Some of the nation's leading watchdog groups released reports this week taking stock of President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office, covering everything from his failure to "drain the swamp" to the resistance movement meeting his administration head-on.
We sue them in courts bought and paid for by the same interests that buy the politicians we complain about, and expect change. To quote John McEnroe, “YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!”. Sure, we’ve been bitching and moaining more and some of us have marching more and buying more T-shirts with clever sayings, but what have we actually done to effectively resist?
Have we stopped paying taxes, or started driving less (or not at all), or sat-in at media outlets or the offices of elected officials, or really risked getting arrested, or stopped buying useless crap (or even cut down), or stopped driving our cars (or even cut down), or taken in a homeless person or Syrian refugee…? What we have done is given organizations like the ACLU–who primarily use the courts–our proxy for change, becuase we’re too scared, or don’t want to be inconvenienced.
Thomas Jefferson is reputed to have said, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” He would have been excuted for treason by the British, had they found him, for writing and signing the Declaration of Independence. That is resistance. What have we actually done that comes anywhere remotely close to that? How have our lives changed in any meaningful way since November the eighth?
Instead of trying to govern for everybody after winning a close election in which he actually got almost 3 millions less votes than Hillary Clinton, what Trump has done is completely divide the country by pursing what is probably the furthest right agenda in American history. This is what has provoked the great activism that we are seeing. The Trump agenda favors complete private exploitation of resources and ignores protecting public land entirely. And it aims at creating a white nationalist society run by a dictator whose word is the only truth. If that does move millions of Americans to activism what will? People are out there fighting to retain democracy. And they are fighting for their health. And fighting to continuing to welcome immigrants to a land of immigrants. And fighting against overt racism. Pretty much everything considered to be American is in jeopardy and Americans having seen whoat happened in Germany in 1933 are determined not to let that happen here.
We the paycheck slaves have no power not to pay taxes, we cannot get a job without first signing the IRS paperwork agreeing to have taxes taken out of our pay stubs. I think we are on the right track despite the many set backs. It takes time for the people to trust each other and to realize that we are not black, white Hispanic or immigrants, we are humans fighting for justice and fairness for all. Unfortunately there are too many ignorant white folks who are comfortable in their existing situations, they are dishonest, superficial who hide their hatefulness of other races. As long as the white working class, middle class and even the poor whites harbor hatred toward the blacks, the Hispanics and immigrants we will be spinning our wheels. White folks have to learn that humanity is a one family living aboard a tiny space ship called planet earth, a very tiny planet relative to the boundless universes.
Well said. Lost a recent chance to protest on 4/20 when I had wanted to honor the first documented guy who smoked a j in front of the police station. (In Kali I recall)
All yours are great suggestions. I like the tax revolt idea. Strength in a handful of twigs vs. one single twig.
“The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”
Until resistance become more than marches that are ignored by those in power, nothing will happen. It’s time to realize that voting at the federal level does little except further entrench the power structures. It’s time for action; stop working for three days, make commerce grind to a halt for a few days and they will notice. Stop driving your car at least one day a week; use it only if you have to. Tell all your coworkers to participate be willing to take a real stand. Today I received a call to ask how much I liked what Trump was doing. I promptly replied “he’s a fking ahole”!! I’m disabled and am afraid that they’ll take away my SS, that I paid into from every paycheck I ever received even if no federal tax was withheld do to less than full time hours. The time’s right to take a stand and let them know we won’t take it anymore.
You can call in sick though. Yes they hold great power over workers but with some organization, quietly, resist as best you can. The problem is exacerbated due the prejudices against race, but ultimately it’s a class battle between the top 10% and the rest.
We’ll see if it’s a “golden era of activism” by the results. At the moment there is literally nothing to celebrate since Trump has achieved his agenda (with the DNC’s help/approval) thus far. Keep agitating, keep fighting. But don’t rest on laurels that have yet to be won.
Indeed. And a movement is not something that is quickly or easily created and won. Let’s hope that this becomes the Golden Age of Activism or else it definitely will become the Dark Age of Late Stage Capitalism.
Notes on “Trump’s Disastrous 100 Days Fueling ‘Golden Era of Activism’”
This is a hopeful analysis. That is - plausible without necessarily being persuasive. That is - it seeks out a hopeful view in a bad situation.
A recurrent Old Left line of thinking holds that suffering will breed left wing political resistance. This article fits in with that line of thinking.
I do not know if that view is true in the present U.S. setting…But I am not confident that it is…We shall see, since - I am confident about this last part - suffering is in store.
