On November 9, Americans woke up to the announcement that they have narrowly avoided the apparent worst-case scenario, i.e. a Hillary Clinton presidency. Most researchers and activists of good will were happy if not outright ecstatic that the wicked witch of the West was finally gone, hopefully for good. Others simply acknowledged that a change in power would take place in January, 2017 but argue that there will be no discernible difference between a Trump administration and the Obama administration just as the Bush-Obama years were those of a seamless transition.

But while we may take some temporary relief in knowing that we avoiding the absolute worst-case scenario, it is time to ask, “what now?” We are faced with Donald Trump as President in 2017. So what do we do? Join the Trump team and become a cult follower? Support him until he does something terrible or commits a series of terrible decisions? Start attacking him immediately?

Certainly, complacency should not be an option. Simply sitting back because the outcome was “not as bad as it could have been” is entirely useless and counterproductive.

First, it is imperative that activists and people of good will must recognize that a Trump victory is not necessarily a victory for the American people. A Hillary defeat, although positive, does not equal a win for America, at least not in those simplistic terms.

Now is a time for organization and action.

Activists, activist organizations, and all people of good will must immediately begin to prepare themselves for a new phase in a battle that they have been (or at least should have been) fighting all along. They must begin to put aside petty differences with one another and begin looking at areas of common concern. They must continue their individual battles but must form alliances with one another in order to fight in a united front under a common umbrella. Whether the cause is related to guns, the drug war, war, GMOs, or some other issue, these individuals and organizations must come to understand the concept of enlightened mutual self interest.

Many of these groups currently do not work together over petty squabbles or simple laziness. We need individuals who are willing to establish connections with these groups and act as a uniting factor between them. This, of course, includes individual activists as well as groups. Essentially, we need someone who will be the unifying factor by establishing contacts, finding policies that unify these groups, and helping unite them (acting as the central figure) in current fights for (or against) legislation and for strategically offensive legislative action. These individuals will need to be active and willing to engage in dialogue with widely varying groups, remaining respectful of their perspectives and personal agreements/disagreements with some of their policies.

Eventually, these coalitions can be brought together across the barriers of their issues for demands of interest to all. CONTINUE