Since November 8th, and even more prescient since January 20th, one can sometimes feel a palpable tension in the air. Between the never-ending news cycle, the real and pressing fear caused by shifts in policy, increased reports of hate-crimes, and what feels like an increase in divisiveness and hateful dialogue, it’s been hard not to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. In the face of all this, the FCP put their heads together to gather some our favorite “resistance resources”— ways to take initiative, be engaged, fight back, and stay sane in a political environment that can feel like the eye of a hurricane.
To Listen: Pod Save America
As mentioned, it feels almost impossible to keep up with the news cycle these days. It has the potential to make one feel powerless and overwhelmed. Enter: Pod Save America. This podcast was created by four former Obama White House officials following the election of Donald Trump last year. The podcast is a self-proclaimed “no-BS conversation about politics where you can laugh, cry, scream, share your ideas, and hopefully decide that you want to help fix this mess too. Many, including the FCP team, have found it to be a valuable resource for parsing out what is important, what is not, what is politically realistic and what is socially responsible for members of the progressive movement. We highly recommend it for anyone who is in need of a straight up explanation of our current political climate without self-serving spin or speculation.
We also suggest giving a listen to their spin off podcasts: “Pod Save the People,” “Lovett or Leave It,” “Pod Save the World” and “With Friends Like These.”
To Organize: Indivisible
Indivisible a national group with local chapters in every Congressional district in the country, including the East Bay and San Francisco. Stemming from an online guide drawn up by former Congressional staffers, the group works to unite citizens across the nation in resisting Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda. These groups are creating local strategies to target individual members of Congress, and developing a defensive approach purely focused on stopping Trump from implementing an agenda built on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption. Weekly meetings are held in your city.
For the first time since the Civil Rights Movement, we are in a moment in history where people are realizing their own power. Liu’s call to active citizenship gets to the heart of “what power truly is, how it flows, who has it, and how you can claim and exercise it.” He incisively discredits the notion that power is a limited resource that two parties fight over. In reality, it’s abundant and it’s limitless, and it’s up to us to wake up and activate it. At this moment in our nation’s history, we must remember that we are powerful beyond measure.
To Follow: Alexandra Petri
Satire is clearly an excellent way of coping in the current political environment (see: Alec Baldwin’s infamous and biting Trump Impression and Melissa McCarthy’s sharp take on Sean Spicer’s caginess with the White House Press Corps).
But when even the satire seems to hit a little too close to home, Alexandra Petri’s Twitter timeline and weekly Washington Post column are sure to give you some dark chuckles. She has a way of being alternately absurd, such as coming up with myriad puns on Qatar in response to the President’s confusing tweets referring to the nation, and deeply cutting, such as with an article, in response to a New York Times Article, “When the World Is Led by a Child”, in which she challenges the tendency of “…calling President Trump a child, or a bull in a china shop” by arguing “this is, I think, unfair to children, and to bulls.”
To Train: Organized Labor
Labor has been a leader in the Resistance, especially at the local level. With unions already under constant threat in many states and with Republicans in charge in Washington, D.C., they understand the stakes as right-to-work laws loom and efforts to undermine working families with attacks on healthcare and wages. AFL-CIO Labor Councils, like the branch in Contra Costa County, are fighting back and organizing people to become more involved in their communities.
The Contra Costa Labor Council is organizing trainings for its members to get involved with local boards and commissions, message training for its members, and fighting back against anti-immigrant policies from the Administration and ICE in partnership with local sheriffs to build more jails. Labor has always been on the side of working families and they are staying true to their word in the Trump era. Support your local unions in the fight.
To Breathe: (Just don’t forget to)
Try headspace. Take a walk. Talk with a friend or family member about their family, dog, or a good (non-political) joke they’ve heard lately. Tweet less. Try a media or Twitter diet— limiting your consumption of news to certain hours of the day. It’s important to stay engaged and active, but it’s also important to take care of yourself and strive for a balance.
Above all else – let’s work to always remember to be kind to one another.
- 5 calls.org — This simple website provides scripts and phone numbers encouraging people to make five calls a day to government representatives to advocate for the issues they care about.
- Flippable — Focuses on reversing the staunch hold Republicans have on state governments and legislatures by providing data on the most ‘flippable’ state seats and suggesting meaningful actions to take. (Also check out similar groups Sister District and Swing Left!)
- Town hall project — Works to empower constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives by researching every district and state for public events with members of Congress, and sharing findings to promote participation in the democratic process.
- WTF Has Trump done now?? — A fairly self explanatory resource, this tumblr and twitter work to provide a succinct, often profane, gif-laden summary of the key highlights of news coming out of the White House.
- Talking Points Memo Editor’s Blog — Authored by Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall, the blog has followed the ins and outs of the investigations into the Trump campaign and Administration in incredible detail. Following every thread into Trump’s fuzzy past in New York real estate and financial dealings, the blog paints a detailed picture of the broader Russia probe.
- Wall of Us — This group, led by policy experts at UC Berkeley, works to build a “Wall of Us” through specific, actionable weekly suggestions. They simply propose four weekly actions to take, and then collect the ‘bricks’ of good news and successes— building a collection of concrete, tangible accomplishments and a sense of shared community.