5 Things British People Can Do To Fight Against Donald Trump

Practical steps to make a difference that don't include ranting on Facebook

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If you're one of the million plus people who this week signed a petition to try and prevent Donald Trump's state visit to Britain - or indeed you're just outraged at his flurry of anti-women, anti-Muslim and anti-truth actions as president so far - life right now can seem pretty frustrating.

After all, what does the opinion of British people matter when even our Prime Minister is unwilling to properly condemn anything the Trump administration does? It's hard enough making a difference in domestic politics - what chance do we have when it's overseas? The answer is you can probably do more than you think.

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Bobby Friedman is a barrister, a political author and commentator and a regular contributor to esquire.co.uk. Here he outlines five ways that you can take the fight to Trump.

Support the groups who are already doing it

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The flagbearer for the resistance is the American Civil Liberties' Union (ACLU), which has been funding legal action against the President's so-called 'Muslim Ban', and successfully blocked the deportation of immigrants who had been detained on entry to the United States.

A range of other organisations, including the National Immigration Law Center, the Urban Justice Center and theInternational Refugee Assistance Project, has been providing lawyers to immigrants who have been caught by the President's ban. The effort is huge, with thousands of advocates on standby to help at airports across America.

While donations have reached unprecedented levels in recent days, the more cash they have, the more they can do. Providing tangible support to these bodies also gives them legitimacy, boosts their profile, and sends a clear message to the White House.

Hit him where it hurts

The ice rink in Centre Park is part of Trump's business empire
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No, not by bringing up his allegedly teeny tiny hands, but by starving his business empire of cash. In stark contrast to previous Presidents, Trump has decided not to sell off his corporate assets, but has passed control to a trust run by, amongst others, his sons Don and Eric. Even if they do keep the Donald in the dark about what's happening in the business, the press will doubtless keep the President informed about any downturn in its fortunes.

The Trump Organisation runs golf courses and hotels across Scotland, Ireland, the Middle East and the United States, as well as a winery in Virginia. His restaurants earn him millions of dollars a year, and he pockets a six-figure sum from book sales.

Not all of his businesses bear the Trump name. Even the ice rink and children's carousel in New York's Central Park are part of the Trump group, and turn a decent profit. Plus, in what is perhaps a sign of Trump's diminishing personal brand, his new hotel chain has been named the 'Scion', with 17 new properties in the pipeline.

If you take your business elsewhere, the cumulative impact could be significant. If there's one thing that we know Trump likes – ignoring the unsubstantiated contents of Russian intelligence dossiers for the moment - it's making money.

Keep talking

Congress: the one place Trump has to keep happy
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Trump's most controversial moves so far have come through the use of Presidential Executive Orders, but America's system of checks and balances means that he'll need to keep Congress on side if he wants to keep getting his way over the next four years. With Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, the challenge is to persuade enough members of Trump's own party not to back him. If they do, the possibilities are endless. Congress could block his nominees for key posts; refuse to pay for the Mexico wall; or even legislate to reverse the immigrant ban. For now, it seems like Trump's support is holding up, but that could change if any association with the President becomes toxic.

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As Brits, our influence is indirect, but it is possible to help shape opinions in America. The more that politicians across the pond realise what Trump is doing to the US's international image, the more that their support for him could ebb away. As America's closest cultural counterpart, Brits have at least some sway. Americans watch our TV shows, read our books, buy our pop songs and laugh at our comedians. Even if you aren't Ed Sheeran or James Corden, you can share your views with American friends and family, or, if you work for a US corporation, make your views known to your employer. If Britain opposes Trump in our cultural output and our everyday interactions with our American friends, then that will help to shape the United States' thoughts about him too.

Lobby your MP

Theresa May may not to be standing up to Donald Trump so far, but increased pressure from parliament could change that

Some people may not like how close our government is to the Trump White House, but the special relationship does give Theresa May and her ministers genuine influence. It's no surprise that when Boris Johnson complained about Trump's immigrant ban, there was a near-immediate relaxation of the rules for Brits. That provides us with an opportunity: if UK politicians can be persuaded to lobby hard for a change in American policy, they may well be a moderating influence on Trump. Posting on Facebook's echo chamber isn't enough: writing to your MP or attending meetings is far more likely to have a concrete impact.

Support good journalism and satire

While Trump may appear to revel in his notoriety – or he must, at least, be getting used to it by now – in some respects the Donald does seem to have a very thin (albeit dark orange) skin. Instead of letting the insults wash over him, Trump's Twitter feed features one riposte after another to the criticisms that come his way. His Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, has even started printing out unfavourable tweets and brandishing them at White House press conferences.

The more Trump's ego is damaged - such as during the petty dispute about the size of the crowd at his inauguration - and the more he responds rather than focusing on the issues that matter to the country, the more petty and unhinged he will seem. Support good satire. Share facts in the face of alternative facts. His supporters and party might be stomaching The Donald's childishness for now, but four years is a long time. In fact, campaigning for the mid-term elections in 2018 will already be underway by the end of the year. The more damage he has done himself in the polls by then, the better for his opponents.