Transitioning into resistance mode

Transitioning into resistance mode

One of my more caustic memories of the 2016 campaign involved an incident experienced by my local Democratic state house candidate.  One of his campaign signs placed along side of a busy thoroughfare was vandalized.  An obvious Trump supporter stapled a placard over both sides of the sign with the following message:

THE SILENT MAJORITY STANDS WITH TRUMP

Locally speaking, I can certainly confirm that sentiment given how soundly the Democrats were defeated up the down the ballot along this the most conservative stretch of Old Route 66.  At the national level however it fails to withstand scrutiny given that the winner of the Electoral College lost the popular vote count by nearly three million.  The President-elect seems to have lost some support since the election given that a poll taken the week before his inauguration indicates he has the lowest approval rating of any incoming President in my lifetime.  Mr. Trump will be sworn into office with a 37% approval rating.  It was duly noted during the course of last year’s campaign that Mr. Trump and his legions of supporters had low regard for the ostensible improprieties of his opponent who was the recipient of several less-than-charitable verbal descriptions such as “Crooked Hillary,” “a world-class liar,” and claims of being “the most corrupt person ever to seek the Presidency.”  I wonder what Mr. Trump and his supporters were using as a basis for comparison.  There has been no indication yet by Mr. Trump that he understands the concept that he can be a businessman or he can be President but not both.  For all the claims he made against his Democratic opponent, Mr. Trump has failed his first ethics test even before taking the oath.  Even though all his conflicts of interest will likely be an ethical millstone around his neck going forward, it may actually be among the lesser of his worries once in office.  The Senate Intelligence Committee announced a week before Inauguration Day that it would be launching a bipartisan inquiry into the Russian interference in the 2016 election.  If and when evidence of overt criminal corruption is revealed, will that great Silent Majority still stand with Trump?

I can hear echoes of 1973 in 2017.  President Nixon, whose deep seated insecurities directly contributed to his undoing, exercised maximum public grace and resigned from office when the great Silent Majority’s support for him finally became untenable in the face of insurmountable evidence of his culpability in the Watergate scandal.  Mr. Trump, whose deep seated character flaws have been clearly identified and do not seem to be improving (ask anyone who follows the man’s Twitter feed), may eventually find himself in a similar position.  Can he be counted on to exercise the same sort of social grace?  We can only hope.  Regardless of what may or may not happen in President Trump’s America, we rank and file citizens will be confronted with varying degrees of distress related to neutralizing or otherwise rolling back progressive policies we have gained over the past hundred or so years.  These range from but are not limited to unregulated corporate profiteering, an all out assault on civil liberties, a stepped up effort to erase the wall of separation between church and state, elimination of the social safety net, privatizing Medicare and Social Security or eliminating both, abuse of environmental resources in favor of corporate profit, increasing regulation of news outlets and mass media with attempts to redefine what actually constitutes free speech and determining what is factual and what is not.  In short, we citizens are on the precipice of an era of civil DISTRESS.  Our only hope is to effectively resist the onslaught of regressive policy changes intended by the incoming Administration.

The late Edward R. Murrow stated it best, “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”  It is incumbent on all conscientious citizens to be ever vigilant regarding those who are going to be controlling all levers of government by this time next week.  We must resist by all available means the direction the loser of the popular vote and his supporters in Congress seeks to take the nation.  If there is any question as to what needs to be done and what we need to do now, look no further than the recommendations of Micheal Moore who is calling for 100 days of resistance starting with Inauguration Day this coming week.

The Silent Majority may have stood with Trump but the Democratic Majority has a duty to resist corrupt governance by all means possible.  Being in a position of seemingly no power, we must remember that there are a few things that are equal across the board.  Never forget that America still has a free market economy and we are free to choose with whom to do or not do business.  Be cognizant of the legislative process and learn the phone numbers of your Congressional representatives and Senators as well as your state house representative and state senator and don’t be afraid to use them when appropriate.  Always remember that in the age of information that ignorance is a choice.  Read established publications online or via social media or listen to actual news such at NPR or PBS in addition to network news on a daily basis and make it a point to have an informed opinion.  Volunteer to become involved in your local Democratic Party as a precinct officer or any other progressive grass roots organization, and there are several from which to choose.  To effectively resist the coming efforts to roll back a century of social and economic progress is going to require unity and resolve.  We must let the strength of our numbers be known.

I am recommending to all my fellow progressives in my local community is to “go dark” for twelve hours beginning at 12:01 PM on Friday, January 20th.  That means no network TV, no radio, no social media for the second half of Inauguration Day.  Knowing the President-elect is a pathological narcissist who thrives on adoration and TV ratings, imagine the message we’ll send if we can tank them on his first day in office.  Be sure to have your TV turned on but tuned to a non-news channel like The History Channel or The Animal Planet.  It isn’t much but it is something that we have the power to do.  We need to make sure President-elect Trump becomes aware he does NOT have a mandate to run roughshod over the Constitution or 240 years of progress.  There is strength in numbers and in solidarity.  We are the progressive and we are the majority.

WE ARE THE RESISTANCE!

1 Comment

  1. Carl Alexander
    Jan 15, 2017

    Good commentary, Stan!

    A couple of things – I always thought that the phrase ‘Silent Majority’ referred to that mass of Americans who do NOT deface political signage (of any kind) and who do not even bother to take place in elections or the political process… in other words, all those people who actually stay completely mum, and totally un-involved. That obviously does not refer to Trump-ites, who are some of the most vociferous and clamorous people IN the political arena these days! 😉

    I really don’t think that any of us who are politically involved really qualify as being part of the ‘Silent Majority’…

    One other step we can all take to resist, is to visit the “Indivisible” website, and download their Guidebook in order to learn how best to go about the fight in a consistent and consolidated way… we really are stronger when we band together! 🙂