3. Don’t hype stories of violence
If you got all your news on social media over the past week, you’d likely conclude that the country is coming apart at the seams, with waves of violence and threats committed by Trump supporters against members of minority groups. The problem isn’t that there haven’t been such attacks, but rather that we just don’t yet know how many there have been, or whether that number represents an uptick over recent rates and by how much. At the same time, we also know that there have been some indeterminate number of violent acts committed by anti-Trump protesters. Trump critics fasten onto the former while Trump defenders fixate on the latter. Neither camp is acting responsibly. The last thing America needs at this moment is more anxiety, anger, and suspicion — all of which are likely to increase the likelihood of violence and ultimately strengthen the hand of the president-elect once he takes the oath of office.
What would be a better approach?
Though I didn’t support him in the Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders has done more than anyone since Election Day to show how to respond effectively and responsibly to the challenge of Trump’s victory. In an op-ed for The New York Times and in other public statements, Sanders has offered to work with Trump in addressing the demands of his core supporters (the white working class), while simultaneously expressing criticism of the Democratic Party for failing to make more inroads with those voters and promising that he will strongly fight “racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and sexism…in all its forms, whenever and wherever it re-emerges.”