By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams
After more than year of playing defense against President Donald Trump and the GOP’s attacks on healthcare, workers, immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, and the common good, the progressive group Indivisible on Tuesday published a new action guide aimed at helping organizers and constituents go beyond resistance and pressure the new House Democratic majority to fight for a positive, ambitious agenda.
“This guide is for what comes next,” Indivisible notes, contrasting the new roadmap with its viral 2016 Trump resistance guide.
“This guide is about using our constituent power to go on offense,” the group states. “Offense is exciting, but it’s more complex than defense. We have the opportunity to use congressional oversight to hold Trump and his cronies accountable. We can set the legislative agenda with a bold progressive vision rooted in inclusion, fairness, and justice. But none of this is automatic—we have to demand it of Congress.”
Titled “Indivisible on Offense: A Practical Guide to the New, Democratic House,” the organization’s guide notes that the Democrats’ control of the House of Representatives is a tremendous opportunity to both investigate the Trump administration’s boundless corruption and set a positive agenda that provides a stark contrast to the GOP’s plutocratic policies of tax cuts for the rich and Wall Street deregulation.
“Trump’s America is racist. Trump’s America is corrupt. Trump’s America is sexist. Trump’s America is inhumane. Voters need to see that there is an alternative to Trump’s America,” the guide notes. “It’s the job of Democrats to repudiate Trump’s agenda and show them what that alternative vision is. It’s the job of the grassroots—all of us—to make sure that they do. We can’t win in 2020 if we fail to do this.”
One way Democrats can advance such an agenda, Indivisible suggests, is through progressive “messaging bills” that may not pass the GOP-controlled Senate immediately but would nonetheless signal what the party “will prioritize should they retake Congress and the White House in 2020.”
The guide notes that Democrats can also use their leverage to insert progressive priorities into “must-pass” legislation like government funding bills.
But, as Indivisible points out, “leverage works only if you’re willing to use it,” and constant grassroots pressure is the only way to ensure that Democrats advance a popular progressive agenda.
From office visits to town halls to coordinated phone calls, Indivisible’s guide details a variety of ways constituents can make their voices heard and ensure their representatives are fighting for a bold agenda and refusing to compromise with Trump and the GOP.
“Democrats will continue to need our help stiffening their spines,” Indivisible notes. “We’re not going to mince words: Cutting deals could harm Americans and help Trump win re-election.”
“That is the danger and the risk that we need to protect against,” the guide continues, “and it starts with constituent pressure to make sure that Democrats not only don’t cut bad deals with Trump, but instead go on offense to protect and advance our values.”
Read the complete Congressional Guide here and check out the companion Guide for State Legislative action on using constituent power to both resist harmful federal policies and pave the way for progress at the state level.