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Subscribe to Small Victories and Feel Good About Pushing Back

This OTYCD entry originally posted in Dcember 2017.

Subscribe to Small Victories, a weekly newsletter that chronicles how everyone, the world over, is pushing back against Trump, the Republicans, and the horrors they stand for.

 

Two activists who go by the names Alison and Stephanie launched Small Victories, a newsletter that gathers a week’s worth of good news–some things you’ll have heard about, and others you might have missed–in one handy package.

 

Do not underestimate the value of periodic, reliable deliveries of good news in the Trump era. It can be easy to lose sight of the wins, what with all that’s going on. Signing up for something like Small Victories counts as an act of self-care.

 

Sign up for Small Victories here:

CelebrateSmallVictories.com

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Is Awesome. Show Her Some Love.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in October 2017.

 

Show some love to Maura Healey, the Democratic state attorney general of Massachusetts, who is up for re-election in 2018.

 

Healey is still in her first term, having been elected in 2014, and she is a standout. Previously, she was the Chief of the Civil Rights Division under her predecessor, and she led the state’s challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

 

She was a solid state AG already, but since Trump’s election, she has been a tireless defender of laws, norms, and civil rights.

 

She was among the earliest of the AGs to sign on to the lawsuit to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump promised to kill.

 

She has also been in the forefront of suing the Betsy DeVos-led Department of Education to allow Obama-era laws to take effect that would allow students who were cheated by colleges to discharge their federal loan debts.

 

Healey has also announced that she will sue Equifax over its egregious breach that compromised the personal information of roughly 143 million Americans. She is up for re-election in 2018.

 

Regardless, Healey deserves your support on social media at the very least.

 

 

See the Massachusetts Attorney General’s website:

http://www.mass.gov/ago/

 

 

See her own website:

http://www.maurahealey.com

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MauraHealeyMA

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@maura_healey

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See her page on the website of the National Association of Attorneys General:

http://www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag/massachusetts/maura-healey.php

 

 

Read various stories about her lawsuits against Equifax and the Department of Education, and the lawsuit in defense of DACA:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/equifax-data-breach-massachusetts-attorney-general-to-sue/

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2017/09/06/massachusetts-suing-daca/

http://www.wbur.org/radioboston/2017/07/06/maura-healey-devos

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Commit to the Long Haul, Because We Need You, Yes, You, to Help Un-Bork the Country

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

Commit yourself to the long haul, because that’s what’s needed to un-bork the country. 

Waking up on November 9 was tough and bewildering, and not just because Trump won. It was tough because many of us were shocked to discover that the Democrats—the opposition party—was weak and in piss-poor shape to reign in Trump and his minions.

All this was made exponentially worse by the behavior of the Republicans, who have consistently favored their party over the greater good of the country since the current Congressional session began.

Let’s be painfully honest. There’s only so much the Democrats can do when the Republicans own everything and show no interest in fulfilling their obligation to check Trump’s power. The Democrats are trying, and in many cases, trying valiantly to curb the worst excesses, but the Republicans hold all the cards right now (in 2017).

Do not lose sight of the fact that the Democrats are stepping up, and the Republicans are not.

Trump will leave eventually. We won’t take bets on when. But never forget that this does not end when he’s gone. In the immortal words of God, speaking at the end of the classic film Time Bandits (which you really need to see if you haven’t yet): You need to stay here and carry on the fight.

The good news of the 115th Congress, such as it is, is that sitting Congressional Republicans are showing us who they are–unfit to govern, and incapable of governing.

We need to remember this, take down their names, and work to remove members of Congress who rolled over and surrendered to Trump. We need to work to elect Democrats, and we also need to work to elect Republicans who are sane and responsible.

Yes, you read that right. You need to work sane, responsible members of the opposition party, too.

One of the big reasons this country is borked right now is that we’re polarized. We used to be able to tolerate, and even befriend, people who disagreed with us on key issues. Somehow, without any of us really noticing, too many of us lost this talent.

You can argue about the hows and the whys, but it’s a fact. One of the ways to fix it is to go out and befriend people who don’t think like you all the time, on everything, but who are responsible and sane and have backbones.

You’re probably thinking by now, “Yeah, but what one thing are you asking me to do?” Fair enough.

Read this past post about recruiting friends in red states to call their MoCs:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/04/01/recruit-your-red-state-friends-to-call-their-mocs-2/

Pay attention to the bits about cultivating friendships. Get to work, if you haven’t yet. Build up your network so you can support your red state friends during elections and perhaps help them ID and support sane Republicans (assuming the Democrats are feckless or the Republican candidate is actually better).

And be on watch for future posts about sane Republicans, and consider following those folks on SoMe.

In addition, look at your state and local reps. Do you see any sane Republicans? Keep tabs on them. Maybe support them. Certainly support them if their Democratic counterpart is feckless or worse.

