politics

Resistance: Some do’s and don’ts for 2017 America

Alright folks. We’re on day four of the Trump administration. And it’s already been weirder than even I thought it would be. I’ve been pretty critical of the president over the last year or so. I’m not a huge fan. But to be fair, I am capable of feeling a lot better about him if he’d perform with the effective dignity that produces sound policy as our head of state. There’s an interesting word that’s been getting thrown around a lot right now though: Resistance. It’s a useful word. But there’s some things about it I don’t love, for lots of reasons. I’ve been around some real resistance movements. And they’re not pretty. Or fun. Or, frankly nearly appropriate for the problem we’re dealing with in America right now.

But that doesn’t mean that resistance is all together inappropriate. Or even not required. You just have to do it right. So I’ve taken the time to write down some pretty quick self help items about resistance that you should take a peak at before you get all lathered up and dive in. A cheat sheet, if you will. If you are one of those people who both love their country and want it to be a productive, safe and free society, this is how you ensure it while still managing to get your point across.

-Don’t hurt people. No violence. It’s not required. It doesn’t work.  Perpetuate it and you’ll lose support of we rational few left. Whatever your cause in America is today, it’s not worth hurting other Americans. Not now. Not this problem.

-Do assemble peacefully to show your presence and remind those that don’t agree with you of your numbers and your willingness to organize. In 2017, 2.5 million people assembling in the streets isn’t about intimidation. It’s best used as an advertisement for what’s going to happen at the next election. Remember that.

-Don’t break the law. You don’t need to. And if you must, break the law by peacefully refusing to leave whatever place you’re protesting. Outside of that, it’s ineffective and it hurts your cause.

-Do remember we elected the conservative party to run our government. You may not like their policies. But you should expect that they execute policies that align with the people that elected them.

-Do vote and organize to get others to vote next year in the mid-term elections if you don’t agree with conservative policies. Get started now. No one votes in those things and if you do, you’ll win. That’s what conservatives did in 2010. And that’s why they have Congress. And that’s why they get to pass the laws right now.

-Do continue to make fun of White House press secretary Sean Spicer. That’s actually part of his job description. Also part of his job description is to absorb the press’ questions and respond with vague unhelpful answers. What’s not part of his job description? Telling bald faced lies. So, go ahead and call him on those too. If you can make fun of him and point out dishonesty at the same time, bonus points.

-Don’t show your disgust with intolerance by not tolerating other people’s core beliefs. Unless of course their core beliefs are intolerance. Then review the do’s above.

-Don’t say you’re going to blow up the White House. That’s stupid. And illegal. See above on breaking the law.

-Don’t dress up like your genitalia. Men or women.

-Don’t show your genitalia while you protest. If you can help it. See above on breaking the law.

-Do voice your opinion loudly on social media and other venues. You may be told, “get over it” and “stop whining”. It’s your job, if you are so inclined to do neither.

-Don’t spread nonfactual information or fake news. I prefer the the old term, bullshit. My gut tells me there’s going to be plenty of real stuff to scream about coming down the pike. Making things up makes it easier to ignore the important things.

-Do continue to make fun of the president. Satire is one of the oldest and most effective forms of public criticism. And continuing it isn’t “disrespecting the office”. Its occupant is supposed to have thick skin and broad shoulders. And be able to take it. The moment we can’t laugh at our leaders is a moment of grave concern.

This list isn’t exhaustive. And it’s not the appropriate way to resist in every place or point in history. But in 2017 America, where life is still relatively wonderful and we have a functioning government that follows laws, this is it. Of course, once the government starts to break laws, well, there’s a list for that one too. If it happens, I’ll do my best to  point it out. And share. But until then, keep this list handy. And try to keep loving each other and appreciating America.

As for my criticism of the president, it’s probably fair to move past the grave concerns of his character and his temperament. And it’s time to move towards effective evaluation of his performance. Mind you, character and temperament are great inputs for getting people to listen and follow. But from here on, my role in resistance is to resist bad governmental policies and actions. And to resist them by providing objective commentary when I see them. I’ve spent quite a bit of my objective capital on criticism of one man. And I get that. But I felt it was fair and appropriate. What’s fair and appropriate now is an honest, objective account of performance.

It’s time to get to work on that.

 

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19 replies »

  1. So glad I stumbled upon your blog. Always thoughtful, helpful, even when I don’t always agree. (And in this case, agree with almost everything.) Gives me hope that rational, compassionate discussion is possible, esp. with people I don’t always agree with — and, even more hopeful, that we *can* agree on much. 🙂

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  2. Thank you. Valuable. Teresa Dayton, Ohio

    On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 11:04 AM, chartwell west wrote:

    > Sean Patrick Hughes posted: “Alright folks. We’re on day four of the Trump > administration. And it’s already been weirder than even I thought it would > be. I’ve been pretty critical of the president over the last year or so. > I’m not a huge fan. But to be fair, I am capable of feeling a” >

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  3. This is another great piece. I agree with most of what you wrote, but I would disagree with you on the point you raised about character and temperament. It appears to me that what drives this man is vanity and ego. In my opinion he embarrassed himself in front of the Memorial Wall at Langley. That was neither the time nor place for a political speech, never mind to rail about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. Then later in the day he sent Sean Spicer out in front of the world to lie even more about the size of the crowd. What kind of leader would make someone do that? Vanity and ego are what drove his decision to order his press secretary to make those ridiculous statements.

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  4. Your blog entries cut through the usual internet ignorance like a knife, we need clear, deep thinkers now more than ever. Keep up the good work.

    “Character is destiny.” —Heraclitus

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  5. A reasonable and well thought out article, which in these days of rage and disappointment on said POTUS, or rage and jubilation, depending on where your politics stand.

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