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Resistance v. Obstructionism

November 26, 2016

Republicans have been so recklessly and harmfully self-serving with their scorched-earth obstruction of Obama proposals that they have given rational, adequate opposition a bad name, especially among those of us who place high value on democracy and effective democratic governance. But with a bit of careful thought, we can free ourselves from paralysis sufficiently to clarify the difference between Republican “Obstructionism” and the large-scale “Resistance” with which we must oppose Trump and the Rs. We can then conduct an adequate, democratic opposition to the extraordinary threat that they pose to the physical and emotional quality of American life, and to our democracy itself.

Let’s begin with one aspect of context: Obama received a clear majority of votes for the presidency, twice, but Trump will not come close to a majority. Furthermore, although Democratic candidates for the House, running with Obama, received many more votes than did their opponents (and in spite of R suppression of the D vote), Republicans obtained a House majority by gerrymandering districts.

Now let’s look at the goals and motives of R Obst of the majority, v. those of our Res to the minority. Rs used total war in order to undemocratically block everything that they did not want to happen, discredit a black presidency, undermine confidence in effective democratic governance, cultivate cynicism, and thereby regain power for themselves. Their ultimate goal, as they fantasized it, as early as Reagan, was a “permanent R majority” (their phrase). By hook or by crook, one might say.

With our Res we aim to prevent a “permanent R minority rule” (my phrase) that very likely would evolve into a fascist negation of democracy, and surely would damage the lives of hundreds of millions of people, in America alone, because of the greed, arrogance, misogyny, racism, authoritarianism, and propensity to violence that characterize the owners and managers of the R party and the most rabid of its supporters.

Here, by “fascism” I mean the fundamental characteristic of ownership of gov by corporations and wealthy individuals for their use of gov as a tool for generating corp profit and private wealth. But I’m including the use of fear-mongering, racism, etc., that characterize right-wing politics as they whip up irrational popular support, and the sociopathic willingness of psychopathic “leaders” to use violence to get their way, at whatever cost to others (indeed, the satisfaction that they take in that cost to others), and the necessity that they find, sooner or not much later, to end democracy.

I’m not exaggerating. If I’m inaccurate, sue me. But if I’m accurate, then we had best mount a very serious, immense, ongoing opposition. A Resistance.

So let’s look at comparative methods. Rs used, for instance, psychopathically total disregard—really, subversion—of truth (e.g. lies, obfuscation, and mass propaganda), dictatorial manipulation of the organization and agencies of governance, suppression, intimidation, and a tsunami of private funds.

We should use adherence to truth and to the plain, honest statement of truth; transparency; recognized democratic procedures of governance (including universal suffrage and majority rule), clear statements and demonstrations of values (such as compassion; individual, family, and community health; and personal control of private life); selective legislative and judicial procedures; and refusal to cooperate with immoral actions by authorities—meaning civil disobedience when necessary. We should do everything that we can, to live compassionately and democratically.

At any rate, that’s a sketch of it. Some examples: we should refuse to cooperate with deportation on the basis of anything short of court-determined criminal behavior, insist on succour of Syrian refugees, stand against discrimination because POC or Muslim, support peaceful civil disobedience at Standing Rock, take every possible action to remedy the maldistribution of wealth, insist on conversion to clean energy, call Steve Bannon the white supremacist fuKKup that he is, and constantly remind Trump that he is a laughable (but dangerous) fool and a loser.

The more T and the Rs can accumulate and consolidate power, the more lives they will damage and destroy, the more the planet will be ruined, and the more we will have to resort of measures such as mass, nonviolent, civil disobedience to stop them.

Let’s not go into denial, or wimp out about this.

[Get the t-shirt—seriously.]

{Support the Standing Rock Sioux}  Update:  Best do it soon.  Just as in the ’60s, a gov agency is siding with the violent local authorities and police, to shut down the protest.  Much info here.  And here.  And.  And.

11-29-16:  Veterans will protect Water Protectors.

12-4-16:  Maybe an alternative route!  Thanks, veterans and Army Corps of
Engineers and President Obama.  Photos.

Trump supports the pipeline.}

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