Protest for productivity

At last the time is here — business mogul and reality TV star Donald J. Trump is going to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States today. Throughout his campaign and president-elect period, there has been powerful skepticism about his qualification to be president, and even after his election there were many who condemned his hold on the presidential seat. All of the debates are to be laid to rest today, but many of Trump’s critics are not about to take his ascension lying down. To all who disagree with the president-elect’s policies and his election to the office: give him the chance to prove you wrong, and help him do it.

The United States constitution says, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” Based on these requirements alone, Donald Trump is fit to be our next president.

The betterment of our country is in the hands of one of the most influential people in the world, and whether you are his strongest supporter or his most outspoken dissenter, you cannot deny that he will be assuming office today, and will begin leading the country. While he may be erratic in his political stances and incredibly uncouth in his speaking style, he will become our next president. Therefore, it is high time the American people stop protesting Trump’s presidency and start protesting his policies.

We on the Lariat editorial board have many different opinions and unique standpoints, but we all agree that it does America a disservice to fight a battle that has already been won. Instead, turn your eyes to the issues and work to make change and compromise on a reachable level. Below we’ve outlined several effective and productive ways you can become knowledgeable and protest for change in a way that will help the new president and his constituents instead of hinder them.

Environmental Issues: While President-elect Trump has not made any definitive statements on climate change, he has insinuated that he would cut large amounts of funding from the Environmental Protection Agency. Also, many of the advisers he has hired and his choice of personnel to lead the transition of power in the EPA have controversial stances on many current environmental issues. Since the EPA is governmentally funded, it may seem impossible to prevent Trump’s budget cuts or whatever his staff may do, but that is not the case. If you are passionate about the environment and are afraid of retroactive movement in the government in regards to these issues, consider donating your time and money to nonprofit organizations that are working towards the same cause. Organizations such as the Earth Policy Institute, which works to achieve a more environmentally sustainable economy, and Earthjustice, where lawyers and environmental workers fight legislation that is not environmentally friendly in an attempt to save our oceans, land and wildlife, are all places you can go if you want to help save the planet despite what our government might be doing. Whether or not you believe in climate change, there are many things we can do without the government’s input to make our world cleaner and healthier.

Human Rights Issues: There are so many differing belief systems surrounding human rights that it is impossible for one person (or an entire government for that matter) to address them all. The power over change that the president, Congress and Supreme Court will have for the next few years is legal, and while that has a lot of sway in our daily life — as we’ve seen from the gay marriage debate and the disagreement on abortion — it is not the ultimatum many think it is. There are many routes you can take to fight for a cause you believe in, from creating national petitions on sites such as Thunderclap and, to using a social media platform to create a message. With the world as connected as it is today, it is so easy to make your voice heard, and if you take the time to present your case in a professional and productive manner (as opposed to uninformed Twitter rants), you may see people joining in your efforts.

Healthcare Issues: It is apparent that one of Trump’s main goals is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, an initiative that was only recently introduced to the American healthcare system. The Affordable Care Act has been controversial from the start, with several rejections from Congress and a nationwide uproar when it was finally passed. For those of you who do not know the implications of this healthcare plan, you can read more about it here. What is important to remember with the healthcare situation as well as most public policy situations is that they change very often. Each time Congress meets, there are repeals to certain parts of an act or a bill that was passed, and each time new problems with our healthcare system arise. While there aren’t as many organizations out there that help with the healthcare crisis, it is worthwhile to research your personal healthcare plan before you buy in and to get more information so you can be knowledgeable when you’re faced with problems in this system.

While there are countless topics we could look at today, these three are some of the foremost issues in our country right now. With the inauguration taking place today, it is important that we as Americans start looking to the future: Stop trying to change the outcome of an election that happened last year, and start thinking about how you as a citizen can be more knowledgeable, more informed and more effective when you choose to protest an issue in this country. The 45th president of the United States is getting his fair share of criticism and has a very full plate as he transitions into office, so instead of working against him because you dislike him personally, start working with him to further our country and subsequently make our lives better. Trump’s campaign was to “Make America Great Again,” but America is a land of the people, and we are the ones responsible for making it great once again.