Transforming Fear and Anger into Action — or, How we Survive the Trump Presidency

So, it’s here. The day we thought couldn’t possibly, really, actually come. The day the world changes. The day the car takes a sharp right turn and starts careening toward the cliff. Yes, it’s actually happening, and no you’re not going to wake up from a dream.

Inauguration Day is the day the orange king of terror puts his small fingers on the U.S. nuclear codes, the day the bully president steps up to the bully pulpit — yup, that guy. The one with the fragile but massive ego who has no interest in actually being president starts winging it and inflicting damage along the margins against those among us who need help the most — and takes over from the smartest, classiest, well-intended President in recent memory. The one who caters to our worst fears takes over for the one who pushed us to be our best selves. (Not to mention just about all of his inept, incurious, out-of-their-depth Cabinet nominees are going to be confirmed).

Yes, he’s the President of the United States now. . . . So what do we do? Will you be silent, wringing your hands, while the ship sinks?

Ranting and raving, complaining, out-witting the new President, stooping to his level, posting videos of Elizabeth Warren…will it make you feel better? Sure. For a nanosecond. But then what? Will it stop the car from careening out of control? No.

Those of us who are fearful today cannot be lulled back into complacency and inaction tomorrow. No. How do we start defending our values and our republic now imperiled by ineptitude and enmity?

It means starting by taking a bit more ownership over our democracy and our shared values, rather than sitting back and expecting someone else to take care of it for us. A bit more ownership over how we live and how we treat each other.

Here are 10 ways to get started:

Let’s not be the ones who so strongly adhere to the past, or fear, or are so set in ways of doing things that we lose sight of new ways forward — even those that might emerge from the darkness and chaos of the next years. Defend our values and our institutions, sure. But let’s also keep our eyes wide open.

After all, we’re going to have more elections to run and win, and hearts and minds to reach before long. We’re going to have a heck of a mess to clean up in a few years. But making it less of one starts today.


Communications and culture leader, author, certified coach, lawyer, yoga teacher.