Seven things you can do

Today feels worse than election day. Same fight, yes, but new, bigger losses.

I originally wrote the following list for my newsletter project the week after Trump won. I’m reposting it here now to update a few links that have expired and because it still holds up. I’d also recommend checking out Crush the Midterms.

Be good to each other out there.

1) Move your money

If your money is sitting in a corporate bank, the oligarchs are using it to make even more money. Don’t let them. Put your money into locally owned credit unions and/or banks. Bonus points if they’re operated by people of color.

Changing banks is annoying. Sure, fine. You want to do something or not? It’s not all that hard, it’s terribly practical, it has a real impact, and isn’t any work at all once you’ve done it.

2) Go to your library

This is two-fold: 1. You can read and learn there. Always good. Keep reading and learning. 2. Libraries are often a refuge of sorts for disadvantaged populations. See and be seen. Hell, just go on a walk in your neighborhood. Smile and wave. Be partof this world, right now, with the people around you. Facebook is not the world.

3) Encrypt your shit

This article nicely sums up both how and why you should encrypt everything you can. If you only do one thing it recommends at least turn on two-factor auth for your email, k? Work accounts, too.

Why now? The bullies aren’t going to settle for drawing swastikas in bathroom stalls anymore. They want to draw them all over your life. They are going to try to crack your accounts and fuck up your shit as a method of intimidation, and for the lulz. Many women and people of color are already living in this hell. It’s going to get worse for them and spread to everyone who speaks out online against facism and injustice.

Locking your car isn’t paranoid, it’s practical. Same for encryption. Encrypt your shit now.

4) Donate your money

As much as you can. Lots of good groups who need it.

5) Inspect your wiring

What do you believe? What do you value? How do those beliefs and values differ from others in your group, your neighborhood, your city, your country?

The better you understand yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to understand others. I found the conversation on this recent episode of the You Are Not So Smart podcast worthy of reflection. I’ve also been trying some of the surveys they discuss at YourMorals.org.

6) Prepare to care for your neighbors

Boy Scouts don’t prepare out of fear, but wisdom.

Keep the pantry a little more stocked. Fill that space empty space in your freezer with water. Get that first aid kit and fire extinguisher you’ve been meaning to get ever since you moved. Start learning a practical skill like sewing or basic carpentry. Fix up your bike. Learn where your gas shut-off is. Be a person who carries a pocket-knife. Keep your phone charged while you’re at work.

Be frugal, and stock more necessities. It’s easier to be generous in times of need when your own survival is not at risk.

The future is uncertain, but you can still prepare.

7) Buy yourself some art

Buy art. Actual art, made by humans. It’s good for the soul, and they’re going to need the money. The next four years might inspire some great punk and painting and comedy, but anger don’t pay the bills.

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