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The Resistance Needs Better Heroes


The Resistance Needs Better Heroes

Richard Eskow

A movement without memory is adrift. And a movement that picks the wrong heroes is lost.

Two milestones should serve as reminders to self-styled members of the Resistance. One marks a turning point in the life of an ill-chosen hero. The other is a reminder that true heroism calls for self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-sacrifice.

We’ll get to those milestones. But first there’s the matter of torture.

The Nominee


Truth is finite, while anti-truth is infinite.

Trump clearly resides among anti-truth. Attacks upon him and his ilk from other realms of anti-truth do not remediate Trump’s fallacies. Mr. Eskow is right, the resistance needs better heroes–those more closely grounded in truth, a much limited resource indeed.


If you begin with the premise that people like Chuck Schumer, Samatha Power and Dianne Feinstein are part of “the Resistance”, every conclusion you reach from there will be flat out wrong.


The real problem is our reliance on heroes. Eskow’s article demonstrates the problem as he kneecaps one person after another. The problem is the cult of personality, lionizing any human being and expecting them to be perfect, from their birth to their death. The problem is that the memory of the movement must be about heroic actions, such as Thompson’s, but also such as the one young woman at Sayreville NJ HS who accepted the threat of detention to walk out of class on the 14th and stand alone as witness to the rising of the young, demanding true safety from massacre. Heroic actions such as another young woman who spoke up about being abused in a for-profit prison in Texas and was isolated, and of those who lined up to take their turns demonstrating that she was not alone.

It doesn’t take A hero to change things. It takes a culture of action in which we all act heroically as we have the opportunity.


Thanks for this history. Having lived through the Vietnam War, the protests, J. Edgar Hoover, Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, I came to the conclusion early in this administration that We the People are screwed if we expect the FBI to save us, which we shouldn’t, as their history indicates.

Further, no serious change advocate is looking at the FBI/CIA as heroes of the resistance, considering what Hoover was up to all those years along with the original COINTELPRO and its current manifestation. I think a number of us would like those in charge of applying the law to actually embrace the rule of law, but it doesn’t require heroics, just a conscience.

I don’t believe Trump colluded with Russia, but vice versa. Putin played Trump for the fool he is along with millions of Americans. If Clinton’s State Dept hadn’t put Putin in their crosshairs in the first place (Ukraine), perhaps Putin wouldn’t have put Clinton in his. As far as Putin was concerned, this was a perfect storm: use the court jester to take out the Queen. Putin is a dangerous actor (partly because he’s really smart), but I have to admire how he played his cards. It sure didn’t take much of anything to bring the US to its knees, politically speaking.

I hate to say it, but if the resistance is actually looking at Mueller and McCabe as heroes, then the resistance deserves to lose.


Personally, my hero’s don’t kill people. I have a great deal of respect for Rep. John Lewis and a few others. They are few and far between in the realm of politics. I tend to look outside of politics for Hero’s, the Buddha comes to mind.


" The Resistance Needs Better Heroes"

That is perhaps one of the most central issues of our times. Where are the great men and women of the people to stand up to the forces of evil that seem to have taken over…everything? Has their social programming been so effective that it stunted the growth of such people? Or perhaps it is the deep state…do they have something on everybody? Are their tools so effective that they can effectively destroy any individual that is willing to take on their power?

I watch Bernie and wonder what it is that holds him back. I see the very world coming apart at the seems. I see the corrupt and vile jackels of Wall Street, Exxon, Big Pharma…willing and able to rape the system and the planet to the point of collective mass extinction and I wonder…where are the voices of opposition.

There are none. There are good people trying their hardest to survive, but no leaders. Are the people capable of recognizing a leader if they bit them in the ass?

What ever the answer the fact remains that the fascists are in charge and raping our future relentlessly and we do nothing. Some in their desperation look to false leaders like Mueller in a hopeless attempt to find some hope in their hearts. They forget his part in promoting “weapons of mass destruction” and the invasion of Iraq…a confirmed warmonger and look to him as if he was Christ himself come down to cleanse us all of our sins. But he doesn’t give a damn about the people…he represents the oligarchs and is their tool.

I think we are on our own on this one and nobody is going to save us. We are going to reap the bitter harvest of our ignorance and apathy…our greed and hate…and nothing can stop our decent into an Orwellian nightmare. Have a great day:)


Yes the Buddha was a pretty cool cat. John Lewis on the other hand sold out to the neo-liberals long ago.


I am not sure what you write is the truth. But you do make a good argument.


They don’t call it the McResistance for nothing.


Anyone who chooses heroes from the power battles of the moment raging between members of the ruling elite is either a dupe or a political opportunist willing to get in bed with anyone who serves their cause for the moment. You can never trust the people who have fought to maintain our corrupt political system to fix it. Any yet, election after election, voters continue to do just that by voting for candidates who have been pre-approved by oligarchy.


Yes, I think so. At least that is the perception, grounded in the times we live in.

Heroes emerge out of necessity. I think we may not have to wait for long.


Excellent article. Sad that these type of obvious reminders are needed.


Brennan writes: “you will not destroy America”, because that’s my job.
The whole lot of them need to be cellmates at a super-max prison.


You know what I was just reminded of by the headline about Standing Rock? We’re getting the heroes, heroic collectives: the Standing Rock Sioux and those who froze with them; the children of Parkland and all of the others who walked out with them last week and will march with them this Saturday; the organizers of the Women’s March; the observers of Moral Mondays; and a few organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has spoken truth for decades.

And of course, the great thing about collectives is that their voices are less vulnerable to the foibles of any individual.


Excellent points, Mr. Eskow! Hugh Thompson was truly a hero.

Brennan, Comey and Mueller are not heroes. In the struggle to rid ourselves of the abominations in the Executive Branch at present, they may well be useful allies, however.

Kiriakou, Snowden and Manning are all real heroes. Daniel Ellsberg is a hero.


We once had heroes of national stature. Then they were shot dead.


Thank You. Hugh Thompson Jr. was certainly a decent and courageous human being and deserves all the accolades he receives:


But as you point out, a reliance on ‘heroes’ doesn’t change much of anything. At best, it makes us feel better. At worst, we allow ourselves to cop out and let the ‘heroes’ take care of it.

And yes, we sorely need a culture of action among We the People. But that culture does not happen spontaneously. It only happens when a critical mass of We the People, take part in the daily work of organizing.

It can be arduous and even boring, but the results are truly liberating…even when we lose, which is most of the time. And we will continue to lose until we build enough power to take on the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy that call the shots.

Organizing to build power is the best way to honor Hugh Thompson Jr. and other people we mis-call ‘heroes.’


Thank you for naming the names of people/groups that actually organize for a better world.


the only heros we need are the DEMOS…WE THE PEOPLE