Fellow disenfranchised readers: Are you at a loss on what to do after this whole Trump upset?
If you’re anything like me, you’re not just burnt out on the constant flood of upsetting news since November 8th, but you’re also rearing to find a way to fight back. What if I told you there’s a way to do it and get paid??
BUST writer Patricia already covered a great list of ways to directly act out and protest Trump, but I would like to offer up some alternatives. These might be a bit more long-term — and some of them might require a few years of schooling — but I offer them as a way to not only fight Trump directly but to fight his influence on our future. I mean, why just fight Trump on the side when you could put a degree on it?
If you have the opportunity to do so, you can find a career that not only helps you make a living but also provides you with the access to make a direct difference in your community and in the world. Here are five careers that will help you fight Trump and keep your community safe.
There’s no doubt that female health and access to treatment is under threat with a Trump/Pence presidency. Pence is known for his strident stance against Planned Parenthood, and Trump has been running his campaign on — among other things — the promise to gut the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), including some of the initiatives that were aimed specifically at helping women. We should all be aware that women’s reproductive health is essential to our lives, but many politicians still fail to see how that’s the case.
So, how can you fight against the Trump presidency and their attack on women’s health? By becoming a nurse.
Female nurse practitioners (NPs) are some of the most accurate references on women’s health needs, and many women rely on their expertise. Regis College, a private nursing school in Boston, notes on the unique need for female NPs: “One of the most important areas of study is the intersection of socioeconomic factors and women’s health . [...] Without access to necessary preventive treatment and pre-natal care, these low income women suffer significantly higher mortality rates than the rest of the population.”
Women in these disadvantaged areas — such as in Mississippi, where only one abortion clinic is still open for service — are in dire need of sexual education, health support, and access to knowledgeable professional who can help them understand their body and their pregnancy.
If you seek out a future in nursing, it’ll be like sticking a figurative “finger” to Trump and Pence and the entire Republican party’s view on healthcare for women.
2. Social Work
With the inevitable rise in hate crimes since Trump’s win a month ago, the need for social workers will also be on the rise.
Do you want to directly help the people that have been affected? Social work is your calling. People of color, women, LGBTQIA folks, and others will all need a shoulder to lean on to help them get through the trauma of this election.
Where social workers will be needed the most is in rural areas; where funding is low and resources are limited. As one social worker, Mary Hylton, noted in an interview: “The biggest challenge social workers face is being under-resourced. Social workers are put in the position of tackling the outcomes of huge degrees of social and economic inequality without the resources to always do it adequately.”
Additionally, counselors and social workers are needed in schools to help prevent incidents of hate before they happen. One study with the 74 found that some of the largest school districts in America hire more security guards than school counselors; a depressing reality for many inner-city communities that are already struggling with police mistreatment. By filling this gap, schools will be able to meet the emotional needs of their students, before they reach the reactionary point. Children and the community will benefit from the empathy and emotional support you can provide as a social worker or counselor.
Speaking of schools, teachers are greatly influential and under-appreciated members of society. They can not only influence the young lives of their students, but can help combat the misinformation and hatred spread by the Trump administration.
By becoming a teacher, you can help mould the young minds of thousands of children in your community. You can teach them empathy, help them develop critical thinking skills, and can help influence their understanding of history (which is often skewed to benefit the image of white patriarchy).
Of course, becoming a teacher is often a thankless job, as they are constantly bashed by the “right,” and extremely underpaid. Yet, so many school subjects have the potential to be harmed by this presidency (science, sex ed, and history - to name a few), and we need educated and forward thinking minds to be teaching the future of America. In this way, teaching can be a direct act of civil disobedience.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Trump hates being critically analyzed and torn apart. He’s an egomaniac, plain and simple. Yet, now that he is President-elect, he exhibits a direct threat to our basic First Amendment rights: freedom of the press.
In the past, he has sued authors and journalists for painting a “bad image” of him as a businessman (and lost those suites). He has called out television and news for not covering his campaign in a “positive light,” and even held a press conference recently where he berated the media outlets for being “liars” and “not nice.”
The New Yorker released an article that gave a backstage look at how ridiculously egotistical Trump has become: “Participants said that Trump did not raise his voice, but that he went on steadily at the start of the meeting about how he had been treated poorly. [...] ‘But he truly doesn’t seem to understand the First Amendment.’ [said an attendee] ‘He doesn’t. He thinks we are supposed to say what he says and that’s it.’”
Plus, to add to this mess, fake news has been exposed as a major problem with how people hear and interpret current events. Journalism is in serious danger, yet (real) journalism is how we keep up with the President’s policy decisions.
This is how you can help: Become a journalist. You can even do it without a degree, by becoming an experienced freelance writer.
Put in your work and check all your sources for credibility. Write about everything Trump is trying to do. Hold him (and any other politician or leader) accountable for his actions and ignite the fire for resistance with your words. Keep the populace informed, and you will be directly acting out against Trump. (Plus, it’s kinda cathartic!)
If none of these careers are speaking to you, then there is always the option for direct action through politics. Getting involved isn’t easy, and simply getting a degree in political management will not guarantee you a successful future.
However, through volunteering and lobbying, you can build up your network while directly helping the organizations you support. When you start out, be sure to keep in mind the importance and impact of working locally. As Bernie Sanders has noted over and over, grassroots movements begin on a small and local level. To really make a change in this country, we have to start small so we can gain momentum. By joining politics, you can do just that, and potentially fight directly against the policies and influence Trump is going to leave on this nation.
It might take you years, but you will be able to break that glass ceiling yourself someday - and hopefully have the satisfaction of defeat a racist egomaniac in the process.
Already have a career...?
In the end, if you already have a steady job lined up for your future, you can still participate in direct action against Trump’s presidency. Volunteer, call your congressional representative, and donate to organizations that need support through this rocky time.
No matter what, we can not let the fire that’s beneath us die out. We need to continue to take actionable steps, and hold Trump responsible for being the voice of the people. Every day, remind yourself that this is not normal, and don’t ever let it become normal. Take care of yourself, and fight continuously when you have the energy to do so.
Katie McBeth is a freelance writer out of Boise, ID. She enjoys reading teen novels, eating mac ‘n cheese, and attending indie concerts in small bars. Her love for reading is only trumped by her love for cats, of which she has three. She also has a dog, and he helps keep her grounded. You can follow her animal and writing adventures on Instagram or Twitter: @ktmcbeth.
Top photo: Scrubs
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