The Aftermath: Concrete Steps

First, we come out of the fog. It took me a full week – slower than many, faster than others. And, I’ve no doubt the clutch of debilitating emotions will fall again. But now, I can think.

We must assume he will be president come 20 January. President Obama said it would happen and Hillary Clinton said it too. We have to go with that premise for now.

So we plan for that. We start taking concrete steps for what looks like a depressing future – a country run by a muddle-minded despot, his deplorable lot of children, and the likely influence of a hostile nation.

What concrete steps can we take to prepare for this assault on America?

Pay Attention

I am being more meticulous than usual in believing what I see and read. I stopped trusting the corporate media during the primaries. There are a handful of individual journalists I consider trustworthy. I’ll listen to these folks:

  • CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, Chief Foreign Correspondent and host of CNN “Amanpour” – @camanpour
  • JONATHAN CAPEHART, Washington Post writer and MSNBC contributor  – @CapehartJ
  • DAVID CORN, Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief – @DavidCornDC
  • DANIEL DALE, Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star@ddale8
  • KURT EICHENWALD, senior writer with Newsweek, a contributing editor with Vanity Fair@kurteichenwald
  • JULIA IOFFE, Russian-born American journalist whose work is featured at major publications, currently writes for Politico@juliaioffe
  • JUDD LEGUM, founder and editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress – @JuddLegum
  • JOSH MARSHALL, Editor & Publisher of TPM @joshtpm
  • LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, Broadcast journalist and host of MSNBC’s The Last Word – @Lawrence
  • KEITH OLBERMANN, GQ Special Correspondent – @KeithOlbermann
  • JOY REID, hosts AM Joy on MSNBC – @JoyAnnReid
  • BRIAN STELTER, Host of CNN’s Reliable Sources – @brianstelter

There are more. And some that seem immediately trustworthy (Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes) have been excluded. It’s a personal thing: they pushed the campaign of Independent Bernie Sanders to the detriment of Hillary Clinton. Professionally, neither is an actual journalist. They are celebrities with opinions.

Be Patient

Not really. But yes, really. Here’s where I’m coming from:

If you are a Democratic Party faithful, your President is telling you to hang tough and expect he will join the fight after the inauguration. Meanwhile, says the memo: organize.

Robby Mook, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, had the same advice, carried in a muted, post-election email. He also suggests we run for office – any office – to affect the balance of power.

You can see this will be a long fight. The Democrats are playing catch-up after all. The GOP and all their Citizens United hosts, have been steadily creating an infrastructure from the bottom up. It’s in place now and topped off with a majority in Congress, an incoming chief executive and power to shift the judiciary.

Protect Yourself

One of the scariest tweet-messages to emerge post-election was a quick list of To Dos for those who plan to actively oppose the president elect.

Get Tor.
Get Signal.
Get a VPN
2FA on your emails.

I’m no tech geek but I am a two-time victim of hackers, losing two laptops during this campaign: once during the primaries and the second the opening evening of the Democratic National Convention. I have seen the Watch List of Clinton supporters created during the primary season by a fan of Bernie Sanders. We know (sort of) what happened on 21 October and on 8 November. We know the coming Tweeter-in-Chief is a vindictive person who will have control over the CIA, FBI and CIA. So, I’m just saying, protect yourself. Now.

A bit more advice.

Tor: web browser app
Signal: messenger app
VPN: secure internet connection
2FA: 2 factor authentication (pwd+tel).
1st thing, iphone way safer out of the box. 2nd VPN is a paid service on top of your internet connexion. other are free apps.

Info from those who know. I have a steep learning curve ahead.

Support Those Who Will Support Us

By all signs, the new administration is determined to follow through on many campaign promises in concert with the GOP Congress. First on the list is repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Next, actions to remove a woman’s right to healthcare and the choice of an abortion. Our protected lands and wildlife are in danger. Regulations and agencies that protect citizens and the environment will likely be assaulted. Civil rights for people of color, people of different heritages, LGBT folk, religious groups are all at risk. Journalists and the press will see a tightening of their freedom to criticize; costly lawsuits and revocations of their FCC licensees are in the offing.

So get out your checkbook and give financial support to organizations that exist to safeguard us. I suggest Planned Parenthood, the League of Conservation Voters, Media Matters, the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Internet Defense League for starters.

Make Decisions

This question encompasses a slew of possibilities. Will you stay or leave? Will you fight actively or passively complain? Will you run for office?

In other words, make a commitment. Not making a commitment is the same as a commitment (remember the Democrats who sat out this election).

Be Hopeful

We are still a republic that runs on democratic principles. Our foundation will be shaken but not undone IF we fight.

Remember, there are more of us than them. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.



  1. Thank you for sensible advice showing us how to plan — how to think our way through the nightmare of a despot and the backlash of his nefarious administration. This morning something had changed with me, too. Rather than feeling scattered, I felt my first plan was to commit to coping. I’m staying with my feet on U.S. soil, fighting for social and political justice. I’ve got a big mouth and I’m going to use it, and I’m committed to going to the wall for the women’s movement. Dictators in other parts of the world win elections and imprison their critics. I’m not going to simmer down to avert that disaster; I’m fighting such tendencies, staring fear down.

    On the score of women’s rights, the malicious election defined feminism and sexism for a multitude of young women who otherwise found complaints about misogyny arcane. That’s a silver lining for a broader, invigorated movement that insists that females not be sidelined, marginalized and treated as less than fully human both legally and politically. Such progress is rocket fuel for the offensive that must be launched now that a flesh-eating Tyrannosaurs known as Trump will occupy the White House for possibly four grueling years. Onward.


    1. The one consistent thought I’ve had, among the many since 11-9, is that I love my country. Who woulda known this old hippie would become a “patriot”? So I’ve got that much down.

      The other thing I wanted to add was connecting with our tribes. I’ll probably update the post on that. But we need to connect and stay connected. We exchange energy this way, stay motivated, and increase our power.


      Liked by 1 person

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