Let's talk about the resistance, because if we have to endure more problematic (if fitfully funny) long-form pieces by John Oliver because the obsession with Donald Trump keeps peaking, we need to lay down the law about what the fuck we're doing here. I don't usually swear in my pieces, but goddamn it, this is the best opportunity that we've possibly had in decades to steer the ship right again when it comes to the future of our country and planet! And I won't sit around to see posers and sheer fuckups ruin it for everyone else!
I'm gonna tell you something that's instantly obvious to everyone except Trump's base: Under no circumstances should Trump have ever become President. In fact, he never should've ran for President or have the thought entertain his mind because it was the only thing to keep his rage levels high enough when demanding to see the birth certificate wasn't enough. Nothing that has proceeded, and the people involved, should be a reality. So why are we here? Three words: This fucking family. Because if we want to end the trauma of the primaries and the election, and work our way to achieving the future we want, we need to proclaim loud and clear what the resistance is and what that actually involves.
So first question: What is the resistance? Well, if you're a leftist or a grassroots organizer, the answer should be "resisting the system, the two major parties, and the structural injustices that plague our country and world." Being part of the resistance means that you recognize the bullshit around you and decide that it has to stop. If we want to stop climate change from becoming too catastrophic (and that window might be as short as ten years from now), we have to stop everything that has to do with fossil fuels. If we want to achieve single-payer healthcare, we need to do nothing short of storming the Bastille and dismantling the two mindsets that have entrenched themselves in the two parties: the Republicans' obsession with abstract values of things like "choice" over tangible things like single-payer healthcare, and the Democrats' dismissal of single-payer healthcare, despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act isn't universal healthcare, and countries with universal or virtually universal healthcare have drastically lower healthcare spending relative to GDP than we do. Being part of the resistance means working to achieve the future we want, no matter the odds.
That's what the resistance should involve. Unfortunately, it's at risk of becoming either an amorphous term with any meaning you can throw at it, or (much worse) the main vehicle to get rid of Trump.
I'm sure you seen the list of who would be President if Trump and Mike Pence and everyone else was impeached. Consider that, then consider who's either calling themselves part of the resistance or being called part of the resistance by other people. There was actually an illuminating article in the Huffington Post about Trump basically "killing" Dodd-Frank. It highlighted what the centerpiece of Dodd-Frank, the Volcker Rule, actually was designed to do: Rather than blanket banning banks from mingling with other entities and performing certain actions outright like Glass-Steagall did, the Volcker Rule would only prohibit the worst excesses that Wall Street committed before the Great Recession, while allowing for maximum profit. Think about it: The centerpiece of Obama's Wall Street reform bill opened the door for Wall Street banks to be even more profitable than they already were. However, you wanna know who was one of the entities that went after Dodd-Frank almost immediately? The firm headed by the Podesta brothers. That's right, John Podesta. This motherfucker. And you should also know this: He was the frontrunner that Hillary Clinton had slated for Secretary of State! A man who got phished so easily, that the infamous Clinton email cache was able to put out there for the world to see. Even with the Clinton email scandal fresh in everyone's minds. This is what the system we have looks like, or rather the one run by this fucking family.
Which is why it's incomprehensible to see Hillary Clinton call herself part of the resistance. Need I remind you, this was the same fucking person who screamed for everyone to see that single-payer was never gonna happen, basically tolling the death-knoll for it to ever be a possibility if she won. And the same person who still supported fracking, despite all the goddamn evidence that's been laid out about the dangers of fracking and methane. I could go on, but to see Clinton consider herself part of the resistance is anathema to the resistance itself. She isn't interested in anything beyond getting rid of Trump. Has she said one thing about fighting Mike Pence since the election? Or Paul Ryan? It takes an incredible amount of nerve for someone as thoroughly establishment as Clinton to to consider herself not part of the establishment when it benefits her, rub elbows with neocons, rub elbows with a Wall Street slimeball who might've enacted a horrifying shakeup of how retirement would've worked in this country (and Clinton probably would've defended this move as necessary and whatnot), and call herself part of something that's basically fighting her. She can say that she lost for numerous reasons all she wants. She's still Hillary Clinton, and she's not part of the resistance.
Just so we're clear about who else needs to be weeded out, let's call the roll. No better place to begin is with Nancy Pelosi, who still won't support single-payer and then provides a condescending explanation after the fact, and somehow is called the best (and most underappreciated) member of the resistance. Or maybe John Lewis, who supposedly is headlining a 'resistance summer' later this year and got notice for skipping the inauguration, and somehow we're forgiving his tremendously tone-deaf response to the Orlando shooting (because it bears repeating: The Democrats abandoned LGBT rights in the wake of the worst attack on the LGBT community in favor of gun control and fighting terrorism because of how many people died and the shooter was Afghan and ISIS claimed responsibility despite no evidence that they were involved). Or maybe Washington Monthly, who in addition to praising Nancy Pelosi also had the foresight to attack California's proposed single-payer system because of its cost despite of its savings. And also The Atlantic, who runs negative Trump stories like this and then appallingly puts on an article about how if progressives embrace arms sales, they can win elections. In other words, fuck Yemen. And shall we say Robert Kuttner, whose usually astute made a weird left turn when he argued why a President Mike Pence would be a good thing.
If these examples either proclaimed to be part of the resistance or not, why are all of them not part of it? Because there's no expansive moral vision they believe in. It's not just a few bad apples, as one might say. It's the entire fucking system that's the problem. Getting rid of Trump only solves a few extraordinary examples of the underlying malady. I've said this before to people and I'll reiterate it here: Pence is oatmeal, but he's dangerous oatmeal. And the list goes on. Besides, we're not talking about one election and any number of future elections. We're talking about fucking survival. The resistance exists so that there's hope we all won't see the apocalypse come about, be it from climate change or some other form. And for anyone smug enough to think about nuclear war: Remember how we bombed the shit out of North Korea? Has it come across your brain that their hatred of us ins't completely fantastical? What exactly is it gonna take for the system to acknowledge how fucked up our situation is?
I don't wanna end on a sour note because there are reasons to be optimistic. Genuinely beautiful things are happening as we speak. Nuclear fusion is becoming a reality, paving the way to even more clean energy. Single-payer is also getting closer to being a reality, with California and New York paving the way. Solutions are happening, and they might actually solve our problems. What won't solve our problems? Endlessly focusing on Donald Trump, and letting posers and charlatans drain energy from the one thing that might save us. So take stock in this glorious moment. We can only save ourselves at this point.