I’m not arguing that we should stop “resisting” Donald Trump’s presidency. It is one of, if not the greatest threat to America in my lifetime; and protesting, calling Senators and getting your fellow citizens involved and active in politics is as important as ever. Keep resisting.
What I’m saying is that we should drop the slogan “The Resistance.”
Firstly, it’s a bit juvenile. It comes off as a bunch of privileged (white) people who watched Egypt free itself from decades of actual autocracy in 2011, and who now want their own version of the Arab Spring. This sentiment is embodied by Keith Olbermann’s “resistance” logo for his GQ web series where he literally wraps himself in the flag and cowers in the corner. Frankly, if you’re a healthy middle class white person, the Donald Trump presidency is not the fascist nightmare that “the resistance” plays it out to be (yet). ICE agents are not waiting outside of your kid’s school to kick you out of the country. Your relatives are not barred from visiting you. You don’t have to worry about a health care law passed in Congress that will force you to choose between death and bankruptcy. The ultimate nightmare is still mostly in your head, and it is created by anxiety about what is potentially coming next.
Which is understandable. As someone who deals with anxiety, I fully understand how your brain can create a reality that doesn’t exist—but the central issue with “the resistance” is that this unreality is inherently exclusionary. By classifying yourself as a persecuted class battling the embodiment of evil, anyone who does not feel under siege automatically does not qualify for “the resistance.” You want to cut Trump’s support down? Start by courting those who sympathize with him, as opposed to preaching to the choir of the roughly 55% of Americans who disapprove of him. By creating an instant purity test, even people who did not vote for Trump, but have…