Trump won. Now what?

Posted by Jen Tong on November 15, 2016

I haven’t discussed political topics on my blog before, but there’s a first time for everything, right? :)

So it’s been about a week, and just like President Obama promised, the sun has kept on rising. We all reacted differently to the news of Trump’s Victory. Some of us vented to our friends on social media, some of us spent a little quality time with the bottle.

Don’t lose sight of the seriousness of this situation

It’s only been a few days and Trump’s backpedalling has already begun. Maybe not all of Obamacare will be repealed. Maybe the wall will really be a fence.

This has some of my friends hoping that maybe, just maybe, these 4 years won’t be so bad. That’s a dangerous line of thinking. The full list of reasons won’t fit in this blog post, so instead let me share a couple of stories that run through my head each night as I try to sleep.

Jen leaves

Let’s assume Trump is effective, and manages to accomplishes all of his campaign goals.

I’m the same-sex spouse of a foreign national. If my marriage is dissolved, and NAFTA is repealed, I would be forced to chose between my country and my spouse. That’s a pretty easy choice: I’d follow my spouse. But being forced from my home is not a situation that I’d like to have forced upon me.

The divide grows

Let’s assume Trump is not effective. Polarizing presidents rarely get much done. Their parties lack unity, legislators cross the aisle, and progress grinds to a halt.

Deadlock in the government blocks critical bills. We lose ground to climate change. The next generations carbon debt increases. The global economy suffers. Angry rhetoric continues, and the polarizing divide grows deeper. The next presidential race is even nastier than the one before it.

So what now?

That’s just a tiny sample of what could happen, and those situations look bleak. But our government represents us, right? It’s up to us to fix this. I encourage you all to take a break from consuming information to create something for yourself: make a to do list of things you can do to influence your government to better represent you.

We all have different resources and passions, so our lists will all be different. Here’s my list:

Things to do right now

  • Start paying for news. Journalists warned about what would happen if we let good journalism crumble, only to be replaced by fake newspapers and profitable clickbait. It’s time to pay up.
  • Take care of myself. Shift to healthy coping mechanisms. If I swap out evening margaritas for morning jogs, I’ll be stronger and better able to help.

Things to do soon

  • Learn more about the politicians that represent me. Find the ones that I am aligned with. Support them.
  • Figure out who is on the fence politically. Share my story with them.
  • Get more active in local and state politics.
  • Better understand people I disagree with. I don’t have to go far to find people who voted for Trump. I should talk to them. I must understand their reasons, and learn to better sympathize with their hardships. I need to show them that I’m a human too.
  • Donate to organizations that will be negatively impacted by Trump’s administration.
  • Some of us might get some tax cuts. If that happens, donate more to those negatively impacted organizations.

Things to do in just under 2 years

  • Continue to support my political allies.
  • Figure out how I can shift the needle in Congress: maybe there will be candidates who I can support in other states.

That’s my list for now. Writing it down sure helped. What’s on your list? Did I miss something important? Tell me on Twitter.