There is a decent chance that Donald Trump will be the presidential nominee of the Republican party.
When it comes to politics, you generally don’t want to be on the opposite side of a bet on charisma.
Over the past 25 years, I can think of only one low charisma president, George H.W. Bush, and he lost his reelection bid to a very charismatic governor from Arkansas.
There is also a chance that, if elected, Donald Trump will do immense harm to the country and the world.
It is not inevitable that he will do immense harm. We live in a country that has many checks on the President.
That being said, the President does have far reaching war powers, especially since we have longstanding tradition of ignoring Congress’ duty to declare war.
Of course, there is some chance Donald Trump will be a good president. Anything is possible.
But when it comes to governance, avoiding extreme downsides is much more important than achieving modest upsides.
A lot of people – liberals, moderates, conservatives – are decrying Trump in op-eds, Twitter, and Facebook.
This has some value, but, especially if you are liberal, the value is likely not great.
All of which begs the question: how can any individual best spend her time to stop Trump from being elected?
For some reason, I haven’t seen many writers address this in the mainstream press (let me know if I’ve missed it).
I really don’t know, but here are some thoughts:
If you are liberal, you could:
- Use your vacation time to spend a week or two canvassing in important swing states during the general election.
- Donate money to any PACs that oppose Trump; ideally conservative leaning PACs.
- Donate directly to Hilary (or whomever wins the Democratic nomination).
- Have 1-1 coffee chats with any conservative who you know that are likely to vote, and explain why you are worried about Trump, with an emphasis on using conservative language and ideas. Remember, you should always Speak to the Tribe.
If you are conservative, your options are better and could include:
- Use conservative language on social media to express why you are not voting for Trump (and say that you are just sitting this election out until the party nominates someone who matches true conservative ideals).
- Donate money to pro-Democratic PACs.
- Have 1-1 coffee chats about why you’re not voting for Trump with your conservative friends who you believe are most likely to vote.
- If you belong to any civic or professional organization, political or not, be vocal about why you are not voting for Trump.
Clearly, I am not a political expert. These ideas are mediocre at best.
Fortunately, there are people who are political experts!
And I’d love for them to be telling us how we should be spending our time to prevent Trump from being elected.
Outrage is fine, but it’s not enough.
I’d like some tips.