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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Go to Alabama for Your Next Vacation

Put your money where your mouth is: Reward Alabamians for choosing Democrat Doug Jones as their newest Senator by taking your next vacation in Alabama. 

 

When a state legislature adopts a stupid, hurtful law, the people who fight the law sometimes ask tourists to boycott the state.

 

Do you remember when North Carolina adopted House Bill 2, a law that restricted LGBT rights and demanded that transgender people use the bathroom that corresponded to their sex at birth? The N.C.A.A. protested HB2 by relocating more than a dozen college championship events to venues in other states. The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte to New Orleans. Wired estimated that HB2 cost North Carolina almost $400 million in lost revenue.

 

Boycotting North Carolina for passing HB2 was the right thing to do. Like it or not, when you spend your money, you cast a vote. You should do what you can to avoid voting with your dollars for things that you don’t support.

 

But! There are two sides to this coin. Yes, you should not give your money to vendors and venues that insult and disparage your values. And you should spend it with vendors and venues that uphold them.

 

Which brings us to Alabama. Its citizens made headlines on December 12, 2017 when they elected Democrat Doug Jones to be their next Senator instead of Republican Roy Moore.

 

You should reward Alabama for this.

 

Are you planning a vacation anytime soon? Look into Alabama.

 

See the state’s official tourism website:

http://alabama.travel

 

Also check out the Alabama section on the Visit the USA site:

https://www.visittheusa.com/state/alabama

 

Make notes. Think. Plan. Budget. Go. Add your dollars to the more than $13 billion that more than 25 million visitors spent in Alabama in 2015.

 

And when you do, tell everyone that you chose Alabama because Alabamians chose Doug Jones as their Senator.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See a May 2017 article about Alabama tourism figures:

http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/05/alabamas_tourism_fueled_by_bea.html

 

See the Wired article that calculated North Carolina’s losses related to HB2:

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/guess-much-anti-lgbtq-law-costing-north-carolina/

 

Also see a Business Insider story that gives details on entities that boycotted North Carolina over HB2:

http://www.businessinsider.com/north-carolina-hb2-economic-impact-2016-9

 

And follow @BuzzHuntsville on Twitter, because he’s charming as all get-out.

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Take a Break Every Now and Again. It’ll Help You Stop Trump.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

For your own sanity’s sake, plan periodic breaks from fighting Trump and his ilk.

With so much going on, it might be tough to convince yourself to step away and rest. But you must if you want to fight Trump and the Republicans effectively. No, really. You’ve heard people say ‘This is a marathon, not a sprint’? It’s not a bunch of yap-yap. You can’t go the distance if you don’t slow down to grab some water every now and again.

You need to sit yourself down and plan these respites, and you need to commit to them. Blocking out one day a week where you disengage from the news and from social media to do something you like–be it hiking, knitting, reading, hanging out with friends, or binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer–put it on your calendar and don’t talk yourself out of it.

If you’re having trouble giving yourself permission to take one day off a week, then let us at OTYCD tell it to you straight:

 

“We, your friends at the One Thing You Can Do blog, are telling you, our faithful reader, to unplug and chill out completely once a week. We are giving you formal permission to do so.”

 

Print it out and tape it to your mirror, or your computer monitor, or staple it to your forehead–whatever it takes to get through to you.

If you won’t listen to OTYCD on this, follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter and subscribe to her Weekly Activism Checklist newsletter. She’s a fire-breathing evangelist for self-care.

 

Follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter:

@inspiredjen

 

Sign up for her Weekly Activism Checklist:

https://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Hofmann-463228547169366/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Believe It: You Matter.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

Never forget: You matter, and your actions matter, even when it feels like they aren’t adding up to much. You. Matter. Never give up the fight.

Waking up on November 9, 2016 was tough.

Trump will go, eventually, but you should not. Your work doesn’t end when his term does. You need to carry on and help reshape America so this sort of crazy nonsense can’t happen again.

One of the most insidious things about Putin’s attack on the 2016 election was just that–the attack on democracy itself. Never forget: Putin gains when he can destabilize liberal democracies and make them look broken and dysfunctional.

Putin is trying to teach his people that it’s fruitless to resist autocratic leaders like him. And that’s why it should give you pause when you consider that as of early April, Trump has yet to criticize Putin in any way whatsoever.

When you feel like what you’re doing to push back against Trump isn’t working, remember this:

Vladimir Putin doesn’t want you to vote.

Robert Mugabe doesn’t want you to vote.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t want you to vote.

Kim Jong-un doesn’t want you to vote.

Bashar al-Assad doesn’t want you to vote.

When you vote, or protest, or contact your members of Congress, or run for office yourself–when you pick up an oar and row the endless longboat of American democracy,  you are yelling a big, loud “fuck you” at those who are trying to scare their own people into submission.

You matter.

You are one among many, but you matter.

Never forget. Never despair. You matter.