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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

A Google search for "Indivisible" brings up both this site and Indivisible.us which appears to be different (though not necessarily conflicting). Are they related? If not could be a problem down the road...Looking forward to developments!

From civil rights, workers rights, womens rights, environmental issues and crooked politics, the Republican party will either badly damage or will DESTROY the country we all know as the USA! I am so so glad I found this!

We don't allow vermin in the White House! Please find an Exterminator,now!

I agree, “The photo takes away from the legitimacy of this movement and I strongly suggest replacing it.” PLEASE change it.

I am with all of you 100%, we must stop Donald Trump and his agenda, I did not vote for him, he is not a president I can respect, period!!!

I stand with this movement to stop Donald Trump and the agenda he wants to put forth. And we must stop Jeff Sessions from becoming the AG, he would put the women of this country back 50 years.

Thank you for letting me know about this site.Heared about it on Rachel Maddows
show.Keep me posted.

I much appreciate the efforts; have not read the document yet. I am hoping that it stresses the value of on the ground political engagement. Too often progressives have had their efforts outlined and implemented by bright folks with great degree backgrounds and almost no political savvy. Both backgrounds would be great to have, but if not, then political gifts over academic/professional ones will suffice. We have witnessed the absolute destruction of the Democratic Party and need to clean house and rebuild.

Thank goodness for Rachael Maddow! She shines a light on political issues that might never get publicized. Any groups around Pittsburgh and its airport?

Am I alone on the left in believing that we need borders, need a sense of enlightened nationhood in order to resist the transnational forces that respect nothing but profit? Workers aren't even organized locally, let alone transnationally - corporations always have the upper hand when nationstates become weak. Democratic values begin at home, and homes have borders.

living on S.S and having a husband who takes many meds the cost will sky rocket again.When the ACA Insurance came in our cost went down and made it easier to pay for his meds.Will help you if I can .Please let me know.

When I talk with Trump supporters who aren't part of the top .1% of the wealthy getting the big tax break, I find one thing in common. They say "I don't follow politics that much." This is why (by default) the front pages of "The Enquirer" have cleverly induced fake news into their little brains. These people, who rarely even buy the tabloids, have never seen Rachel Maddow, but they can tell you the names of every auditioner on "The Voice." Never mind countless failed republican witch hunts about a basement server or a terrorist attack in Libya. Trump's simple moniker "Crooked Hillary," and what they see while waiting at the check-out stand, has hypnotized the stupid. "Crooked Hillary" repeated over and over again in different forms has been just as effective as Johnny Cochran's defense at the O.J. murder trial. The simple phrase "if it doesn't fit: you must acquit," repeated over and over again, hypnotized a gullible jury. Donald Trump is truly the stupid person's president. He managed to win, even with a near 3 million vote deficit, by using a cleverly crafted propaganda campaign of repetition, covered with Russian fingerprints. That campaign specifically targeted America's uninformed. I once read that the average person in the U.S. only reads at the level of an 8th grader. No wonder Trump so effectively fooled the ignorant.

In the study of the philosophy of language the sub-field of semiotics deals with the study of linguistic signs. In a propaganda war comandee ring the linguistic 'high ground' gives a side advantage. To wit: the term 'the right to life.'

TrumpleThinSkin and minions have taken "Making America Great Again." Now, on the left and progressive sides one our jobs is to translate what the Alt-Right is really saying and to expose the true meaning of their 'word signs'. For instance:

1) Alt-right = White Supremisist and racist.
2) America Great = America White
3) Resisting / rejecting political correctnesses means freely using racial/homophobic/ etc. slurs aimed at 'the others' and justifying incivil behaviours, even violence.
4) "Them" means non white and anyone not holding to their narrow views. The list goes on.

We must NOT let the Alt-Right to use the cover of language and normalize their views. Call them out, call them out. CALL THEM OUT.

Saw a great comment on MSNBC, says Trump on Mc Cain: 'I don't like people who were captured' writer says "I don't like presidents elected by the Kremlin'! YES!

Evan McMullin's New Conservative Movement could be an important ally in fighting Trump's authoritarian nature, keeping him from being more of a tyrant than he will try to be.

