fear for our country. This man I truly FEAR for us all. Your logic completely escapes me: eight years of resolute obstruction to our last president and you VOTED for DONALD DRUMPF??!!? Hey, if you couldn't beat 'em, join 'em, right?? The seeming incompetence, the lack of self-control (want to truly be presidential? STOP Tweeting!) are not only stunning - they're frightening. I have a daughter in the Navy, my two sons are in the Air National Guard( one fuels jets, the other arms them). My daughter is in the Middle East theater now. My wife and I truly fear for their future with our President-elect.

There has never been anyone more obstructive than the GOP. You must not have been paying attention.

YOU GOT IT WRONG CHILD THEY ARE THE OBSTRUCTIONISTS.

Did you feel that way about the Republican Congress obstructing Obama, and were you cheering when they said that they would not confirm anyone for the Supreme Court position?

Where can we purchase buttons to wear that says:
INDIVISIBLE
Please advise!!

Involvement must be immediate, consistent and effective. I learned about this revolutionary movement from the Rachael Maddow Show, 1.4.17. We can and must do all and more than the Tea's. Our President Obama won a true mandate, landslide. DJT lost the popular vote by close to 3,000,000. What can I do? I am disabled and unable to march more than a block; however I am not brain-dead and truly care and am motivated.

Go with your strengths...you can obviously read & synthesize and phone your MoCs. Calls to MoCs stopped the initial Repub effort to scuttle the Committee on Ethics. Join in the informed effort to hold MoCs accountable. I have no idea where in the US you are--I'm in the CA Gold Country and standing beside you. It's an oligarchy only if we are complacent. Mass emails don't, petitions don't, but phone calls DO!!! Keep your MoCs in the know of what you think....it going to be a very long 4 years, but let's be diligent in standing together!!!

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