“Resistance”

civil-rights1

Los Angeles – 1965

Well it is nearly 4 months since The Donald was elected President, supported by tens of millions of our fellow citizens, supporting concepts of fascism against which the typical liberal prescriptions have little of no chance of success.

Yes, we still live in a republic governed by laws and at least some of the main stream media are trying to get their act together by performing their responsibility to report the truth in the face of outright falsehoods.

We have also seen unprecedented attacks on the judiciary and the characterization of the media as an “enemy of the people,” a phrase not heard since the death of Stalin.  Just this week the President tweeted that Obama had tapped his phones at Trump Tower in New York without presenting a shred of evidence; no doubt to divert attention from his growing problems concerning Russian influence in the election on the side of the G.O.P.  His newly minted Attorney General, Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling after he was caught “misleading” Congress concerning his meetings with the Russian Ambassador during the campaign.

There has been a lot of talk of “resistance” to the tide of insipient fascism creeping over this nation.

And I question how can men and women of good conscience effectively resist.

Let us look at our current situation.

Firstly Donald Trump lost the popular vote by polling some three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton.  This the third time this has happened in our history; twice now since the first election of George W. Bush.  President Trump immediately tweeted that he lost the popular vote only because millions of illegal votes were cast by non-citizen immigrants.

Even Republicans laughed; not one shred of evidence was presented to support this claim.  No matter; his followers don’t believe the media anyway.

The people do not elect the President; the Electoral College does.  The electoral votes cast by each state and the rules for casting these votes are controlled by each state government.  Most states, save for a couple i.e. Nebraska for example are winner take all.   So while Clinton piled up huge pluralities in New York, California and Massachusetts, she lost the election.

And it could easily happen again.

The GOP currently holds majorities in 69 out of 98 partisan legislatures (Nebraska’s state legislature is unicameral and nonpartisan but controlled by Republicans).  For those keeping score at home, that’s 70 percent of all legislatures.  And that’s with Republican governors presiding over nearly two-thirds of all states.

The local state governments control gerrymandering; Congressional districts, drawn by Republicans are purposely created to establish “safe” seats. The Republicans are in charge of the process and because of their dominance in state legislations the House of Representatives is overwhelmingly Republican; and will remain so for decades to come.

I’m not picking on Republicans.  The Dems do exactly the same in states where they control the local government – but they only control 30% of state legislatures.  Currently of the 435 seats in the House, the Republicans hold 246 and the Dems 188 with one held by a 3rd party Representative.

In the Senate the gloom for Dems continues.  Its 54 – 46 favor the G.O.P.   Of the 33 seats up for election next year Democrats are expected to have to defend 23 seats, additionally 2 independents (Bernie Sanders from Vermont and Angus King from Maine) who caucus with the Democrats are facing the end of their current term. Republicans are expected to have only 9 seats up for election (including a special election in Alabama caused by the vacancy left by Senator Jeff Sessions, who had to resign his seat following his confirmation as United States Attorney General).   Not good for Dems; a number of Democratic seats, West Virginia for example, are in states that Trump carried.

The left of the Democratic party has been screaming “resist!.  Resist everywhere!”  The Democratic National Committee just chose as its new Chairman  a Clinton supporter ignoring the left of the party which had supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries.  So much for resistance.

Meanwhile progressive activists have been hounding Republican representatives at town meetings particularly over the President’s promise to dismantle Obamacare.  Republicans responded, including our Senator Marco Rubio by cancelling town hall meetings.  Meeting with angry constituents (i.e. liberals) is now a waste of time.

There have been clashes between anti and pro-Trump demonstrators but as yet no shots have been fired.  The immigration police have been rounding up people who previously didn’t have to worry – people who for example were brought here as children by their parents years ago  and protected from deportation by Obama – are now being packed off to Mexico without even a by your leave.

So how does one resist this President’s policies when the “opposition” party is (a) at its weakest point ever and (b) seems unable to come up with a coherent strategy to lead the disaffected?

Vietnam veterans opposed to the war assemble on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, April 19, 1971, to protest the U.S. action in Indochina. Addressing the crowd is Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), wearing hat. (AP Photo)

Vietnam veterans opposed to the war assemble on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, April 19, 1971, to protest the U.S. action in Indochina. Addressing the crowd is Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), wearing hat. (AP Photo)

Demonstrations” against the “system” now have a certain sadness to them – everyone stands around with their placards and slogans (having first obtained approval to demonstrate from the powers that be)  then all go quietly home when told to as the cops look on. Who would dare throw a rock through the windows of Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan? Non-violent resistance requires challenging the power. It requires resistance – not just going home when they tell you to. The cops are ALWAYS on the side of the state and property – never on the side of change.