In the U.S., the question of '‘Activism’ cannot be separated from the matter or the relationship between progressives and the Democratic Party. What I mean is that the victory of the right in the U.S. is partly due to the subordinate position of progressives to the right liberal Democratic Party. That is - a right liberal Democratic Party will, in the long run, lose to Republicans…
…So that any progressive “activist” gains depend, ultimately, on the ability of progressives to force the Democratic Party left.
And, as anyone familiar with my past post knows, I think this forcing of the party left - and forcing it to give up power - can only be accomplished…if it CAN be accomplished at all…by progressives’ formally withdrawing their votes unless the ruling right liberal elements of the Democratic Party formally include progressives and shifts left.
Without a shift left, the right will, in the long run - and with increasingly destructive impact on the political system (due to state level gerrymandering, first of all) - continue to win.
On the other unhopeful hand, after 8 years of increased suffering…the Democratic electorate might be ‘ready’ to vote for an unchanged…except somewhat more right wing…Democratic Party promising…less suffering than under Republicans…
Like getting punched in the face, repeatedly, and we aren’t even blinking - that’s what this guy is doing to us. Crazy. Same with N. Korea. Assad. Iran. Who’s next? Goddess! I hope beyond hope that we as a civilization survive this insanity. I’m terrified. We need to be together.The March. Please. Tomorrow. Hello, Family.
The economics of Trump and Ryan is the Ayn Rand economics during PMS. Their theory of American health care was essentially cooked up in the fires of hell. A politician said recently that: “Americans didn’t have a clue what was in the health care bill, they hadn’t read it”. True… but they had a sense when they were being rolled.
Weclome to the fascist state. Adolf Hitler had nothing on this dangerous idiot !
Thank you for your insights. I agree with most of what you said except for one thing - that the Democrats should shift right. Also, I am convinced that the neo-liberal, corporate elite Democrats will NEVER relinquish their power - as long as they have that power. If left to their own devices, they will go along with business as usual - throwing the progressive wing of the party a bone every now and then just to keep them from ‘rising up’. The vast majority of neo-liberals (in the DNC) are bought and paid for by their big-money, individual and/or corporate donors. If forced to choose between legislation which will benefit their individual constituents, versus their corporate donors, they will almost always vote in favor of their donors. I have seen it happen with the only Democratic Senator in my state.
I firmly believe that progressives need to stop wasting their time trying to work with the neo-liberals. They have been doing so for the past twenty years, and just look who has been in office! No - it is past time for the progressives to form their own, separate political party. They could call it the Progressive Party - or whatever people want.
I KNOW that forming a third party seems like a far-fetched idea - especially given this country’s history with third parties. Still, I am convinced that NOW is the time to start doing so. Activism is at an all-time high, and we need to harness the energy of the activists. These activists come from all walks of life, cultures, religions, races, genders, ages and political parties. The vast majority of Americans agree on some basic issues. They all want healthcare. They all want jobs. They all want/need food and shelter. They all want to know that their lives are somewhat stable and not at risk of being changed drastically, at the whim of government or natural occurrences.
Bernie Sanders has spent some time doing town halls in areas that voted almost exclusively for Donald Trump. At the beginning of these meetings, you can see that most of the people are skeptical of this 70-plus, Jewish Senator from Vermont. But then - the meeting starts. Bernie does not stand on a stage or behind a podium. He sits in a semi-circle with other panelists. It is a more intimate environment and conducive to feeling ‘safe’. And by speaking WITH the people - not AT them - they feel equal to everyone else in the room. In other words, Bernie takes away that “me versus you” attitude that automatically exists when a speaker is up higher on a stage or behind a podium.
As the meetings progress, the audience is asked if they have any questions for Bernie. Naturally, they do! Most people want to know about jobs and healthcare. So, rather than lecture to people, Bernie asks the person what THEY want and need. And he actually LISTENS to them when they tell him. Bernie does not try to dodge or avoid any questions. He answers them honestly and fully. He presents issues and/or roadblocks and also provides ways to overcome those roadblocks.
There is so much more I could add, but space is getting short! I have seen Bernie hold a woman in his arms when she started crying. She was crying because she said no politician had ever really listened to/taken an interest in her before. As it turns out, most people want the same things. Bernie avoids using certain buzz words or catch phrases that can be negatively triggering for some people.
In sum, I have seen an entire crowd of people start out being skeptical and non-trusting of Bernie. By the end of the meeting, most of these same people are clapping and cheering for Bernie - well, not for Bernie, but for his IDEAS and his genuine concern for and interest in them. One man from Kentucky said Bernie had done more for him than his own State Senator, Mitch McConnell!
