Boy howdy, I just CANNOT stop writing about Trump, his white nationalist administration and how to resist it all. And this is a technology column! We live in a society, though, where practically everything intersects with technology, including the resistance. From hackers scraping and saving websites as control turns over to Trump, to our National Parks Service going underground to tweet scientific facts, technology is already playing its part and will continue to do so. Today, though, I’m going to focus on three apps made specifically in response to this giant tirefire of an administration and how you can use them.
This webapp, made by Autostraddle Reader Clara, makes it easy for people to access a call script about an issue and their representatives’ phone numbers. One of the things I love about Callgov is that it has a badge next to each script to let you know how many have already called. It’s so easy to feel isolated as our government begins to erode as a democracy. Even seeing ten people who feel as strongly about something as you do is super helpful. Plus this works in any browser, so you don’t have to have a specific piece of equipment to engage. And if you don’t see a script you feel strongly about, you can create your own! This is a highly satisfying thing to do! Did I mention it was made by an Autostraddle reader? That bumped it right on up to the top of this list.
I’m so into Countable, an app that makes it hella easy to contact your representatives. You put your address in and it shows you your Congressperson and Senators. You can call them with a tap! But if that’s all it did, I wouldn’t be nearly as enthused about it. It also has a newsfeed that tells you things like what’s getting voted on in Congress this week, what the schedule is for cabinet confirmations, and developments on specific issues you follow and care about (I get a lot of education stuff, for instance). You can vote yea or nay on things and put your opinion out there (with a video message, even!) that is then delivered to your representatives. The app lets you follow up with how your elected officials voted on bills (though I checked, it doesn’t tell us about Cabinet nominations they voted on, that you’ll have to do on your own). It even has a local section, where I discovered that New York is deciding whether to provide tampons in school bathrooms (yes, obviously they should). Also the app is pretty. It’s still a bit slow, but they’re working out the kinks.
I will caution you, though — I don’t think this is a substitute for good old-fashioned calling, so use this in conjunction with your phone call regimen.
Boycott Trump is a free app that compiles a list of businesses who do business with the Trump family, are owned by the Trump family, or who have high-ranking officials who endorsed Trump. Boycotting is tricky business — not everyone can afford to boycott all the time. But I think we can probably all agree giving up Applebees is fairly doable. There are more than 250 companies in this searchable database. I’m wishing and hoping, though, that there will be a “pinpoint by location” feature in future, so you can take note of the businesses around you! And I’m also hoping that the next iteration comes with a “report business” feature, because damn, there are TONS of tiny businesses that I can’t buy from anymore, and they’re easy to see when I’m out in rural Pennsylvania (they’re probably still sporting a Trump sign), but not as easy to see otherwise.
Make America Kittens Again
But what if you’ve reached the point in your resistance where you can’t look at his face anymore?? I’ve hit that point. And if you’re there too, there’s this excellent Chrome extension called Make America Kittens Again. It’s exactly what you think it is. It replaces photos of Donald Trump with photos of kittens. Why you might ask? Although let’s be real, you already know the real answer is “because internet.” Here’s what Tom Royal, maker of the extension, says about it in the “about” section:
Replaces Donald Trump with kittens. Because:
A) Trump is a disgrace
B) Kittens are lovely, and
C) I couldn’t find a Creative Commons photo of a blobfish to use.
And there you have it! It’s not new, and it might not be expressly coded for the resistance. But damn, is it gonna be helpful in a mental health capacity.