The left is talking of running primary candidates against those Representatives and Senators that talk of “working with Trump.”  This was the card the Tea Party used to take control of the Republican Party.  Unfortunately the most vulnerable to this strategy are representatives from conservative states – i.e. – West Virginia.  It would probably result in further losses in the House and Senate but the hard left would rather have 44 Senators walking in lock step than  47 including 3 which can’t always be counted on.

We don’t know the future.  If there is another significant attack on the United States or one of our close allies we can kiss our liberties good by.  Trump will simple say “I told you so!” We will be  “free” to go about our lives, change jobs (if we can find one), make money, move to another location, watch TMZ, be a Scientologist, buy shit, argue Coke vs. Pepsi,  write criticism on a blog – maybe.

The next major terrorist could easily result in the formation of Trump supporters into armed militias.  It would really be easy.  He’ll call a “Rally for America” in some state with open carry laws and tell his supporters “Bring your guns!”  Trump Second Amendment.  Trump S.A.   At this point it will be time for progressives to arm themselves.  Don’t forget Trump has the National Guard at his beck and call.

This old man lived through the dismantling of segregation in America, the coming of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.  Everyone loves to point out the effectiveness of non-violence and its ability to bring change.  Think Mahatma Gandhi and Dr, King.

Neither one of them practiced “non-violence” as we think of it today.  They practiced confrontation.  The call for non-violence is a ruse.  It is call for compliance.  Demonstrating quietly on a weekend with your friends and going home without confrontation changes nothing.

Why are there always calls for “non-violence” when the people being oppressed rise up?  “When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con.”

Does that make violence right? No. But it is the natural response.

And it gets attention.

This country has made Martin Luther King into the icon of non-violence. He was nothing of the sort. At the time he was considered a “trouble maker.” Dr. King believed in confrontation – not compliance.

And the racists of the 1960s came to believe he was the better choice than Malcolm who told any white man who attacked black citizens to expect bullets in return.  He was a better choice than Bobby Seale and the Panthers who showed up on the steps of Ronald Reagan’s state capital heavily and legally armed. Civil rights came to America not with a mealy-mouth “non-violence” – it came with confrontation, busted heads and the burning of a few cities.

It is certainly the only thing fascists understand.  They use it all the time.

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About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to “Resistance”

  1. Lara/Trace says:

    Peace isn’t working for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. beetleypete says:

    I don’t feel qualified to comment on your situation as it stands, Frank. But I am going to anyway.

    Armed revolution in America? Seems unlikely, and I fear the ‘other side’ might win that one anyway. A return to the confrontational ‘peaceful’ demos of the style adopted by Gandhi might work. Or perhaps the East European style ‘claim the streets’ demos. But there’s no point if everyone goes back to work on Monday…

    As for being ruled by a party that didn’t gain the majority popular vote, that’s how I have lived almost all of my life. Thanks to the British parliamentary system, the winner rarely gets the most votes, whoever gets in. The alternative is proportional representation, like they have in many EU countries. Minority governments doing deals with unlikely bedfellows, unstable situations, constant elections, failing economies. You know a lot about Italy, so you know what I mean.

    Perhaps it would be better to have a strong dictator? One who would ensure good health care for all, and real equal opportunity. Instigate a genuine socialist agenda, nationalise the utilities, most industry, transport, and education. Tax the rich accordingly, stop fighting foreign wars, and cease all spending on pointless nukes.

    If you can arrange to get me citizenship, I’m not too busy at the moment…
    Regards, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. toritto says:

    Hi Pete – I am not advocating armed revolution. That is a pipe dream. I am advocating that demonstrators engage in confrontation. Carrying a sign with your friends on Saturday does nothing except make dilettantes feel good about themselves. When the cops say stay on the sidewalk, demonstrators must block the road. Expect to be arrested and perhaps get bloodied. Block a Los Angeles freeway during rush hour. Flash mob Wall Street with perhaps 10,000 demonstrators on a weekday morning. Do your best to bring it to a halt. Grab the attention of the nation and those in power. Sit at the segregated lunch counter.

    A new Malcolm might be nice in the immigrant community. Immigration police sweeping neighborhoods might be met with legally armed men. Learn something from those white western ranchers who created a standoff against the feds over federal lands. They didn’t fire but they let the authorities know they were prepared to if necessary. Unless one is prepared for confrontation, peaceful demonstrations accomplish nothing.

    And yes, I know you are for dictatorship so long as you are dictator. Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jfwknifton says:

    I didn’t realise any other country except Northern Island had gerrymandering. A large scale map of the border may actually make you laugh out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

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