I am treating the Donald Trump era like Lent — a long, secular Lent, not just 40 days but four years — a time of personal abstinence to focus on the battle ahead to lessen the damage done by a crazy man.
My own sacrifice is to give up booze. I’ve decided to abstain from wine and gin gimlets and all forms of alcohol to stay sharp for Trump’s term in order to push back against him, issue by issue.
All the money I save from drinking water instead of wine will be given to non-profits dedicated to enhancing the personal freedoms Trump is trying to crush.
Civil Beat photographer Cory Lum told me he’s going the opposite direction. He says he plans to drink more beer to blot out Trump. But then he reconsidered and said that he needs to go on a Trump diet, too, less sushi, better food, a full breakfast, more exercise, to get stronger, as he puts it, “to weather the storm.”
We both feel the need to do something physically dramatic to experience each day the loss of something we love — even if it’s only a piece of sushi or a simple glass of wine at sunset — as a reminder to keep resisting.
When I told my friend Sydney Iaukea about my plan to give up drinking for as long as Trump is president, she said, “That’s huge.” Or as Trump might say, “UGE.”
But then Trump would never consider it huge because he
doesn’t drink alcohol. To him, it would be a meaningless gesture and more importantly, as a narcissist, he is unable to feel compassion for anyone who sacrifices, especially not a gin-deprived member of the media he both fears and hates.
Reporters are not supposed to be activists. My plan is to push back with words: to call out Trump with nouns and verbs when the orange man talks trash about the powerless or makes scary decisions like he’s been doing every day now — his failed immigration ban, his confrontational phone calls to friendly world leaders, his executive orders to toss out critical environmental protections.
The time for hand-wringing and feeling helpless is over.
Iaukea is an author and a professor. She has more than a hundred students in her political science classes at Leeward Community College.
Iaukea says she plans to do the same thing: push back against Trump with information, getting facts out to her students, many of whom she says lack basic information about constitutional rights, and the U.S. system of checks and balances against executive overreach.
With Trump, her deep concern is, “Who will guard the guards?” The question asked about unchecked power nearly 2,000 years ago by the Roman satirist Juvenal.
Iaukea told me she was not surprised when Trump won because of her students’ widespread affection for the New York real estate developer. Now it’s time to make them realize the consequences of their votes.
Judd Apatow, the executive producer of the former television series, “Freaks and Geeks,” was interviewed by Maureen Dowd in The New York Times recently for her column headlined, “Judd Apatow Freaking Out Over Donald Trump.”
Apatow says he’s worried about gaining 30 pounds by binge eating during the Trump regime.
Apatow said, “There are so many things that are hard to hear every day that you do want to have some Oreos. Like people say, ‘What do you invest in during the Trump era?’ I feel like, Hostess Cakes. Most of us are just scared and eating ice cream.”
Apatow is another who believes the best way to resist Trump is to concentrate on his actions rather than the president’s bizarre persona.
He says, “I don’t think it serves a purpose to be against him. It only serves a purpose to fight issue by issue.”
My neighbor Wendy Wyckoff emailed me a list of 12 strategies for pushing back against Trump.
One of my favorites is, “Focus on his policies, not his orangeness and mental state.”
Most of the strategies are reasonable, like ”Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow.”
Or very practical, like, “Do not argue with those who support him. It doesn’t work.”
Kerrie Urosevich, one of the planners of the Women’s March on Oahu, has a more down-to-earth way of resisting Trump. She’s fighting back with her mobile phone.
Every morning after she wakes up, Urosevich says it is her new habit to pick up her phone to call Republican congressional members who are wary of Trump and urge them to vote against the President’s initiatives and his most egregious cabinet nominees.
Urosevich is an early childhood coordinator and co-founder with former President Barack Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, of a non-profit called Ceeds of Peace.
She says she’s getting her three children involved by sparking family discussions every time Trump makes a racist or mean-spirited statement.
“It is an opportunity for parents to have conversations with our children. So much of what Trump does is counter to the values that we as parents want out children to embrace.”
Not since the 1960s of my youth has there been such a strong call to rebellion. Some are reacting by strengthening their bodies. Others are heeding the call spiritually. Hear ye: It is time stop reacting to Trump’s nutty tweets and instead make a plan to push back against him with mind, body and soul.