5 Myths About Resisting Trump

February 15, 2017 | A. WrenchReporter

Illustration by Adam Maida

Myth # 1: “We’re doomed now that Trump is in charge.”

It’s true that Trump is the president, and that gives him a lot of power. But he doesn’t have a clear path forward, and many more ways to fail than to succeed. Most people who voted for him did so because they wanted things to change, and they will be very quickly disappointed by his failures. The people who are actually ready to support his efforts aren’t well organized and live dispersed around the country. Trump failed to bring even a decent number of supporters to his inauguration, and the next day millions more went to the streets to protest his administration. The White House is not the only place with power in this country, and we should use ours.

Myth # 2: “This is year zero.”

Trump’s administration is not yet secure in its position, and his opponents don’t have to start from scratch. While many people were taken by surprise by Trump’s presidency, there are already thousands of organizations who have been working for many years to promote and support the causes that Trump is now attacking. There are millions of people who have experience fighting for their rights — these activists have not suddenly gone away. And many more people have started to get involved in their schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces to find ways of resisting this new administration. The resistance movement is there, it is time for all of us to join in the fight.

Myth # 3: “We have to defend American institutions against Trump.”

Resisting Trump means fighting for the rights and dignity of all people, it does not mean defending for example the CIA or even the courts. Some institutions are important because they are tools to achieve progress: The freedom of speech and assembly is in the interest of all Americans who want to resist Trump. Sometimes the courts too have been an important tool to achieve equal rights and end discrimination, but they have done so only because large numbers of people took to the streets. At other times the courts have upheld very unjust laws and were clearly not on the side of the people. It’s important to defend those individuals in federal agencies, state and local governments who are getting in the crosshairs of Trump’s administration. But we should focus our energy on working for a better America that doesn’t need a bloated army or a repressive CIA.

Myth # 4: “If you’re against Trump, you have to be a Democrat.”

The Democratic Party has contributed a great deal to the problems our country faces today. You don’t have to become a Clintonite to resist Trump, in fact it’s important to see establishment democrats for what they are: a part of the same cozy-with-billionaires establishment as Trump and his friends. More than the Republicans, Democratic politicians can sometimes be pressured by massive protests to change their policies in a more progressive direction. But our goal cannot be to get Hillary into the White House in 2020. We have to fight for a completely different kind of politics that finally operates in the interest of all people in this country, not just those at the top.

Myth # 5: “You have to choose: is the problem capitalism, patriarchy or white supremacy?”

The most effective tool of those at the top has always been to pit those at the bottom against each other. But to fight Trump, we have to understand how issues of class, race and gender go together to create inequality and injustice. Trump’s attacks target women, people of color, immigrants and LGBTQ people, and these are precisely the same groups that tend to be at the bottom of society. We have to fight particularly hard to defend these groups and reverse the shameful racist, sexist and xenophobic policies that have deprived them of their rights. And we need to fight against the massive inequalities between the very few at the top and the vast majority of the population at the bottom. The two fights are part of the same struggle.