Last week I wrote about the importance of taking a people-centered approach to sustained movement-building in Trump’s America. With that approach in mind, there are also other important principles necessary to building these movements and organizing the anti-Trump resistance, including creating a counter-vision to Trump’s narrative.
This rare moment in American history has brought together women, people of color, Muslims, the LGBT population, the poor, immigrants, the undocumented, and allies of all stripes. If the resistance is to move forward, we must develop a radically informed vision that seeks to challenge social, political, and economic policies through people-centered organizing. So, what are the three main components of a radically inclusive counter-vision?
- The system, not just the person – There is much literature about how Trump is merely the product of a system and an environment that set the stage for his ascendance. His administration aims to magnify its reach by using these very circumstances to its own advantage. With corporations lining up around him to receive amenities (including tax breaks and cabinet positions), the resistance must recognize that Trump is both the product and producer of the system. There is also an argument to be made that the ideological linchpin and the one pulling the strings is not Donald Trump, but Steve Bannon. The anti-Trump resistance must create a narrative that factors the system into its analysis.
- Global solidarity – The movement building in Trump’s America may be unique in its specificity, but also mirrors global trends in rising progressive, populist sentiment. A radically-informed counter-vision must take into account that masses across the globe are feeling disenchanted with the system and that social and economic policies have ultimately failed to ameliorate their situation. Following events like Brexit, the rise of the far-right in Europe, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s conquering of Aleppo, the need for global solidarity around progressive values of inclusion, justice, and fairness are important now more than ever. The anti-Trump resistance must develop a vision that is internationalist and that incorporates a global analysis in its radically-informed counter-vision.
- Zero Compromise – The Democratic Party has, up until now, wavered in its commitment to serve as an indubitable resistance, and has been willing to cooperate with Trump on issues of mutual agreement. While this strategy is certainly flawed, what is even more mindboggling is that some Democrats have voted to confirm cabinet nominees, who are not only staggeringly unqualified, but who act in defiance of the principles that the Democratic left and entire resistance stand for. It has, as such, been left to the American people to protect and defend the institution of democracy and the advances this country has made, whilst also holding power brokers, stakeholders, and economic bigwigs accountable. The boycott of Uber and the Yemeni bodega strike are two examples of this accountability-driven resistance. In crafting its counter-vision, the resistance must incorporate strategies for sustaining these offenses.
With these three core principles in mind, the anti-Trump resistance can shape a formidable counter-vision to the one Trump has in store for this country. Taking a people-centered approach to movement-building as its foundation, the resistance can ensure that the administration will never experience a single moment of rest.