We all need to know the U.S. Constitution, the "rulebook" of American government, and hold the Trump Administration to be able to do, only what the law allows them to do.

In America, nobody is above the law -- not even the president.

One strategy that is not listed is the following:

When writing or phoning an MoC who is NOT in your own district (for example, Paul Ryan), make it clear that if he/she votes in ways contrary to your position on an upcoming issue (examples: gutting the EPA and/or voting to withdraw from the Paris Accords on Climate Change), you plan to contribute to the campaign of his/her PRIMARY opponent in the next primary election in his/her district.

Primary elections matter to everyone in the House and Senate (especially in the House), and to my knowledge there is no law against an individual citizen contributing to the campaign of any person running for a congressional seat regardless of whether or not the contributor lives in the candidate's district. Make your contributions count at the local level, and make sure the incumbent knows that he/she is potentially at risk of losing their seat as a result of supporting the Trump/reactionary agenda.

What is needed for us (or at least for me) is a list of districts where the incumbent (a) is likely to be vulnerable to a strong challenger, and (b) where a strong challenger can be/has been convinced to run for office in that district. The list does not have to be long...just long enough to produce a majority of MoCs who are highly likely to oppose Trumpism and reactionary government.

Personal Note: In 1966 I served for a year as a staffer on the Sub-Committee Chaired by then-Congressman Al Gore, Jr. and later on his personal staff. [Currently I am a retired Biology professor with degrees from UC Berkeley (Physics) and Harvard (Biophysics).]

Phil Sokolove

Although I am 70 years old, I need to do what I can to prevent the destruction of our country.

I live in Great Neck, NY, and would like to help organize a local group. How would I go about finding and contacting others who are similarly motivated?

A visible sign across the country on inauguration day to show we do not support the Trump regime would be to take out our flags and fly them at half-mast, and most everyone can do it. If you live in an apartment, then hang one in your window upside down. If you don't have a flag and live in an apartment, make a sign and put that in your window. As someone else wrote, do not turn your TV on that day. In addition, we could all just not use any electricity that day except what is needed to stay warm/cool depending on your climate.

Doing so will show electric companies and cable/satellite companies how many people are behind the opposition to Trump - in their pocketbooks, where it counts!!!

So many people feel as if they can do nothing. but they can do this!!!!! Spread these ideas as fast as you can through your social media networks. If you know how to get these ideas on a national scale, please do it. Everyone needs to be feeling they are doing SOMETHING right now. For those people who want to do something but are limited in what they can do, this would be a very visible and silent protest on Inauguration Day. Thanks for listening. God Bless America!!!!!!

Looking for a group in my area, Eastern Panahndle, Martinsburg, WV area.

I live in a state where my Congressional representative and both Senators are some of the chambers' most liberal members. Writing them is preaching to the choir.... What to do?

Will share with organizations and individuals to make maximum impact.

I'm an old anti-Nixon demonstrator from the 1960s-70s. I'm in poor health and can no longer march to protest oppression. Nonetheless, I need to add my voice to the growing movement that resists Trump and his cronies. I would like to begin contact with good people in Wise County, Virginia who wish to oppose the excesses of the incoming administration. I have lived here less than four months and am just getting my feet on the ground in this bastion of Trump support.

Kudos to Rachael Maddow for recommending the Indivisible website. We, the people, are the only hope to save our country from returning to the "bad old days" of the 20th Century when Jim Crow, bigotry, and misogyny ruled. Remember Nixon and George Wallace and Lester Maddox and Sen. Strom Thurmond? The Trump cabinet sounds like "deja vu all over again."

Just wondering if thought has been given to any role that might be played by supporters from outside the US? Based on my experience talking with friends here, I think there would be a lot of interest in assisting in whatever ways you think might be helpful.
Have been horrified to follow events south of the border. . . . as you know, they affect us all.

I'm willing to help. I live in Duluth, MN. Are there others here?

Couldn't watch this morning, as the little grinnin' bigot sat there, telling the congressional members "what THEY wanted to hear", but WE know that he's just like is soon to be "boss" DJT. Says stuff and doesn't what the H he wants to. This country is headed for the toilet.....

