Mitigating the Effects of a Trump Presidency
Now that Donald Trump is officially our President elect, barring a miracle from the Electoral College in December, we’re going to have to deal with it.
Notice I did not say, “sit down, shut up and accept it”. Nor did I say “Wait and see”. In fact, I believe that waiting and seeing is a bad idea. If the worst that is being predicted happens, we have to have plans in place to mitigate the damage. If the worst doesn’t happen, we can be thankful that the time we made making plans was time wasted.
Some in the Witchcraft community at large have called for binding spells for Trump and Pence to prevent them from doing harm to the communities they have vocally threatened (That is, Muslims, immigrant families with undocumented members, women, the LGBTQ community explicitly, other minorities implicitly, and also the environment we live in) and there has been a bit of a Facebook row over this. I am not sure how many people actually did a binding spell or how much energy was spent condemning people who do binding spells, but it was there, I saw it. (Though I can’t find anything to link to right now to prove it.)
If you are opposed to bindings on moral grounds or fear unforeseen repercussions, I feel you. But bindings aren’t all we’ve got in our arsenal, are they? You can cast protective spells on individual members of the vulnerable communities. You can send Trump and Pence (and any of their other scary crew) enlightenment, urge them to open their ears and their eyes and their hearts. You can bathe them in the energy of Aquarius.
I am personally not opposed to a carefully applied binding spell, or any spell that the practitioner feels is necessary to protect the community at large. Magick is, whether you believe in its effect or not, very therapeutic for the otherwise powerless and should be proactive. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you know that I believe that we should use everything in our power to protect our families and communities and dammit, magick is in our power. So is prayer.
But whatever you do, don’t let it be all you do. There is so much more to do.
Make Connections and Form Networks
Contact your local clergy or community leaders and let them know that you are an ally of the vulnerable communities and tell them what you have to offer them. Brainstorm what you have to offer- we don’t know how bad things are going to get. If you are familiar with certain organizations or legal proceedings, you may prove very valuable but even if you’re not, you may be able to provide someone with safe passage from point A to point B some day. And let us pray that it does not come to that.
Whatever you can do, even if you feel you have nothing to offer, make sure that like-minded people know that you want to be part of the network in case the worst happens. Maybe don’t say too much online or in writing, you know, just in case.
Get Involved With Existing Programs
There are existing programs that are in place to help protect the rights of individuals and provide services to the disenfranchised and these are going to need support in the future. If you voted for Trump and support his more civilized policies, you might be a little worried about the extreme rhetoric as his cabinet positions fill up. Supporting these organizations may help minimize any damage. And even if things aren’t as bad as I feel, these are still organizations worth supporting.
The ACLU exists to protect people from civil rights violations. They are going to be the first line of defense for the common people when discriminatory policies start being made. You can support them through donations and many people have done so since the election. The incoming administration has shown enormous contempt for our first amendment rights and I expect the ACLU will have to shift into high gear pretty early in this Presidency. They deserve our support.
Even if the new administration doesn’t completely disregard the Constitution, we have already seen an increase in hate crimes by people who have been emboldened by the rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fight hate crimes. A donation to them will help some of the people who suffer due to the current climate of hate.
I expect Planned Parenthood will be de-funded pretty early on by the Republican majority Senate and Trump isn’t likely to stand in their way. Planned Parenthood is demonized as a provider of abortions but Planned Parenthood also prevents uncounted abortions by providing birth control options to low income women and men across the country as well as basic feminine health care and education and services for family planning and sexually transmitted diseases. If the incoming administration follows the health care policies it has proposed, more women (and men) than ever are going to need Planned Parenthood’s services because we may not be able to get them elsewhere. It is important that Planned Parenthood remain available to all of us and it will probably be up to us to make sure it does.
I am also worried about climate change. Trump has publicly stated that he believes climate change is a hoax and many of his team have denied the truth of climate change as well. (I believe that the truth of climate change doesn’t matter because the truth of air and water pollution is obvious and it’s caused by the exact same thing!) I don’t know what to do about this except to support the science. I am not sure what good it will do while friends of fracking are running things though. If you have any ideas, please do pass them along.
Be Loud, Be Proud
There is a time and a place for rioting. When we are completely without any other recourse and are desperate to be heard, that is the time. The place is where the elite are, not where poor people are trying to get by. Otherwise, rioting is just annoying so people shouldn’t do it.
But peaceful protest- this I believe in. I celebrate people marching on Washington. I honor the folks at Standing Rock. They are doing what I haven’t the courage to do, though I wish I did. I fantasize about thousands, millions of people walking down the road toward Washington, passing through towns and picking up more people as we go. I have a million reasons why I can’t leave and maybe you do to. I guess we could at least buy a shirt. Sort of passive aggressive protesting?
Write to your representatives in Congress and tell them how you feel. Be their best friend. Send them holiday cards and birthday cards with little notes about policy in them. You can find the right people at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Whatever you do, don’t shut up. Don’t sit down. Don’t wait and see. Be ready for the worst, hope for the best, and make sure everyone knows how you feel about every action this new administration takes.
It is your right. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.