Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn to Help Someone Who Regrets Voting for Trump

This OTYCD entry originally posted in February 2017.


You might know people who voted for Donald Trump. A good number of them are feeling remorse right now, and at least some of them might have said as much in front of you.


If you’re up for it, you can help your friends who voted for Trump and want to do something to push back.


If a regretful Trump voter opens up to you, don’t unleash your anger at them. Do not mock them. Do not try to make them feel bad or humiliate them. You will only make them double down on their choice, and you will lose them.


Instead ask, “Are you ready to do something about it?”


If the answer is “No,” or something along the lines of “I’m not sure,” back off immediately and completely. Do not hard-sell this, but you can bring it up again after a few weeks if they give you a natural opening when you’re talking casually.


If the answer is “Yes,” or “I think so,” ask them to use this web site to find their members of Congress (it will also give them their state representatives as well):


And ask them to download and read Call the Halls:


Recommend that they get in the habit of calling their members of Congress to complain about this or that thing Trump just did, and asking their reps to fight back against it.


Explain to your friends that all Executive Orders are subject to Congressional approval, and can be nullified. If Trump signs something that your regretful friends don’t like, tell them that they can call their MoCs and ask them to make a law that stops the EO.


If it makes sense, give them this link to Vice‘s running tally of all the executive orders and laws that Trump has signed in 2017. They should find something here that they won’t like (make sure to tell them to take down the name and number of the document that’s bothering them) and would feel comfortable calling their MoCs for.


If you have a better idea of how your friends’ politics shake out, THEN maybe direct them to or other resources that they might perceive as being left-wing or liberal-leaning.


When getting a regretful Trump voter started, it’s best to stick with Emily Ellsworth’s Call the Halls because it is a straightforward, nonpartisan resource and its author is a Republican from Utah.


Going forward, remain available to your friends. Don’t jump in to talk; focus on listening to them. Pay close attention to what they say so you can remember and suggest future actions that they could take to push back against Trump. Keep the focus on them and their needs.


If your conversations with regretful Trump voters rile you up or piss you off, bite it back as best you can. If you hit your limit, find a way to change the subject. If you can’t take any more and your friend won’t quit it, excuse yourself from the situation. It is important that you don’t show anger or contempt for Trump voters in front of your regretful friends. That could cause them to double down.


Also keep in mind that you should only do as much as you’re willing to do, and it is acceptable to do nothing. If you don’t think you can talk to regretful Trump-voting friends without snapping or shredding them, then don’t talk to them about this issue, and deflect any attempts to lure you in.


Going through the actions suggested above–responding to an ‘I think so’ or a ‘Yes’ with the web site resources–and then doing no followup of any kind whatsoever with your regretful friends is also OK. You planted the seeds. Sometimes that’s enough, and nature takes care of the rest.


The most important thing is to think through what you would do in this situation, figure out how much you are willing to do, and then stick to your plan.


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