A valuable document but missing one critical element. The conservative movement has developed a well built infrastructure to develop and implement political frames that effectively move public debate and the way people think about issues. They have been so effective in understanding the power of frames that people vote against their own interest and ignore facts in favor of lies that connect with these frames. George Lakoff has written extensively on this subject. Liberals and progressives have long believed that truth will win elections. Nothing could be further from the truth. Frames win elections and we need to develop effective frames in which to advance truth within the anti-trump debate if we are to be effective. Lakoff's blog site and writings give insight into this process we all need to learn and use. https://georgelakoff.com/blog/

I am fortunate to live in SoCal where a lot of anti-Trump groups are organizing on a local level. "LaLa Land" implies we don't take things seriously here....but this is being proven wrong. Moveon.org is "on the move" with new groups being created this month, so is my Church group (UUA) organizing itself, so is the Women's March (Jan. 22nd) against Trump. A lot is happening....we are not just "dancing under the stars"!!!

Please continue emails to inform of issues to call senator and representative about that are currently being addressed in congress so we can be most effective. Thanks for this way to be involved.

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

But January now makes me shiver
With every edict he’ll deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
A future full of goose steps

I can't remember if I laughed or cried
When I read about his pack of lies
And how he touched them all deep inside
That day - the music died

So bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Googled Tila and Tequila
But the hard drive was fried
And good ole boys were smokin’ oxy and high
Singin' - this'll be the day that you die
This'll be the day that you die

Did you read the book of law?
And do you have faith in God for all?
But only if the Donald tells you so…
Now do you believe in voter polls?
Can profit save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to grope real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
'Cause I saw you voting in the gym
You’ve all turned off your brains
For the Trump-land Gravy Train….

I’m only a middle aged boomer schmuck
With a 401 that really sucks
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singin’ bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Googled Tila and Tequila
But the hard drive was fried
And good ole boys were smokin’ oxy and high
Singin' - this'll be the day that you die
This'll be the day that you die

Now for eight years, we have reaped and sown
From drone air strikes to new IPhones
But that's not how it used to be

Then the Jester came and made the scene
With his pumpkin hair and cash machine
And a voice that seemed to come from you and me

Oh, and while we were all looking ‘round
The Jester found our inner clown
Reality was adjourned
Insanity had returned

And while Putin saw an easy mark
The Klan held rallies in the park
Burning crosses in the dark
That day - the music died

We were singin, bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Googled Tila and Tequila
But the hard drive was fried
And good ole boys were smokin’ oxy and high
Singin' - this'll be the day that you die
This'll be the day that you die

Helter Skelter in an ISIS smelter
Children bombed in fallout shelters
Climate change and Icecaps melting fast
“Normal cycles from the past”
Said Deniers blogging from their ass
With the Jester on the sidelines - making gas

Now, the coal smoked air was sweet perfume
While Exon played their marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never had a chance

When the Science tried to take the field
The GOP refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed?
The day the music died?

We started singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Googled Tila and Tequila
But the hard drive was fried
And good ole boys were smokin’ oxy and high
Singin' - this'll be the day that you die
This'll be the day that you die

Oh and there we were all in one place
Common sense all but erased
With no time left to start again
So come on, let’s be nimble, let’s be quick
Let’s all sit on the candlestick
Cause “You’re fired!” is our only dividend

Oh, and as I streamed him on the stage
My browser froze in fits of rage
No Kindle fire in hell
Could break that Satan’s spell

And as his tweets flew high into the night
To end our Constitution rights
I heard ISIL laughing with delight
The day the music died

We were singin’, bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Googled Tila and Tequila
But the hard drive was fried
And good ole boys were smokin’ oxy and high
Singin' - this'll be the day that you die
This'll be the day that you die

I met a girl who voted blue
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just texted “AYFK”, and swiped away

I went online to the Apple store
Where I’d downloaded ITunes years before
But the IP said the music wouldn’t play

And on the net, the chat rooms screamed
The pundits lied and the trollers memed
But no sane words were spoken
The forum threads were broken

And the three men I abhor the most
Frauds and fools and Fox News Hosts
Will all be getting Cabinet Posts
The day the music died

And we were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Googled Tila and Tequila but the hard drive was fried
And good ole boys were smokin’ oxy and high
Singin' - this'll be the day that you die
This'll be the day that you die

We were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Googled Tila and Tequila but the hard drive was fried
Them good ole boys were smokin’ oxy and high
Singin' - this'll be the day that we die.

