January 4, 2017 | 10:31 EDT
By Katrina vanden Heuvel, January 3, 2017.
As the new year begins, any honest progressive knows the political outlook is bleak. But if we’re going to limit the damage that President-elect Donald Trump inflicts on the country, then despair is not an option. The real question, as Democracy Alliance President Gara LaMarche recently said, “is how you fight intelligently and strategically when every house is burning down.”
Indeed, with Trump and Republicans in Congress aggressively pushing a right-wing agenda, progressives will need to invest their resources and attention where they can do the most good — both now and over the next four years. With that in mind, here are three steps to take to resist and rebuild as the Trump administration gets underway.
First, while strong national leadership is certainly important, progressives must recognize that the most significant resistance to Trump won’t take place in Washington. It’s going to happen in the streets led by grass-roots activists, and in communities, city halls and statehouses nationwide.
There is real potential for cities and states to act as a bulwark against Trump’s agenda. On immigration, for example, a coalition of mayors from across the country — including New York and Los Angeles but also cities throughout the Rust Belt and the South — are already coordinating to fight Trump’s deportation plans. Local Progress, a national network of city and county officials, is working to protect civil rights and advance economic and social justice. And while the Trump administration may ravage the environment, cities and states can also continue the fight against global warming; in particular, California has the potential to become a global leader on the issue, and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has defiantly pledged to move forward with plans to slash carbon emissions in the state regardless of Trump’s policies.