Why despair in the age of Trump means we need to know more, not less

Here’s what surprised me the most during Donald Trump’s first month in office – a period I prefer to think of as my first month with the Shadow Cabinet.

During each of the past four weeks, I’ve interviewed one remarkable woman: an immigration lawyer in New Mexico, a public-education advocate in Alaska, a business owner who promotes activism through art in Pennsylvania, and a Washington, D.C. innovator who made congressional pressure as easy as sending a text.

Before each chat, I was nervous, and not just because these women are powerful and extraordinary. I was nervous because they know so much about the problems facing our country, and are so in tune with populations and institutions at risk. I expected to learn terrible truths and come away the way I generally come away from the news: depressed and feeling helpless.

Instead, every time, I hung up the phone and practically ran up the walls with excitement. Allegra, Alyse, Maryam and Laura replaced my despair with energy.

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‘Making calls is the gateway drug to political involvement’

Every woman I’ve spoken to for this series is busy by definition. But in the case of Laura Moser, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that I can hear the time pressure in her voice over the phone – understandable for a woman who is surely experiencing one of the busiest times in her life.

A woman who, in a matter of months, has become the person on whom hundreds of thousands of people depend to help them strike back at the Trump Administration’s most extreme positions.

A woman with a $30,000 phone bill.

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How did Moser, 39, an accomplished writer and mother of two, come to preside over the phenomenon that is Daily Action, a service through which users can easily sign up – just text DAILY to the number 228466 – to receive a daily text tailored to their specific location with a key message to convey to their representatives? (The service then automatically connects the user to the elected official of the day, making a daily call a one-stop operation that can be done almost hands-free on the way to work.)

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