In the aftermath of a devastating election, we can mourn as we face PTSD (Post Trump Stress Disorder), but we also must move on while taking action. Here are 10 concrete ways you can actually make America great again:
1. Donate. This list is a great compilation of equity and human rights organizations ranging from women's health to LGBTQ to minorities rights issues - all of which are threatened to come undone in this upcoming administration. You don't need to donate $100. Imagine if every person you knew donated $10 to one of these organizations. The returns could be astounding and can help keep great organizations like Planned Parenthood afloat. Not included in this list are gun control organizations which also need our support. A good list of these orgs is available here.
2. Try a new career in civil service. We need to fight to continue to get diverse and progressive leadership into our outdated political establishment. Recent minority elects to Congress are huge steps in ensuring that our political establishment represents the true diversity of America. Consider volunteering or working for your state's government. Consider working on protecting Medicaid and Medicare for your state government. Consider going into immigration law to help protect and promote lawful open borders. Perhaps it means volunteering your time for organizations like AmeriCorps, one of the most highly respected civil society community service organizations.
3. Participate in education reform. This takes the realm of point number 2 in changing careers, but you might consider a career in teaching in middle America where education reform is needed the most.
4. Take individual actions to help mitigate climate change. This means: lower your energy consumption and switch to renewable resources. Educate yourself on the harmful effects of fracking and educate your peers. Watch Beyond the Flood. The scientific evidence cannot be disputed that a majority of our climate change has resulted from manmade destruction. We must do our individual part to protect the collective whole of our planet.
5. Engage in peaceful rallies to make your voice heard and sign petitions, like the following one, which asks the Electoral College to vote for Clinton (which they can do in the new year). Mrs. Clinton did after all win the popular vote.
6. Engage in peaceful dialogue with your friends or family who are Trump supporters. This is an important one, and one that if anyone, President Obama exemplifies the most gracefully. This means engaging in an open dialogue to try to understand what motivated your family or friends to vote for him. It is only through understanding one another and informing one another can we help to bridge the many divides in this nation. Be informed and educate your Trump peers on climate change, gun control, and affordable health care.
7. Fight for equal pay in the workplace, but let's start by treating our fellow female coworkers with grace, compassion, and support. In other words, walk the talk. Hillary was / is a huge advocate for female empowerment, and as supporters of this we need to do our part in promoting this. This behavior cannot only come from our leaders with the hope that it will trickle down!
8. Trickle down economics as we've seen, and as proven by the most intelligent economists, doesn't work. This is because inherently human beings are self fulfilling and for it to work - we need to be in a perfectly selfless functioning society. As such, do your part to understand the socioeconomic determinants of health. Understand the causes of poverty in this country and seek to address them in meaningful ways.
9. Practice self care and compassion towards yourself and others. This is particularly the case for minorities whom understandably may feel threatened. We've already seen rates of anxiety and depression nearly double in the last ten years. During these uncertain times with hate crimes and speech on the rise, we may begin to see mental health issues and their effects rise. If you see or hear something, do something.
10. Finally, breathe. This sounds trite. But with every "setback" there is a silver lining. In this particular case, it forces us to reflect on how we have to make individual changes for this country to progress as a whole. Do not join the masses of ignorant people whom assume that no change is good change. We cannot continually assume that our views represent the majority. Racism, differing of views, violence - these are pervasive issues that may never be eradicated. But as activists and as global citizens, we can do our part to support each other and make sure that our future generations are as informed as possible of their causes and effects. Do not forget that it is our civic responsibility to vote, and that every vote counts. Do your part to participate in midterm elections, primaries, and local elections to elect the right representatives early on. The Obamas did their part to ensure that the classiest, most graceful, intelligent, and progressive administration that ever existed prevailed. Let's now do our part to continue that legacy.