Read

User menu

Search form

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

It's very naive to treat Trump as a 'business as usual' candidate. Checks and balances won't work when they're ignored or not enforced. 'Political Ponerology' (the scientific study of political evil) is a book written by psychologists in the Polish underground under soviet rule and details how pathological people regularly rise to power and gives some indications of how the process can be halted at critical points. Trump has been variously diagnosed by experts (not lay people) as a narcissist, malignant narcissist, narcissistic psychopath or psychopath.

“The Missing Crux”

The Million Woman March exemplified the best of democratic values. The sight of so many people, all around the country, indeed the world, brought on a welling once thought dried and dead.

Exceptional are the considerations of hope for compassion and progress from this nascent administration. There found is undying, even undiluted optimism. It may be considered misplaced or misguided, but it may keep the American dream alive.

In acute regard and not in contradiction to or in defiance of the above is the absence of the crux of today’s angst. That source was introduced to America in none other than the United States Constitution. Our beloved founding structure of 1776 provided the legal means in 2016 for which 2.9 million American citizen’s voices were muted. This truly massive number of votes was categorically discarded. Never, in the history of this alleged “one person, one vote” election system has a violation of ethics of such magnitude against egalitarianism been committed. Once an axiom, “every vote counts” is now an unmitigated lie.

Salting this abomination, the selected upper cabinet nominees are wealthy, white, and by far male Republicans. Not a moment’s side glance was offered to appease the fact that he lost the election by the widest popular vote margin in U.S. history.

This divided country cannot continue to stand divisively at odds with its founder’s intent and mores, save one short-sighted element. In this manner, the United States stands alone in the world of democratic nations. No, it is by no bloated, jingoistically complimentary definition an “exceptional” state. It is exceptional in that this is the only country that still utilizes the archaic (dating to the Roman Era) Electoral College. Here is the base source of today’s angst. This is the reason why we do not presently have an experienced, intelligent, compassionate, erudite, policy-driven president. The Electoral College provided the means for the debacle at noon on Friday, January 20, 2017 to occur. This is yet another sham Executive Branch, the second of such in our lifetimes, and under very maddeningly similar circumstances.

While many hold hope that this four year term will not go the distance (the VP’s character well noted), the means to our end is the absolute demise of the Electoral College system of insults and atrocities. This goal is one of generational lengths. Indeed, fight on to protect accomplished, installed advances made in the preceding eight years. Fight on as well towards the final rectification of America’s designed ills: One person, one vote, in all its literal glory.

Sincerely,
John Gambardella
USN 1971-1976

Mark,
I appreciate your courage. It's not easy to speak up in a conversation where you know everyone is probably going to vehemently disagree with you. I am appalled by our new President's indecent, mean spirited, and possibly illegal actions and frightened by what appears to be his mental instability. The people he has chosen to advise him, frankly, scare me to death. But I find hope in your desire to join this conversation. I'm curious to know what news media you listen to. Might I suggest that you add NPR, if you are not already listening?

Jeff Sessions, Rick Perry, Devos and all of the other Trump nominees are not qualified for the positions they were nominated for. Democrats and Republicans need to stand up to Trump and not approve these people. Republicans need to care more about the good of this country and it's Citizens then voting along party lines.

What exactly are we supposed to be resisting? A more robust economy for US citizens? Less government? Higher education standards and access to better schools for all kids? Better border and national security?? I'm for those things. Why shouldn't we all be for those things?

Pages

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Venezuela crisis, Venezuela regime change, Nicolas Maduro, Donald Trump, Washington geopolitical aims, U.S. overseas intervention

Our country is so divided, on so many issues, yet intervening in foreign countries is a united addiction we just can’t tear ourselves away from.

Senegal protests, Y’en A Marre movement, New Type of Senegalese, African social protests, economic justice, ending corruption, African protest movements, Senegal democratic movement

The Y’en a Marre ("We Are Fed Up") movement, which traveled the country raising awareness about the need to vote, played a crucial role helping defeat Senegal's two-term president in 2012.

