This post includes a lot of material that actually showed up in the last two posts, but as my list has evolved and gotten more useful, I thought I’d share the updated version. It’s less a discussion and more of a simple to-do list. These items are listed in rough order of priority, since some have deadlines coming up soon. Please pass this around. Thank you.
1. Maybe Keep Mr. Trump Out of Office
No, getting Trump impeached is a bad idea. For one thing, that would give us President Pence, and that would be worse. But there are other options–all long shots, but still viable.
- Demand a recount. Jill Stein is organizing recounts in several key states. The Clinton campaign has joined the effort. Neither Dr. Stein nor Ms. Clinton expect to change the outcome of the election this way (and Dr. Stein does not care whether Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton is president), the objective is only to stand up for fair play. But there is a chance. Check Dr. Stein’s website to see if she needs money or other assistance.
- Ask Republican electors to vote for Hillary Clinton instead. So-called “faithless electors” must pay a fine or other penalty in some states, but their votes are still valid, and this flexibility is exactly why the Electoral College exists. There is no official process for contacting the electors, but many are public figures and do have offices. Since the electors don’t have a responsibility to listen to “constituents” anyway, I don’t think it matters whether you live in their state or not. Just call as many as you can. Be polite and friendly, and focus on talking points likely to appeal to Republican party leaders, since that’s what most electors pledged to Mr. Trump are. Remember, a lot of Republican leaders don’t like Mr. Trump, anyway. It’s a long shot, but if we can get just 40 of them to switch, Mr. Clinton will be president. Here is a partial list of current Electoral College members.
2. Block the More Extreme of Mr. Trump’s Appointees
I discussed how and why to block political appointees last week. The short version is to sign whatever petitions you want to, but the real power lies in calling your senators and also those senators on the relevant committee. Start with Myron Ebell, the climate denier Mr. Trump wants to head the EPA. If your focus is on human rights, remember that it is always the disenfranchised who bear the brunt of pollution and climate change, and that of all the mistakes our government could make, allowing environmental disaster would be far the hardest to un-do.
Here’s the process, in brief:
- Look up Mr. Trump’s appointees. Here is a list that looks like it’s being regularly updated. Focus on those appointments that require Senate confirmation.
- Identify appointees you want to protest.
- Look up which Senate committee (or committees) has jurisdiction over that person’s prospective job. Use this link.
- Do an internet search for that committee’s web page. It will list the committee’s current membership with links to each member’s page—which will list the phone numbers for his or her office. Remember to CALL, not email. Remember that each Senate committee has its counterpart in the House. Don’t get the House committee by mistake. The US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has jurisdiction over the EPA. Here is a link to its page.
- Make a call list with all the members of the committee and your two Senators on it. Remember to remove any Senators who are leaving office in January and remember to call their successors when they come in. Fortunately, none of the members of the Energy and Natural Resources committee are leaving, so you can call all of them now.
- Make your phone calls.
3. Call the House Oversight Committee and Ask for a Bipartisan Review of Mr. Trump’s Financials and Conflicts of Interest
Honestly, I’m not sure if this will do anything useful, but since we are fairly sure Trump is slimy, knowing the exact depth of his slime probably can’t hurt. The number is (202) 225-5074
4. Attend Protest Marches, Especially Large Ones
There is a big demonstration planned on women’s rights in DC for just after inauguration. So far, the organizers seem to be communicating largely through Facebook, and the details are not set yet. Stay tuned. The objective here is to demonstrate that women and their allies DO matter politically and DO have power—both to put Trump and his cronies on notice and to let women who are afraid right now know they aren’t alone. Men and genderqueer folk are apparently welcome. I’m going.
I do hope to see a similar large demonstration on environmental issues soon, especially since Trump has signaled he’s open to having his mind changed on that one.
5. Donate Money
Mr. Trump has more or less promised to use his power to try to do horrible things to the environment, to Latinx and Muslim immigrants, and to anyone who needs affordable healthcare. Women, LGBT folk, and people of color are justifiably worried as well. And, since the election, bigots of all stripes seem to have felt emboldened, making everything many of us do that much harder already. Fortunately, there are groups already established that know how to fight this sort of thing and they are gearing up to respond. They need cash.
If you want suggestions and handy links, here are a few:
- The Environmental Defense Fund is currently matching donations two-to-one AND is focusing particularly on protecting President Obama’s climate legacy against Mr. Trump.
- The Sierra Club Foundation funnels donations into a variety of conservation and environmental education-related projects and has an excellent rating from various charity-watchdog groups.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council supports various conservation projects with a particular focus on pursuing polluters through legal challenges.
- Earthjustice works through the courts to push for environmental progress.
- The League of Conservation Voters supports the election of pro-environment candidates at every level.
- The Union of Concerned Scientists supports independent conservation science and stands up for climate scientists currently facing harassment.
- The ACLU defends the civil rights of individuals in court.
- Planned Parenthood is famous for its contraceptive services and controversial for its abortion services, but it provides much more, from basic gynecological care to cancer screenings and anonymous HIV testing to periodic men’s sexual health clinics, whether or not the patient can pay. The tragedy about attempts by Congress to de-fund Planned Parenthood for its abortion services is that the law already bars Federal money from going to abortion; “de-fundin Planned Parenthood” has no impact on abortion, but will deny low-income people life-saving healthcare.
- The Southern Poverty Law Center fights hate and extremism in court, supporting LGBT and immigrant rights, among many others, and works for criminal justice reform.
- The Delaware Alliance for Community Action. Yes, this organization is pretty local, but local organizations do important work. If you don’t live in Delaware and want to find something closer to home, go ahead.
- The Newspaper. Seriously, high-quality journalism is under threat right now, largely for economic reasons. Buy a subscription to a high-quality paper that still does true investigative journalism. A free press is not free and needs our collective support.
6. Be Kind and Be Brave
This is a BIGGIE. As I said there are a lot of newly emboldened deplorables out there now who think it’s ok to treat other people badly. We have to show them otherwise. If you see someone being treated badly, say something. If you are treated badly, fight back. If you see someone who is hurting or afraid, ask how you can help. Find the people in your community you don’t normally talk to and ask them what’s going on. There’s a lot of information online about how to do this. Seriously.