Thursday, January 19, 2017


I am interested in resistance to Donald Trump’s agenda, particularly where it impacts upon individual liberties. I suspect that my view of resistance is different than that of other Trump opponents. My priorities are that resistance be:

1. EFFECTIVE. I want to prevent Donald Trump from using government force to quash individuals. I’m not going to settle for less than this or for alternatives to this. I am not interested in “taking a stand” for its own sake, in “making my voice heard”, or in being seen as virtuous. For me, achieving none of these things while blocking federal action is superior to doing all of these things without blocking federal action.

2. PERSUASIVE. I am interested in Donald Trump’s supporters—in their concerns and welfare and in their right to express their sentiments. I am interested in seeing them brought back into the fold of civic discourse and into the body politic. To the extent that they have been victimized by cultural and economic trends that benefit the elite, I am interested in ameliorating their pain. I don’t think the road to a better America involves these people being “defeated” in a political sense. I have never heard of a person changing their mind as a result of being scorned or screamed at. This may be therapeutic, but it doesn't advance the goal.

3. HONORABLE. If American civic discourse is unpleasant or joyless, people will decline to participate in it. If the majority of people decline to participate in civic discourse it will be dominated by those who are willing to endure a joyless environment for the sake of power. This has proven a bad model for the selection of leaders. Donald Trump has increased the toxicity of civil discourse. I don’t wish to further that toxicity or to be a participant in the outrage economy. It’s unhelpful in the short term and only produces new Trumps in the long term.

That's where I'm at. If what you're looking for is displays of performative wokeness such as anti-Trump poems or angry petitions opposing the publication of books by alt-right figures, you've come to the wrong place.

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