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The Resistance Begins

Don Rose 31 January 2017 3 Comments

As we entered the era of “alternative facts,” “extreme vetting,” “taking names,” incipient trade wars and trying to shut up the press, The Resistance got off to a flying start. First off, 3.5 million or more Americans in Washington DC , around the country and around the world put their bodies on the line in women-led protest marches. The largest such mobilization in American history.


Demonstrations continued against Trump’s cabinet choices and executive orders on abortion, immigration, the environment and others–many of which are flawed, possibly unconstitutional or require congressional action. Spontaneous airport demonstrations and a lawsuit temporarily blocked Trump’s onerous refugee ban.

On another front, some of the nation’s most brilliant constitutional lawyers and governmental ethicists filed a lawsuit charging that many of Trump’s businesses violate the “emoluments clause” of the US Constitution, which forbids a president from accepting gifts or financial favors from foreign powers. If the plaintiffs get standing, a summons for Trump could be issued and his tax returns, among other documents, could be released as part of the discovery process.

But this is only the start. The Resistance must open more fronts, continuing demonstrations and lawsuits, but move quickly from mobilizing to political organizing. Demonstrations, even as massive as the women’s marches–whose organizers and participants should be lauded–will go only so far. I’ve been involved in many during the past half century, but please remember it took dozens of massive demonstrations over nearly 10 years and two presidencies before we finally ended the Vietnam War.

Remember, too, that while The Resistance represents the numerical majority of voters, due to Democratic concentration in cities and coastal areas, Trump’s side has a firm grip on Congress, the presidency and soon the US Supreme Court–plus an overwhelming majority of governorships and state legislatures. If the latter are permitted to remain by2020, a gerrymandered House of Representatives will be locked in for another decade.

The Resistance must develop into a kind of progressive Tea Party, aiming immediately at the 2018 mid-term elections. Use social media to call out each and every lie the administration floats and focus on Trump’s impossible-to-fulfill promises of creating or “bringing back” jobs in Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania. There should be a special effort to work with union leaders whose members were conned by some of those false promises.

Progressives in solid blue areas have to reach out to friends and acquaintances in red districts to help them organize locally. As many have pointed out, congresspersons don’t care what you have to say unless you are a constituent. Even in blue states such as Illinois, there are red congressional districts to focus on. Chicagoans, for example, own vacation homes in neighboring Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. Work with locals there.

Most importantly, The Resistance must develop a clear, workable , forward-looking economic message well beyond the term-paper meanderings of the Clinton campaign, but avoiding some of the less credible, over-promising aspects of the Sanders effort.

If the chaos of Trump’s 10 days continues, the administration could collapse of its own weight. But The Resistance can’t count on that. Organize!


Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer
image Resistors in a parallel circuit


  • Rent a mob said:

    Astro Turf demonstrations by paid protesters are not grass root activists.

  • George Smith said:

    George Soros PAID and ORGANIZED 50 groups at the “Woman’s March”, and the Right to Life March one week later had TRIPLE the participants… when are you going to WAKE UP?

  • Terry P. said:

    Hate to break to news to you, Don, but the election of Trump WAS the resistance–to the past eight years!

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