Look, I’m just as pissed off as you folks are that we will have to acknowledge “President Donald Trump” very, very soon. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want Hillary either, but frankly she’d have hurt a hell of a lot less. I don’t want him as my President, I don’t want him representing us to the rest of the world, and I sure as hell don’t want the world that he’ll help shape.
There are violent protests going on all over the United States right now. That has to stop. It has to stop now, and never resume. You will fail, you will hurt those who are trying to keep the damage to a minimum. You will destroy the causes you want to support. And most importantly, you will help Trump prove his own misogynistic, homophobic, homicidal, dumb-ass, short-sighted, anti-humanity ideas.
That’s right, you are helping Donald Trump continue in his plans.
Look, there are a lot of ways that you can stand against him without destroying your own movement:
March and protest peacefully. Hell, we’ve overturned some very deep-rooted and immobile laws and feelings in this country with that policy. It works, and it works incredibly well.
VOTE! over 46% of those eligible to vote in this country failed to do so this year. Let’s say that half of those were unfairly not allowed to – a percentage that would be considered by even liberal sources to be high, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. An additional 25% of the electorate participating would have absolutely changed the outcome. Maybe Trump would have still won, but at least there would have been one hell of a strong voice of opposition. Don’t stay home, don’t ignore the voting booth. Get out there and make your opinion count in the most powerful way the world has ever seen.
Finance organizations and volunteer. Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal Defense Fund, The American Civil Liberties Union, there are a lot of them out there who are now under fire. Give them money. Give them time. They’re in desperate need of both, and that need is going to get more and more dire.
Stop those who would destroy your message. If you and your fellow marchers/protestors witness someone rioting or looting, surround them. Don’t put yourself in physical danger; just keep them from leaving the scene of a literal crime. Let the police in, and don’t let the criminals out. Force the news to report that those who stand in opposition to Trump will refuse to sanction violence and criminal behavior in their name, and force those who think this is appropriate behavior to recognize that it is not, and you will not either condone or assist them in it.
Finally, remember that Trump will be sworn in as president. We can’t stop that now. What we need to do is become what Britain calls “The Loyal Opposition.” Never let in or give up for a moment on your ideals or values. Never stop pushing (peacefully, effectively) against the policies you do not and can not endorse. But remember we are still all Americans. We are still all bound by the laws of our country and the leaders that are elected to make and uphold those laws. This isn’t a contradiction of terms or oxymoronic thinking, this is what our system of government was designed to do from the very beginning. Believe it or not, not everyone in Colonial America believed that secession and independence was the right idea. Some stood up in favor of remaining loyal to the crown. The did, however, still support the will of the people when the fledgling country decided on which direction it would move.
Teach people about the most powerful tools at our disposal to defeat bad laws: Peaceful Protest, Jury Nullification, Voting the morons out of office, the are a large number of them. Use them, teach others about them, but work within the system to change the system and the message will be broadcast to all the corners of the earth.
Riot and wreck up our cities, and not only is your own message lost, you support the very people you are trying to protest against.
We’re in this together. We will survive the next four years. Let’s not make the situation twenty times worse by fueling the very people and policies we stand against.