I am not writing this to brag about how amazing I am. I am writing this because I am scared and sad and I want to do everything I can to stop Trump from hurting people. And writing lists has always helped curb my anxiety.
I also want to try and recruit others, especially my friends within the tech industry, to come up with their own plans and share them. I urge you to think about and enumerate what you are going to do. Your plan is allowed to change, but having one, at least for me, means you’re more likely to follow through.
To that end, I ask that you please consider sharing this post.
This is bad. This is a worst-case scenario. This is proto-fascism well on its way to fascism. Have you heard that Hitler Trump might continue to hold large rallies? Have you noticed that in addition to all three branches of government, the GOP controls nearly 2/3 of state governments, the amount needed to amend the constitution? I can’t even begin to talk about how bad this is because I won’t be able to stop, and this article will never get to its point. I trust you, reader, to have your own understanding of how bad this is.
I feel sick. I have had, for the past few days, a dark vortex of despair spinning in the pit of my stomach and the back of my mind. I feel anxious, I feel powerless, I feel totally ripped off.
I also understand that this is how oppressed peoples feel, like, a lot the time.
Many people will find themselves abused by the government and its actors, and stripped of their voices. Women, undocumented immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ folks. They are humans and they have worth. They matter. I will fight for them.
I know that my personal social network, and the tech industry, has no lack of individuals who look and think a lot like me: highly privileged, usually white, fairly liberal men with high incomes and few financial obligations. Let’s step up.
Here’s my plan.
- I will donate $75 a month each to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the EFF, MSF (aka Doctors Without Borders), and the SPLC. That’s $375 a month, a significant, but far from huge chunk of my post-tax income of about $4000 a month. I will remain very comfortable. I may decide to up my contributions.
- If my post-tax income increases as a result of Trump’s tax cuts, I will spend all of the gains on charitable organizations. This especially I urge you to do.
- I will volunteer with organizations directly help people. I haven’t yet decided which organization, but I am considering either Big Brothers Big Sisters (a youth mentoring program) or Lines for Life (a suicide prevention hotline).
- I will continue to strive to be an effective ally. This is a complicated and never-ending goal, but, for example, I will try to put myself between Trumpist abusers and their victims if I witness it. I will offer compassion and material help to those around me who need it.
- I will contact Democratic congresspeople and ask them to obstruct the GOP.
- I will continue to not eat meat and try to spread a culture of vegetarianism. I originally became a vegetarian out of compassion for animals, but concerns for the environment have become my strongest internal motivator. The environment will suffer greatly under Trump as he attempts to dismantle the EPA, and eating meat is, plain and simple, really awful for the environment.
- Many of my liberal friends laugh at the idea of giving up meat, but please consider cutting back, like by only eating meat on weekends or holidays.
- I will continue to avoid using my car, partially an act of protest against our endless oil wars. This is possible because I live in Portland, OR, which has very decent non-car transport infrastructure. I tend to bike everywhere.
As all this happens, I will continue to be imperfect and make mistakes. I will fall short. I will love myself in spite of that. I will treat myself well, and I will do my best to surround myself with people I love. I will treat them well.
Here’s what I will not to do, and what I think you should consider also not doing.
CW: Discussion of things Donald Trump has done, like, allegedly, child rape.
- Act like we are faced with a normal GOP presidency. He is an (alleged) child rapist, overt racist and misogynist, con-man, (alleged) rapist, braggadocios pussy-grabber, lying sociopathic wannabe autocrat, and (alleged, but come on) rapist. This is not normal, and it is not okay. He was helped into office by a coalition of white supremacists, a spineless GOP, a corrupt FBI director, and Vladimir Putin. Many of his electoral gains were made possible by SCOTUS’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act, and the subsequent widespread voter suppression. And though he won the electoral college, Trump lost the popular vote by around 2 million votes.
- Let me repeat: This is not normal.
- Pretend that he didn’t win the presidency. I don’t see denial of his ascendency as productive.
- Hunt for a silver lining in a Trump presidency and firm GOP control of all three houses of government. This is just 100% bad.
- Other good things happened on election day, though, like our first Latina senator, or the ouster of Joe Arpaio. About fucking time.
- But these do not diminish the badness of Trump.
- Specifically, I swear to god if I hear one more person say “I can’t wait for all the great protest music that comes out of this” I’m gonna flip.
- Fail to recognize the central role of misogyny in Clinton’s (electoral) loss.
- Give Trump the benefit of the doubt and offer appeasement, as some tech folks are already doing. Words are actions. Trump has already caused a huge amount of damage by mainstreaming our nation’s hip new rebranded white supremacy movement, the Alt Right. Already you’ve heard on social media of attacks on women and minorities by emboldened Trumpists, of swastikas drawn in school bathrooms, of queer folks beaten. There is no need to wait for his damaging legislation to oppose him. Trump does not have good intentions, and I wish him the worst.
- Even if he doesn’t want to repeal Obamacare anymore, he will almost certainly ruin it. Anything he touches will turn to shit. Because he is a Shit Midas.
- Fantasize about how Bernie Sanders would have beat Trump.
- Blame Trump on Clinton.
- Trump is the fault of Donald Trump, the GOP, Russia, the FBI, and, by and large, white people.
- Fawn over the working class whites who elected Trump, and discuss how the Democrats need to win their racist hearts and minds back over. They are not the future of our democracy.
- Complain about protesters ruining my commute.
- Cling to the safety blanket of my privilege. As a wealthy (for my age) white man with a foreign passport living in Portland, I among the safest in Trump’s America. I could put on blinders and hide from this terror, but I will not do that. I will stay informed, stay awake (woke, right?), and stay active in the fight against him for the next four years.
Once again, please share. Stay safe. Love is real.