As the shock wears off and practical reality of a Trump presidency sinks in, the question of what he can actually accomplish comes to the forefront of the conversation. The hatred and fear, bigotry and misogyny, and view of what makes America great that Donald Trump espoused during his campaign and in his nascent transition to power is not what a majority of people in this country value. He represents a minority, both in the general population and with our leaders on all levels. That’s why he won’t get away with many of the absurd policies and frightening threats. Read on to discover where and why he will be impotent against progressives.

paris-agreement1. The rest of the world believes in climate change and is ready to do something about it. The Paris agreement represents incredible diplomacy, compromise, and the setting aside of differences for the greater good. Ratified by 111 parties, the agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016. Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the agreement. But it seems that this will not be met without repercussions. Other members, like Mexico and Canada, are considering a carbon-pollution tax on imports of American made goods. Another outlet would be to lobby the World Trade Organization that U.S. industries are not paying their fair share if Trump refused to abide.


2. The clean energy train has left the station. Investment in clean energy technologies and infrastructure benefits the economy, national security, and health.  Wind, solar, and hydroelectric energies are already shaping the power grid and providing jobs.  A Republican congress passed a spending bill last year that included tax credits for wind and solar. Plus, the Obama administration announced Friday that there will be no new federal oil and gas leases in the Arctic Ocean for the next five years. That won’t be a move Trump can easily change; it could take years of new environmental review.

3. Cities are already standing up against threats of deportations. Feeling comfortable reporting crimes and working with local law enforcement without fear of deportation is essential to a safe city. Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Austin, and other cites and counties around the country have vowed not to cooperate with federal deportation measures and to reject any funding with strings attached. It’s not even certain how to define a sanctuary city in the first place, making any clear policy difficult. In addition, some states have legal precedent that prevents holding people under an ICE detainer request.

Suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, 1917. Advocates march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of more than one million New York women demanding the vote. The New York Times Photo Archives

Suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue, 1917.
The New York Times Photo Archives

4. Limiting women’s rights will be harder than he thinks. Although Trump stated that Roe v. Wade would be automatically canceled if he was elected, revealing his limited understanding of the workings of the Supreme Court, this cannot happen. In fact, it will be difficult to reverse the1973 decision, which has stood the test of time. U.S. Supreme Court justices must take precedent into account, even if they don’t agree with the decision. Women’s rights groups are gearing up to speak out against threats to health and privacy. Already, 90,000 people have said they will attend the Women’s March on Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration.

5. We’re calling Bull$#*!. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have emerged as progressive leaders of the Democratic party and are not letting Trump of the hook. His promise to “drain the swamp,” cleaning up government corruption has so far fallen short. In a letter to the president elect, Elizabeth Warren brought up the backgrounds of his chosen transition team. Corporate ties, climate denial, and lobbyist backgrounds are just a few examples.

Mr. Trump promised to #DrainTheSwamp, not fill it up. Now do it.

6. 2020 is coming — and we’ll be ready. The election of Donald Trump has ignited progressives all around the country. Donations have surged to organizations that oppose Trump policies and values. Serious conversations about who may run for president in 2020 have already begun. 2020 will also offer the chance for Democrats to win back the House of Representatives. Trump is igniting passions against him before he even takes office. There is no reason to think he won’t continue that trend and perhaps inspire voters to come out in force for change in 2020.

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