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To Resist Trump, We Need To Stand As One

February 21, 2017 | By Ray Morris

Less than a month ago, many questioned the future and unity of the progressive movement. Today, we stand united, and we are pushing back on Trump’s and the Republican party’s thoughtless and selfish initiatives. For those of you who have marched in protests, signed petitions, called lawmakers, and raised a ruckus, thank you. If you’re on the edge of action, please let me persuade you to join us.

Coming off a surprising electoral college win, Donald Trump wasted no time before attempting to dismantle our democracy. He filled his administration with appointees who continually undermine our values and who are openly antagonistic toward a majority of Americans. Already, he has abused his power with unconstitutional, racist, and disturbing executive orders.

But not even 24 hours after Trump’s swearing-in, the progressive movement sprang into action. Millions took to the streets to stand up for women’s rights and against Trump’s misogyny in marches across the country and around the world. A week later, grassroots protests sprung up organically across the country’s major airports to fight back against Trump’s Muslim ban. Hundreds of thousands of Americans – many of whom have never taken political action before – have marched, protested, signed petitions and flooded Capitol Hill phone lines.

The CREDO community and its allies have relentlessly opposed Trump’s Muslim ban, attacks on immigrants, climate denial, misogyny, and disturbing cabinet appointees. We’ve submitted almost three million petition signatures and made nearly 300,000 calls to senators asking them to block Trump’s historically incompetent cabinet. CREDO members played a leading role in forcing the White House to pull Andy Puzder’s nomination for Labor Secretary last week. We also pushed Betsy DeVos’s Education Secretary confirmation vote to a nail-biting tie and slowed Senate Republicans’ plan to push through Trump’s cabinet without thorough vetting.

In just the first few weeks of Trump’s administration, CREDO members and our progressive allies have stood up to his right-wing agenda in Congress as well. As a result of our resistance, House Republicans abandoned a plan to gut the Congressional Ethics Office and had to cancel their plans for a massive sell-off of public lands. Republicans all across the country have faced massive pressure through an outpouring of phone calls and overflowing town halls.

Activism works, and we’re certainly not done – not even close. Trump and the Republicans remain undeterred in their efforts to rip off seniors, destroy our environment, legalize unscrupulous business practices and defund healthcare and basic protections for women.

We have at least four years of resistance ahead of us, and we’re planning for even bigger fights to come:

  • We must be vigilant against Republican assaults on our social safety net, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Congress will attempt to gut these programs.
  • Right this moment, Congress is working to end funding for women’s health care providers. We cannot let women lose their hard-earned right to make decisions about their own bodies. As a unified coalition, we need to brace for the coming threats to reproductive and abortion rights and Planned Parenthood, to which CREDO is the largest corporate donor.
  • We must block actions that benefit Wall Street and corporations at the expense of America’s most vulnerable communities. Exploitation starts with deregulation.
  • As Trump wages a full-scale assault on the environment, Congress has already rolled back regulations capping methane gas and regulations that stopped coal companies from dumping in our rivers and streams. The endless push by Trump and Republicans to destroy our natural resources, drinking water and clean air requires staunch opposition.
  • We cannot let Americans fall into debt and misery through the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act. In America, one’s socioeconomic status cannot be a barometer for wellness. That battle begins soon, and Congress must know that repealing it will have consequences in the next election.
  • We must stop the racist executive orders and legislation targeting people of color, the LGBTQ community, Muslims and immigrants. When Trump and Republicans say “law and order,” we need to prepare for assaults on our civil liberties, especially the rights and freedoms of people of color. When they say “religious freedom,” we know they mean an all out assault on the LGBTQ community; they are certainly not talking about the rights of Muslims.

Finally, let’s all agree and commit to this fundamental truth: an attack on one group is an attack on us all. Let’s stand together and speak out. Let’s pack town halls to force our lawmakers to answer for their votes. As Sr. CREDO Campaign Manager, Heidi Hess, said when discussing the Betsy Devos confirmation with the New York Times last week:

“We will unleash our activists in a way that I don’t think any secretary of education has ever experienced. If she holds field hearings, we will make sure we pack them with activists. If she travels for meetings or if she visits schools, we will confront her with protesters and have people lined up to ask her questions.”

Let’s work together to keep up the pressure on every aspect of Trump’s agenda, and our inclusive progressive movement will grow bigger than ever. All of us at CREDO look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with each of you as we #resist this dark moment in our country’s history. I hope you will join us in the resistance.

Originally published on February 21, 2017 on Huffington Post.