Top five ways to resist the Trump administration

Meetings, marches and protests are nice, but what are the best ways to make real change today?

“What can we do to make change right now?”

As I was speaking to a group of high school students, the question lit up the room, both by its genuine and frustrated nature. A student not more than 14 years old, eagerly awaited a response.

Along with many other young Americans, it seems attending town halls, calling our representatives and marching only gets us so much satisfaction. The question lingering is what can been done NOW, before the 2018 election to make change.

The answer is A LOT. You don’t have to wait for a ballot to make change. Here are my top five suggestions.

5. Resist apathy - Register co-workers, friends and family to vote

Anita Rocha, a senior business and global politics major, said elections aren't the only time students can make change. 

"They can do more than voting," Rocha said. "They can increase voting efforts by getting more people to vote, which the most important thing we can do."

Walking into work one day, politics drew the interest of the conversation. Upon further discussion, I discovered two co-workers, people I had worked with for years, weren’t registered to vote. Immediately I took out my phone, and had them register through Arizona’s online form

In just a few minutes they were locked and loaded, ready to fire away come the next election. Walking into a bar a few nights later, a customer beside me was fired up over Betsy DeVos. I asked her if she voted, and she informed me she wasn't even registered. Bam, I took out my phone and three minutes later she was registered. It's that easy, and it makes a difference.

4. Resist locally - Ballot measures and smaller elections

Arizona is one of the few states that allows citizens to gather signatures to put measures on the ballot. This includes fighting back on bad bills passed by the legislature. These petitions are only 15 signatures long. Taking one for your co-workers, your family, and friends makes a difference. 

Most recently, Arizona passed a voucher expansion law supported by Betsy DeVos, which is undergoing an effort to be referred to the ballot. You could take a petition to help refer the law to the ballot and kill a terrible bill for Arizona.

Other elections also happen each year, such as school boards, and city councils. Most prominent currently in Phoenix is a city council election on August 30th between a progressive candidate in Kevin Patterson and a Trump supporter, Sal DiCiccio. If Democrats are going to be successful in 2018 and 2020, they have to be successful in small elections in 2017.

3. Resist Corporations - Shop smart

Want to hold the corporations accountable for not paying their employees, while having CEOs that buy different homes for each season of the year? That's where money can speak the loudest. Research the different places you shop. Not all corporations are bad, but it's important to know where your money is going.

2. Resist Climate Change - Eat less meat

1. Resist elitism - Listen to people who feel unheard

Bigot. Racist. Sexist. Xenophobe.

I’m not denying that these are realities, and we should never deny their existence at a macro level (or if you are witnessing an attack). But when someone says “I don’t like illegals,” we have an opportunity to open a dialogue, to dig deeper into that statement and the sentiments behind it. This is by far the most important thing we can do as Democrats.

Calling someone a racist will not make them less racist. Take the time to hear them out and explain a different perspective that perhaps they haven’t heard before. I’m not saying this is easy, but I'm saying it makes change.

Trump won because he tapped into something Democrats didn’t: people who felt like government didn’t work for them. More than anything else, if we take the time to listen to other people and to understand where they come from, that is a place where we can work to show that Trump is not in their best interest. That Democrats do have better solutions, and we can make government work, not just for some, not just for the wealthy, and not just for the college educated, but for everyone.

Those conversations start by listening.

Whatever you care about, whether it’s climate change, or education, or even being a listening ear, you can do something about it right now.

Change doesn't have to wait for an election.


Reach the columnist at jarwood@asu.edu or follow @jimsthebeast on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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