The Atlantic

A Cure for Post-Election Malaise

Civic participation offers a way out of the 2016 doldrums.
Source: Carlos Barria / Reuters

For anyone still in a post-election stupor, unsure what to do or how to repair our ailing democracy, here are three words of advice:

Start a club.

I don’t mean that sarcastically, as in, “Oh, you got a beef with Trump or the rest of them in Washington? Well, join the club!” I mean it literally. Make a group. Invite people. Create rules and rituals. Establish goals. Meet regularly. In short: Start a club.

This is the great democratic self-cure sitting right before our eyes. I was reminded of this immediately after the election, when so many people I knew were in states of shock or despondence. At Citizen University, the nonprofit I run, my colleagues and I decided that doing something was better than doing nothing. We accelerated plans for a project called Civic Saturday, which we’d been intending to launch in the new year but instead launched four

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