Against a Trump regime that is totally unacceptable, we’ll need resistance that’s sustainable. Like a healthy forest, the resistance will depend on great diversity to thrive — a wide range of people engaging in a vast array of activities. And our resistance will need community.
I’m not talking about the facile gloss of the word “community” that often follows an adjective denoting race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The kinds of community that will make ongoing resistance possible have little to do with demographic categories. The most powerful, most vital bonding will be transcendently human.
Facing a Trump presidency, we’ll have an imperative opportunity to go deeper as individuals and groups of people working together — nurturing and growing the social, cultural and political strength that can overcome the Trump regime.
Our resistance has got to be broadly inclusive, offering and inspiring a great variety of nonviolent tactics and approaches, whether they emerge with a few people around a kitchen table or with many thousands of people at a public protest. The strength of the united front that we need will depend on the extent of truly cooperative efforts.
Trump and his allies have already injected huge quantities of toxins into the body politic, with much more on the way. The antidote is democratic engagement from the grassroots. (Right now, as the new regime rolls out its top henchmen, early steps include doing all we can to block Trump’s horrendous Cabinet picks.) To challenge the enemies of democracy who have gained power, we’re just getting started.
What’s at stake for U.S. society includes basic social decency, human rights, economic justice, civil liberties, rule of law — in short, democracy. Also at stake: climate change, nuclear weapons, the fate of the earth.
Trump has clearly shown his intention to destroy many decades of progress for the rights of women, people of color, Muslims, undocumented immigrants and many other people, while tightening the knot of the corporate state and the warfare state.
From Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue to the Pentagon, the purveyors of mega-corporate technocracy, oligarchy and militarism have given “power” a bad name. And yet the solution to anti-democratic power is power — truly democratic power — from the grassroots, from the bottom up — really our only hope. From protests and electoral work to public education and lobbying and legal interventions and so many other forms of organizing and activism, countless essential tasks await us.
During the presidency of Popular-Vote Loser Trump — maybe more profoundly than at any other time in our lifetimes — we’ll need each other to make resistance personally sustainable, socially viable and political effective. This is all about energizing ourselves and each other, now and for the long haul.
That’s why community should be a verb.
Norman Solomon is co-founder of the online activist group RootsAction.org. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.
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