In “Indivisible,” former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress, especially your congressman or senator, listen to you. For rebels with a cause—and there are now 65,844,610 of them, this pamphlet serves as a practical guide for resisting the Donald Trump agenda, that is still unofficial but will become official by this time next month.
“Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever call himself President- Elect,” Indivisible starts out saying. “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.”
Indivisible sets out certain steps for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents, according to its authors, who argue it can be useful for “stiffening Democratic spines and weakening pro-Trump Republican resolve.”
Ohio Democrats, especially current or future state party officials, and national Democratic National Committee staffers and their next leader, should heed and follow, to the best of their ability, the guides well-considered steps to achieve the kind of victory Star Wars rebels had in destroying the seemingly unpenitrable Death Star.
“We believe that the next four years depend on citizens across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda,” it says, adding, “We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize our fellow citizens.” The guide is written to provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen.
May The Force be with us all.
How grassroots advocacy worked to stop President Obama. We examine lessons from the Tea Party’s rise and recommend two key strategic components:
- A local strategy targeting individual Members of Congress (MoCs).
- A defensive approach purely focused on stopping Trump from implementing an agenda built on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.
How your MoC thinks — reelection, reelection, reelection — and how to use that to save democracy. MoCs want their constituents to think well of them and they want good, local press. They hate surprises, wasted time, and most of all, bad press that makes them look weak, unlikable, and vulnerable. You will use these interests to make them listen and act.
Identify or organize your local group. Is there an existing local group or network you can join? Or do you need to start your own? We suggest steps to help mobilize your fellow constituents locally and start organizing for action.
Four local advocacy tactics that actually work. Most of you have three MoCs — two Senators and one Representative. Whether you like it or not, they are your voices in Washington. Your job is to make sure they are, in fact, speaking for you. We’ve identified four key opportunity areas that just a handful of local constituents can use to great effect. Always record encounters on video, prepare questions ahead of time, coordinate with your group, and report back to local media:
- Town halls. MoCs regularly hold public in-district events to show that they are listening to constituents. Make them listen to you, and report out when they don’t.
- Non-town hall events. MoCs love cutting ribbons and kissing babies back home. Don’t let them get photo-ops without questions about racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.
- District office sit-ins/meetings. Every MoC has one or several district offices. Go there. Demand a meeting with the MoC. Report to the world if they refuse to listen.
- Coordinated calls. Calls are a light lift but can have an impact. Organize your local group to barrage your MoCs at an opportune moment about and on a specific issue.