Imagine a fracked gas pipeline going straight through New York Harbor...

Fears that Ireland will stand fast on its border claims are among the most pressing concerns still dogging the Brexit deal, which could ultimately force a new referendum.

Brexit chaos, no-deal Brexit, U.K. homelessness, U.K. hate crimes, U.K. xenophobia, rise in hate crimes, rise in homelessness, Leave campaign, Jo Cox murder

As Brexit bedlam intensifies and Britain edges closer to its agonizing E.U. departure date of March 29, grim reports are surfacing about the real impacts the move will have on U.K. citizens' safety and well being.

Venezuela crisis, Venezuela regime change, Nicolas Maduro, Donald Trump, Washington geopolitical aims, U.S. overseas intervention

Our country is so divided, on so many issues, yet intervening in foreign countries is a united addiction we just can’t tear ourselves away from.

Senegal protests, Y’en A Marre movement, New Type of Senegalese, African social protests, economic justice, ending corruption, African protest movements, Senegal democratic movement

The Y’en a Marre ("We Are Fed Up") movement, which traveled the country raising awareness about the need to vote, played a crucial role helping defeat Senegal's two-term president in 2012.

Imagine a fracked gas pipeline going straight through New York Harbor...

An endangered silverback high mountain gorilla from Sabyinyo family walks inside a forest in the Volcanoes National Park near Kinigi, north-western Rwanda. Photograph: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

The vast majority of the world’s largest species are being pushed towards extinction, with the killing of the heftiest animals for meat and body parts the leading cause of decline, according to a new study.

wealth inequality, income inequality, wealth gap, tax the rich, ultra-millionaire tax

"U.S. wealth concentration seems to have returned to levels last seen during the Roaring Twenties."

Imagine a fracked gas pipeline going straight through New York Harbor...

Posted 3 days 18 hours ago
Black Lives Matter, black homeowners, Section 8 housing, BLM-Louisville

In Louisville, the group is purchasing vacant homes for low-income families to promote stability in the community and fight gentrification.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago

Fears that Ireland will stand fast on its border claims are among the most pressing concerns still dogging the Brexit deal, which could ultimately force a new referendum.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago

As the March for Our Lives movement enters its second year, it would benefit to have black faces at the forefront to expand the narrative around gun reform.

Posted 4 days 19 hours ago
"Folks are gathering to talk about the plan to win guaranteed healthcare.Next steps involve knocking on doors, phone banks—various ways of engaging our communities to get involved," said National Nurses United executive director Bonnie Castillo. (Photo: N

"As nurses, we understand the need for guaranteed healthcare for everyone. That's why we are fighting to win Medicare for All and joining thousands at barnstorms across the country."

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago

Fears that Ireland will stand fast on its border claims are among the most pressing concerns still dogging the Brexit deal, which could ultimately force a new referendum.

wealth inequality, income inequality, wealth gap, tax the rich, ultra-millionaire tax

"U.S. wealth concentration seems to have returned to levels last seen during the Roaring Twenties."

Denver teacher strike, teacher pay, teacher walkouts, nationwide teacher strikes, public school conditions

Denver’s teachers started picketing before the start of the school day and students crossed through the picket lines on their way to class in some locations.

"Folks are gathering to talk about the plan to win guaranteed healthcare.Next steps involve knocking on doors, phone banks—various ways of engaging our communities to get involved," said National Nurses United executive director Bonnie Castillo. (Photo: N

"As nurses, we understand the need for guaranteed healthcare for everyone. That's why we are fighting to win Medicare for All and joining thousands at barnstorms across the country."

Black Lives Matter, black homeowners, Section 8 housing, BLM-Louisville

In Louisville, the group is purchasing vacant homes for low-income families to promote stability in the community and fight gentrification.