Former Congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party—and the successful obstruction of Obama'a agenda—have some advice for liberals, progressives, and patriots: fight the fuck back. And they're not just encouraging us, the majority of Americans who voted against Trump, to fight back. They lay out how we fight back. From the intro:
Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever to call himself President-Elect. In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist—and we have the power to win.
We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own members of Congress to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism—and they won.
We believe that protecting our values and neighbors will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda—but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional margins. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Barack Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.
The authors of this manifesto proceed to outline—in great detail—the grassroots effort needed to block Trump's agenda.
The key elements: organizing locally, sustained targeting of individual members of Congress (MoC), and accepting that we will be playing defense for at least the next four years (blocking a conservative/authoritarian goals, not advancing a progressive vision/agenda). Another crucial element for success: actually showing the fuck up. Whatever else you might wanna say/did say about Tea Party activists (racist, low-information, clueless hypocrites), they showed the fuck up at town halls hosted by their members of Congress, in the local offices of their members of Congress, and at Tea Party demonstrations in DC.
It's a 24-page document and it's worth your time. READ IT. And, yes, they address what those of us who are represented by "good" (liberal/progressive/Democratic) members of Congress can and should do:
Congratulations! Your Senators and Representative are doing what they should to fight racism, authoritarianism, and corruption. They’re making the right public statements, co-sponsoring the right bills, and voting the right way. So how does this change your strategy? Two key things to keep in mind:
1) Do NOT switch to targeting other Members of Congress who don’t represent you. They don’t represent you, and they don’t care what you have to say. Stick with your own local MoCs.
2) DO use this guide to engage with your MoCs locally. Instead of pressuring them to do the right thing, praise them for doing the right thing. This is important because it will help ensure that they continue to do the right thing. Congressional staff are rarely contacted when the MoC does something good—your efforts locally will provide highly valuable positive reinforcement.
Most Americans—thanks to gerrymandering—do not have good MoCs and you surely know some folks who don't. Be sure to share this guide with them right after you read it yourself.