Immediately following the November 2016 election, #resist became a battle cry for those opposed to the presidency of Donald Trump. Resistance has come in many forms: social media campaigns, protests, intimidation, congressional obstructionism and in some cases violence and terror. Those who participate in #resist claim they are helping to “save democracy.”
The question remains, “Are they?”
The resistance made its first public appearance at the inauguration. Breaking windows, lighting cars on fire, and striking fear into those who attended the event, #resist certainly made the news. But does violence and vandalism “save democracy”?
At the so-called Woman’s March angry attendees wore genitalia hats and costumes, while Madonna said she’d like to “blow up the White House.” Saving democracy? You can decide.
Then came the congressional obstructions. As a bloc, Senate Democrats have slowed the process at an unprecedented level. A July 2018 report noted the striking differences between the confirmation of Trump’s nominations and the nominations of previous administrations. At a similar time in their presidencies, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 42, and Obama, had 80%, 84%, 72%, and 75% of their nominees confirmed. Trump has 57%.
Consider the effect of slowing the confirmation process on “democracy.” The democratic process gives power to representatives who vote on behalf of the people. Obstruction challenges, rather than supports this democratic process.
Obstructionism also negatively effects the people of this country. Having a government without the full staff of agency heads and other employees makes everything inefficient for the people. Additionally, obstruction hurts the American people by denying them qualified people in key positions.
Consider the case of Andy Puzder, nominated for secretary of labor. The son of an immigrant, Puzder worked his way through law school and ultimately became CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Junior. He knows the value of hard work and understands how to unleash productivity and flourishing for the American worker.
In his book, The Capitalist Comeback, Puzder recounts how protesters came to his front door, held a rally in his town, and drove a billboard through his neighborhood accusing him of abusing women. Perhaps the most alarming incident happened when in the form of a mysterious package addressed to his wife. It contained white powder, a paper doll with a noose around its neck and a pink piece of paper with the words “TRUMP.” Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Sadly, Puzder withdrew his nomination after lack of support in the Senate and America lost an opportunity to have a great man lead the labor department. Did the protesting, intimidation and obstruction “save” democracy?
The most recent blockade has been against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a highly qualified jurist who sits on the D.C. Circuit Court (known as the “second highest court in the land”). A graduate of Yale Law School, Kavanaugh also lectures at Harvard Law School (he was hired by Elena Kagan when she served as dean of the school). Lauded by right and left as a brilliant jurist, Judge Kavanaugh now faces baseless attacks on his character, his family and his legal record. Isn’t obstructing a qualified jurist “endangering democracy?”
Even the quintessential American sport, football, has been weaponized. The national anthem, long held as the symbol of unity for the American people, has been transformed into a political statement by those hoping to #resist. However, are these people resisting Trump or American values? How does this “save democracy”?
The resistance also calls for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Perhaps the most visible has been the Occupy ICE campaigns, such as the Portland campaign which left their area with blocks of trash, bottles and used needles. Does protesting and trashing property “save democracy?”
Many people have begun to question the validity of #resist and the ideology of those who support it. The #WalkAway movement has revealed an awakening of liberals who do not subscribe to violence, bigotry and hateful distain for those with whom they disagree.
As Ronald Reagan stated, “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: [up] man’s old — old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”
Reagan understood that dividing lines did not fall between the right or the left. Rather, they fell between freedom and totalitarianism. Returning to this basic understanding of America helps to shed light on what #resist represents. The resistance blockades the American people, American values and American patriotism. The resistance subscribes to violence, lewdness and bigotry. While considering themselves “progressives,” the resistance regresses downward to a divided nation and a country that cannot move forward. Ultimately, they resist unity, democracy and forward-thinking policy. Ironically, they #resist progress.
Also published on Patriot Post, August 2, 2018.
Image credit: DmitriyMur/BigStock