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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.

Comments

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!!!

We should stop using the term Alt-Right. It is a sugar coating of what is really going on. Those people are white supremacists pure and simple and they should be referred to as white supremacists. A term that sugar coats gives them legitimacy.

So I'm assuming the photo on this page of President Obama flipping off Trump was photoshopped? Really? It's exactly what I'd like to do as well, but this is just as bad as FOX news reporting their "fake news", don't you think?

I WAS DISGUSTED WITH THE IMAGE AS WELL.PRETTY DIFFICULT TO WANT TO ALIGN WITH THIS MOVEMENT, IF
WE ACT AS CHILDISHLY AS TRUMP AND THOSE WHO SUPPORT HIM, UNQUESTIONINGLY.

Seems to me this is more divisive than anything else. Time to come together as a country.

I'm with the agenda.

On most domestic issues and appointments Trump needs to be blocked!
On questioning the CIA, Trump has a very good point! CIA intelligence is often wrong, and quite often politicized. The CIA's role has been to produce intelligence to promote the goals of the elites.
This McCarthy-like Russia bashing by Democrats is weird, and Democrats should come to their senses.
Trump's willingness to get along with Russia is good... good for the U.S. and good for the world.
Russia did not influence U.S. elections. Before the leaked DNC emails, Bernie supporters knew that the DNC, the Democratic establishment and the media had rigged the Democratic Primary for their predetermined candidate...

There is a petition: STOP BLAMING RUSSIA for U.S. Election Results
https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/stop-blaming-russia-for-u-s-election-results/

Another petition: STOP BAITING RUSSIA, tell Congress to Support Trump in getting along with Russia https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/improve-relations-with-russia

I realize the Guide tells us petitions are useless!
And I do recognize the importance of phone calls
I have not read the Guide yet. I will.
But I wonder if it addresses how to influence foreign policy issues; it seems very difficult to mobilize citizens around foreign policy because they have busy lives, and little time for acquiring facts.
Health insurance, social security, medicare, criminal justice, etc are closer to our individual lives...
Yet, bad foreign policy has the ability to disembowel the potential for a better future.
The foreign policy choices since 2000 have put the U.S. trillions of dollars into debt and the world is less safe. Insane but most people are oblivious.
So how to make change...
The Democrats in Congress have joined the Republicans in pushing a very militaristic foreign policy, I can only conclude that the military industrial complex that Eisenhowe warned against, has won.

I would like to start a campaign against Trump based on the movie Network. My thought is to send a message out through all social media and word of mouth for us to shout out our protest of Trump in unison as he is inaugurated. Our shout out could be similar to the "We are mad as hell and we are not going to take this anymore" perhaps throwing in reference to the Lies that Trump perpetuates daily. I am am a frustrated woman who has been feeling quite hopeless since the election. I qould like feedback on my idea and any inspiration you can share. I am a 64 yr old woman who has been an active feminist, antiwar activist, environmentalist since the late sixties and fear are losing the few mediocre gains we have made!

I agree. It is one way to let the world know we don't support our insane president.

Stop the destruction of our democracy led by Trump and his recommended appointment of Senator Sessions, both clearly racist and attempting to dismantle our government and catapult us back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Since the election I have become increasing fearful for Democracy. Having the oval office occupied by an autocrat is unimaginable! Living in Texas, where there are still people who will not acknowledge Obama as a legitimate citizen, is scary. I am inspired by this movement as it gives me a focus for my frustration and hope for the future of Democracy.

My grandchildren deserve a democracy, not a facist dictatorship

Now a police state you are defending? 2.5 mil in prision, one mil for drugs, 80,000 in solitary.
GITMO abu Girab.
A million working for Homeland Security and 90% of fake bombs and guns make the flight? A half million untested rapekits?
15 mil illegals, 15 unemployed?
bombing seven countries that never attacked us?
and protesting an election?
Seems five minutes ago, you same people were chastizing Trump for refusing outcome?
I voted for Trump. First time Rep.
ever,
war is bad. thou shall not kill. And I am an Atheist from SF>

I have studied the rise of Hitler and was horrified by the way Trump's campaign paralleled this dictator's. Now that we've "elected" a dictator, our democracy is truly at stake. For the first time in my 58 yr complacent life, I am compelled to FIGHT, even though I am disabled.

Is there a Texas (Houston) organized effort I can join?

I too just heard about this on the Rachel Maddow Show and agree something has to be done to stop the lies, fake news and Trumps attempts to destroy our freedoms.X

hope it works

T.R.U.M.P. = Totally Ridiculous Unpresidential Mendacious Predator.

E.M.O.L.U.M.E.N.T. =
Evil Mongering Overbearing Loquacious Megalomaniac Entitled Nitwit Trump

Have fun playing pertinent word games...Bob

I was excited to check out this website after hearing about this movement on Rachel Maddow. However, I was immediately turned off by your Photoshopped photo of President Obama giving Trump the finger. This takes a huge liberty in speaking for President Obama, it is crass, and it does not represent the values and class of our current President. As Michelle said, "When they go low, we go high." The photo takes away from the legitimacy of this movement and I strongly suggest replacing it.

I totally agree! Plus, Very well said. Please replace the picture.
And thank you Rachel maddow, you rock!!

