Statue of Liberty. ocean
Keeping the torch lit and our head above water. Photo credit: Burnt Pineapple Productions / Flickr (CC0 1.0 DEED)

Eleven suggestions for the next 117 days.

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Some of us have families and live in communities that agree with us about the profound danger of another Trump presidency. But some of us have close relatives — a parent, child, sibling, even a spouse — who support Donald Trump. We feel dismayed by what has happened to them.

Others of us live in a town or city where there are many Trump supporters, or in a red state, or in a neighborhood where you see lots of Trump lawn signs and bumper stickers. You feel isolated and fearful.

Some of us are confused about whether Biden is the strongest candidate to take on Trump, and worried about what Biden and the Democrats will decide.

I can’t sugarcoat this. It is dismaying, frightening, and worrying. We have already endured four years of Trump, and another term could tip America and the world into full-throated fascism. Trump has become even more unhinged and vindictive, and more knowledgeable about how to get horrendous things done.

Here are 11 suggestions for what you can do in the 117 days before Election Day:

      1. Try not to allow issues such as whether Biden should resign, or his degree of responsibility for Gaza, to get in the way of your determination not to let Trump back into the White House. Regardless of our differences over these issues, they pale compared to the threat Trump poses.
      2. For the same reason, please don’t decide to leave the top of the ticket blank or to vote for a third-party candidate or not to vote at all. All make it easier for Trump to win. Instead, make sure you and everyone you know and trust is registered to vote, and votes for Joe Biden or whomever is the Democratic candidate for president.
      3. Don’t become so upset with politics that you drop out, stop reading the news, or give up on activism. The stakes are just too high. Even if you cannot take much time out of your normal life, you need to help organize, mobilize, and energize others.
      4. Focus your time and energies on convincing people who still have open minds to oppose Trump. Mobilize those who don’t normally vote, to vote. Organize get-out-the-vote efforts in your community. Get young people involved.
      5. Counter lies with truth. When you hear someone repeating a Trump Republican lie, correct it.
      6. Do not tolerate bigotry and hate. Call it out. Stand up to it. Denounce it. Demand that others denounce it, too.
      7. Do not resort to violence, name-calling, bullying, or any of the other tactics that Trump followers may be using.
      8. Be compassionate toward hardcore followers of Trump, but be firm in your opposition. Understand why someone may decide to support Trump, but don’t waste time and energy trying to convert them.
      9. Don’t waste your time and energy commiserating with people who already agree with you, or criticizing Democrats for failing to communicate more effectively. None of this will get you anything except an upset stomach.
      10. Demonstrate, but don’t confuse demonstrating with political action. You may find it gratifying to stand on a corner in Berkeley with a sign asking drivers to “honk if you hate fascism” that elicits lots of honks, but it’s as politically effective as taking a warm shower.
      11. Finally, don’t let any sensationalized news of the day divert your eyes from the goal: protecting American democracy during one of the greatest stress tests it has had to endure, fueled by one of the worst demagogues in American history.

I cannot overstate how critical the outcome of the next 117 days will be to everything you and I want for America and the world.

Be well and be strong.

Reprinted with permission from Robert Reich’s substack.

Robert B. Reich is the Carmel P. Friesen Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, including as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written eighteen books, including the bestsellers The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It; The Common Good; Saving Capitalism; Aftershock; Supercapitalism; and The Work of Nations.


Comments are closed.