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The Resistance: Our next step



Trump is said to be emboldened. Rasmussen has his approvals ticking upwards (although Gallup doesn’t). After all the firings, he’s said to finally be feeling comfortable with his team, because they kiss the ring instead of speaking truth to power. He has a few victories in his pocket, including Gorsuch and the tax cuts, and a few impending, including what could be a very big story: a deal with Kim to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, which would put Trump into the history books.

Meanwhile, the Mueller probe hasn’t touched him, yet. That Dutch lawyer, van der Zwaan, just got thirty days in jail, and while Trump will scream “So what? No collusion! No obstruction!” this looks like Mueller’s test case for what is sentenceable. Van der Zwaan is small fry; Manafort et. al are the big fish leading to you-know-who. Still, Fox “News” will argue that van der Zwaan has nothing to do with Trump, and the red state simpletons will agree.

Yes, every once in a while there’s another mass shooting—yesterday’s, at YouTube, wasn’t far from where I live. But Trump doesn’t give a damn about them because he’s a sociopath, and his NRA fans don’t give a damn about them. So what if people are shot? Second Amendment! Second Amendment!

So Trump is feeling his oats. He’s been president now for going on fifteen months; he’s learning the ropes. He’s a natural optimist anyway: when things aren’t going well, he fights, but he always believes things will work out for him, because they always have. Donald J. Trump, in his own mind, is not a loser.

How do we deal with an authoritarian narcissist? One answer: The Resistance must continue. It’s not always easy. We’re in the same boat as those wonderful Parkland schoolkids. I just hope they have the stamina to outlast the relentless bullshit the rightwing is throwing at them. I think they do, and will. For the rest of us, being part of The Resistance has become part of our everyday lives. We do what we can. Contribute money, talk to our neighbors, stay active on social media. Trump’s strategy is to plow right through us. We can’t let him.

Why is it so important? Take it from me, an almost 72-year old man–born the same day and year as Trump–who’s seen a lot of U.S. history. We have a very good country, but it occasionally makes mistakes. Interning the West Coast Japanese during World War II was big mistake. Slavery and Jim Crow were insane. The institutional homophobia supported by both parties was wrong. The Iraq War weakened us in ways we can’t even fathom. The glorious thing about America is that, eventually, we see our errors, and do our best to correct them. I’m proud of that progress we’ve made in women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights, environmental rights, workplace safety and at least trying to provide healthcare to all Americans through the Affordable Care Act.

But now we have this thing in the White House seeking to undo all that. There’s no way around the fact that he’s a nasty, deplorable human being. If you’re reading this, you know that. Paul Ryan knows it. Mitch McConnell knows it. Every single Republican in the U.S. Congress knows it. Their complicity is criminal, and one can only hope to see them someday sitting in the docket, before the judgment of History.

It is important to resist. Trump will have big moments when he and his crowd can crow about how great he is. But don’t take your eyes off the prize. The man is a danger, an embarrassment, the worst president in history. His moral failures, which Republicans give him a pass on, are indefensible. Spiritually, he is a catastrophe. Most of us wake up every day and try to be better human beings. Trump seems to wake up every day—if he even sleeps—determined to find new ways to insult, degrade and bully. You wouldn’t want him in your family (although you might want his money in your family!). You wouldn’t leave your teenaged daughter alone with him. You know he’s depraved.

This is America! It’s the only country we have. America is the light of the world, the city on a hill, the hope and prayer of humanity—or used to be, before the Trump era smeared it with wickedness. We can rescue our country, but only if we energize ourselves, and refuse to give in. This is an important moment. It’s a time to renew your commitment to fight this rogue regime and everything it stands for. Perhaps more importantly in the immediate future, it’s important for us to signal to Mueller that we, the American people, have his back.

More tomorrow.

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