Distinguishing Two Very Different Lines of Resistance to Donald Trump
It’s important to distinguish two lines of resistance to Trump:
1. Resistance to Trump’s regressiveness: repealing Obamacare, turning Medicare into vouchers (that will leave many elderly worse off) and Medicaid into state block grants (depriving the poor of health care); attacking Social Security; giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy and to large corporations; eviscerating environmental laws, regulations and treaties; defunding Planned Parenthood; putting people in charge of departments who are intent on doing the opposite of what the departments are set up to do (DeVos at Education, Puzder at Labor; Pruitt at EPA); putting a right-winger on the Supreme Court; and so on.
2. Resistance to Trump’s tyranny: repeatedly telling big lies; demeaning government scientists and intelligence officials; undermining the freedom and independence of the press; threatening critics; creating “registries” of Muslim-Americans and a religious test for entering the United States; cozying up to foreign dictators; blaming economic stresses on immigrants and fomenting public bias and even violence against them; attributing acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and using such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties; creating a personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public; and personally profiting from public office.
Both resistances are critical. But the second has nothing to do with partisanship or the age-old fight between Republicans and Democrats over the reach or role of government.
Resistance to tyranny must not be seen in partisan terms. We need Republicans to join in resistance to Trump’s tyranny. Conservative Republicans have traditionally been vigilant against tyranny, and they must be invited to the cause and become part of the coalition.