People are so hungry for this type of communication! You see - the platform espoused by Bernie Sanders is a mostly positive one. Of course, there are negative issues that exist, but Bernie does not focus on the negative. He concentrates on real, positive solutions. People all across America are starving for a politician who has something to OFFER them in their every-day lives. They are more than a little fed up and irritated by the “other candidate bashing” that has become the hallmark of most campaigns in America. They do not want to hear their candidate trash the other candidates in a flaccid effort to boost themselves up. They want real-life answers/solutions to real-life issues/problems. And most of all - people want their politicians to actually give a damn about THEM and to work on THEIR behalf. They want to see the candidate go out and fight for them by introducing legislation which directly affects them in their daily lives.
I just KNOW that a third party could be formed and grown into a viable political party by the 2018 elections - maybe even earlier. It would help immensely if we passed a law which mandates public funding, only, of ALL elections at every level - local, county, state and federal.
A thoughtful and hopeful post, KOKO1956.
On the Democratic Party shifting right, I was apparently unclear - I do not think they should shift right; rather, shifting right - on the view that this will make them “electable” - is what they have been doing since the “triangulating” arguments of the late Democratic Leadership Council. And I unhopefully envisioned a repeat of this after 8 years of suffering under Republican rule.
On a less unhopeful note, activist energies could validate more progressive views - or at least make it appear necessary to the Democratic organization to incorporate some of those views, if only to placate - throw a crumb to, as you said - its electorate…
I supported Sanders, but never actually saw him over the course of an entire town hall or “assembly” style meeting. Sounds like a different side of his powers than the Old Testament prophet side of the nomination. Sounds as though - as with the nomination period - it is not just the ideas but his genuineness as a spokesperson for them that makes him persuasive. Which points up how unpersuasive and ungalvanizing those ideas are coming out of the mouths of fundamentally right liberal Democrats - like HRC - even when such right liberals expediently inch left.
Though, for a number of reasons, I have long voted Green, I do not agree with their ‘third party or bust’ view. And, more to the point, I do not myself foresee that a progressive third party is in the offing…progressives voted for HRC in about the same #'s as for Obama and the first Clinton; and despite widespread progressive disgust with the Democrats, there was no numerical shift to the Greens before the election, nor after…I think ‘Sanders progressives’ (i.e., the progressive part of the Democratic electorate) are simply in a different place - would be more likely to try to take over the party than permanently break with it.
My idea, touched on above and many times on this website, is that progressives form a bloc that demands formal and binding inclusion of progressives in the DNC in return for their vote. Joining Greens at the same time could fit in with such a strategy, since it would be evidence that progressives ‘meant it’ and raise Democratic fears of greater defections; but I cannot see Green third party-ism as an endgame - in part because the Green view depends on separation as an end goal, not one move in hard tacks bargaining.
Another dumb article about the (any) President’s, “First 100 days in Office”!
I’m always surprised at the commonplace of so many “journalists” adhering to the old placebo of writing about that period of time in any president’s role.
Blah, blah, blah, blah!
And more BLAH!
This president is learning like so many others that running a government is different than running a business.
Business is a dictatorship; a government means you have to deal with “real” people.
I’m not a DT fan; nor am I one of the “other” stripes.
All DT’s “non-accomplishments” may mean that the system works better than we think. “Change” will come slowly rather than in an avalanche such as this president “promised” while campaigning.
“Instead of trying to govern for everybody” begins this complaint about The Donald. Ironically, trying to "govern for everybody"was Obama’s next to biggest mistake. When he began he had a Democratic Congress and could have muscled through important legislation. Instead, he sucked up to the Republicans in his effort to govern for everybody. The Repubs gave him the finger , over and over, as he continued to appease. This in spite of Sen McConnell’s outrageous committment to make Obama a one-term president the number one priority of the GOP. As a result little got done and the Dems lost the House in 2010 bigtime.
Obee’s biggest mistake - on the other hand, was the bailout. He had the opportunity of more than one lifetime, at least since FDR, to drive a stake into the heart of monopolistic corporate capitalism by letting the “too big to fail” fascists go to hell.
The wealthy bastards kill, steal, destroy and do it over and over without accountability to the so called “law”. However the system demands obedience from the ordinary American working class taxpayers, their children in schools, churches and everywhere else. In America people are programmed without themselves realizing it, for example they are taught not to question authorities, told to obey the laws and don’t talk about politics or the economy. The law is no longer respected and losing credibility by the day because corporations keep heisting and looting our savings and retirement plans, attacking and cutting off or drastically reducing our social spending, lowering our wages and cutting our benefits whilst increasing our taxes on top of paying 100 fold more for energy and almost everything else.
Oh c’mon this guy is totally unfit for the job, yes Obomber was a flake but this man is mean spirited lacking a proper education, nasty, dangerously unpredictable and a heartless pro corporate bully.
nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more…