Just sayin'

Brian

"All tyranny needs to gain a foot hold is for people of good conscious to remain silent" Thomas Jefferson
We must rise against those who seek to regress our Democracy and the progress we have made towards that more perfect union. We The People Can and Will defeat this tyrant he is not the first nor will he be the last to try but just as our founding mothers and fathers stood up against the oppressors, just as Women fought for Our right to cast our Votes and be heard so shall we fight and be heard once Again.
The Power comes from our unity and the profound believe that more perfect Union is Possible.

trump and his minions are treasonous and should be stopped

Your website needs "help" .... I don't know where to go or what to say...
From comments, you should have "how can I help" selection prominently marked, because, that is MY question (and many others, as I scroll down)...
HOW CAN I HELP (DUMP TRUMP)?
This ahole and his Republican buddies will RUIN America.

OK..you "win" ... I "QUIT."
Cannot get past your bullshit website.
Maybe Trump IS the "answer" .... if all we can put in his path is THIS crap.
Had high hopes....dashed.

Any groups in northwest Ohio?

I am ALL for the movement. But when I looked up indivisible, its also a book by James Robison. Its suppose to explanation of the conservative political perspective with its corresponding personal and spiritual virtue. If or when the movement gets big, it will promote the sell of the book and everyone could get the wrong idea. Never read the book, just the context.

My father worked in the Senate library when I was a small child , he then worked in the Humphrey senate staff and ultimately was the national director for the mentally ill, I played in our capitol as a little girl. My father fought for the poor the black and the mentally ill all his
Life. We are not going to go back!

Please, folks, pay attention to those wise commenters who have noted the GOP's long winning streak in the language wars. Like "pro-life," "Obamacare" and "the Patriot Act," "alt-right" is a term invented to normalize oppression. If you use "alt-right," for any reason, you help Ku Kluxers and other fascists disguise their agenda. It's as misleading as calling Trump "billionaire philanthropist." Don't say, "the alt-right, a.k.a. fascists and the KKK." Repetition of any kind legitimizes their preferred term. IGNORE the term alt-right. PLEASE just call fascists "fascists" and racists "racists." Be impolite. Tell the truth.

How do I find a group by me! Holtsville NY 11742

Galveston County indivisible has been created to help like-minded folks get together in Galveston County. There are as yet no groups in this area to help change from republican to democrat. This is a very red area. We need to provide a space for people in this area to gather so that we can unite to a post Ted Cruz in 2018, a pose Representative Randy Weber, and fight the other Republicans down the rest of the ticket.

It would be helpful if information was designed to be downloaded so I could refer to easily.

I would like to have on the "We the people" program.

Hello, my name is Alex; and I would like to offer my abilities as a graphic artist to the Indivisible movement. I own and am competent with the entire Adobe suit (photoshop, after effects, premier) as well as modeling software (cinema 3D). If anyone would like to send me footage which they have captured (I recommend a program called Dropbox), I would LOVE to start capturing, editing, and pioneering the art (be it movies, posters, online content) that will further this cause. I am a team player, and am willing to take direction. Please consider me a very useful resource. All I require is footage and direction. Please let me know how I can be of service. I also some decent digital cameras which can be used in person to capture the important highlites of this movement. ‬Please feel free to contact me alexelliott83@gmail.com

Can a function be integrated into this site to let local / by state groups see what/where people are planning to protest. Is traffic logged on this site. Will Trump type instincts/directives want to hassle folks involved in organizing these protests.

Hello! Thanks so much for spreading the word about how we can help resist this administration. Can you please add pin-able images to this and other pages on your site so we may pin these pages, and further the spread of this important information? Thank you!

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