I think Trump knew about the Russian hacks and was behind it! Why else would he deny our intelligence? Trump is a poor excuse for a human being and he is NOT my president! Business has made a lot of money and the stock market has tripled yet Trump says his administration will be good for business......how much more money do the rich need? It's time to represent us the "WE THE PEOPLE" not the 1%

Saw info on Rachel's show and logged on to get more info. Hated many of Trump's campaign comments against women and people of diverse backgrounds ( I am 66 HR old woman of Hispanic ancestry born in the U..S) recovering from breast cancer and a stroke. Have been depressed since election; this is a shot of hope!

we the people of michigan are here to help...stay tuned!!!

How great to see this movement get going...finally feel like there's hope against all the negativity and crazy that seems to be overpowering us. First time I've really wanted to leave the side lines and get more involved. Hope to find a local group to dig into. Thanks everybody for all the effort. Can't tell you how good this feels already!

I wonder if there might be a way to establish an underground railroad communication system that would keep the plans and work of Progressives under the radar. I love this document and hope that others will put it to good use. I just don't think we need to always be so highly visible to the opposition. There's a reason that warriors take advantage of the element of surprise whenever possible. It works. Could we be a bit quieter about our plans? Maybe spread the PDF version of the article via email or even snail mail to our comrades and meet in private? Just a suggestion....

Having seen Ezra Levin on the Rachel Maddow show, we were very encouraged to learn about Indivisible’s suggestions for influencing our Members of Congress to prevent the Trump administration from dismantling Obama’s legacy and endangering American’s lives. On going to the website, however, we were disturbed by the altered picture of Obama giving Trump the finger. Obama’s dignity and civility is what we will miss most about losing him as our president. It is precisely this kind of ignorant crassness to which we are prepared to object.

This is the only way to defeat the Republican agenda. They have completely lost touch with reality by sticking with the tRump train. Taking away healthcare before they have a working replacement is just insane. tRump promised not to touch Medicare, Medicaid, or SS. Yet, the agenda calls for a voucher system and doing away with Medicaid. Revamping the CIA and siding with the Wikileaks nut and Putin are short of treason.

Count me in!

Here is what the Democrats should be doing — with President Obama as the main star. Hold rallies just like Trump does. If you have a rally to show support for the ACA, I guarantee you I will be there — and so will millions of other Americans. If it's in DC, as it probably should be, it will be harder for me to get there, but I will try. But why not have regional rallies to make it easier for low income people to get to? Millions will show up for this. These rallies should begin the first week of Trump's presidency. Act now — don't wait another year, as Dems tend to do.

As a teacher I really worry about the model Trump is setting for our young people to follow - name calling, bullying, lying or telling half truths... among other examples of his behaviors. I say it's time we stand together and exercise our rights to speak out in one voice and resist this inappropriate ways of working with people. Diversity is what made this country great and to have a cabinet of old rich white men is not going to promote this. I protested in the sixties and I have no problem getting back on that horse! Our children's future is at stake!

If anyone can help me find anti-Trump constituents in my area (Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida) to form a group, please let me know.

Here's my email:

on_sabbatical@bellsouth.net

After seeing this report last night watching Rachel Maddow, I cannot tell you how inspired and FIRED UP I am now. As a resident of Florida, I know I can make a difference. Thank you for putting this together.

Thank you ! I 'm ready to represent Florida -- Fort Lauderdale is my local area. Bring it!

Do not watch the inauguration, TURN OFF YOUR TVs on Jan 20tqh

Great idea, and hang your flags out at half-mast on the 20th all over the country to signify that you feel the death of our democracy is at stake on that day. Get everyone you know to do this. At your office building, the gym, the doctors office, your apartment building, even the gas station! Everyone can do this without leaving home, but it will be a huge visible sign across the country that we, the people, intend to take our democracy back.

There is a concert in New York beginning at 3:00 pm on January 20th that has been brought together to allow those who don't want to watch the inauguration to have an alternate entertainment. It will stream on Facebook. The original idea was to have proceeds go to charities like Planned Parenthood and other organizations that seem to be taking the brunt of the Trump administration's hits. I don't know how this has been worked into the concert. Check out Concert4America2017.org.

In watching the discussions of Russian hacking, I realized that we are about to have two communists in the White House. All it took was 27% of the eligible voters in 2016 to give us the results that (the disgusting) Joe McCarthy fought so hard to prevent in 1954.

Hi there! In the news lately "Indivisible" is getting great press coverage. Unfortunately, I believe it to be a well-intentioned dead end. https://dailyaction.org/ is much more manageable for the average person who does not have hours each week to devote to political research.
I am not affiliated with it in any way, I was simply shocked to find that it has received almost zero publicity. I believe Bernie would want to check it out and potentially share it. THIS is what would make the biggest difference in stopping the Republican agenda.

Trump will be useless without the GOP. Encourage people to get out the vote 2018. Must bring some balance back to congress. We can slow Trump down. But we cannot wait until 2018 to start.

Get out the vote for 2018. The GOP always has the advantage in mid-terms. Get your friends family and co workers out to vote. We can begin to balance the congress if we work together.

Everyone with a twitter account should get together to crash twitter and block Trump from using it. Everyday and night

Looking for like minded Arizonans who want to start an Indivisible group to fight Trump and to give hope to those who believe our country is going to go down the drain with Trump as the president. Let's get to work!

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