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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hip hip hurrah for The Resistance!

The resistance to the travesty of Donald Trump's presidency is holding up just fine, thank you.

In February, constituents swarmed Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s town hall...
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Resilience of the Resistance

April 2017- At the 100th day of the Trump administration, a tremendous amount of attention and coverage is devoted to analyzing its impact and efficacy. But let's also like to take time to celebrate the impact and efficacy of the resistance.

Report in The New York Times: 

I must say that the issue of resilience was one that I worried about from the beginning: For far too many Americans in this digital age, stamina is rare, attention spans are short and the urge for instant gratification is enormous.

But, to my great delight, my worry was unfounded. Not only is the movement still strong, it appears to be getting stronger. People have found a salve for their sadness: exuberant agitation.

As John Cassidy put it this month in a progress report on the resistance in The New Yorker: "Indeed, what is striking is how many people Trump has mobilized who previously didn't pay very much attention to what happens in Washington. He has politicized many formerly apolitical people; ultimately, this may be among his biggest achievements as president."

These comments came specifically in reference to the throngs of resisters showing up at lawmakers' town hall events, sometimes in record numbers. They are passionate, vocal and confrontational. They are not bowing down; they are holding their representatives accountable and giving a very visual reinforcement to the threat that defending Trump or supporting his agenda will be punished at the ballot box.

Not only are people showing up to town halls, they are clogging their lawmakers' phone lines, which is surprisingly important.

As Kathryn Schulz pointed out last month in The New Yorker: "There are a great many ways to petition the government, including with actual petitions, but, short of showing up in person, the one reputed to be the most effective is picking up the phone and calling your congressional representatives."

Furthermore, young people are particularly unhappy with Trump and turning against him. 

A Gallup poll released last week found that the percentage of respondents ages 18-34 who believed Trump keeps his promises fell a whopping 22 points in the two months from early February to early April, from 56 percent to just 34 percent.

But, these young people aren't just stewing and complaining. They're taking action.

As Time magazine reported this month: "For more than 15,000 students across the country, Wednesday marked the first day of Resistance School — a program where the educational focus is mobilizing against President Donald Trump's administration."

As the magazine explained, the "school" was organized by "a group of Harvard graduate students" and offers "lessons on mobilizing activists and sustaining long-term resistance."

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: money. Wired magazine reported this month that the resistance is "weaponizing data" with the emergence of a new nonprofit, crowdsourcing fundraising tool called Flippable. It was founded by "three former Hillary Clinton campaign staffers" and pinpoints "which districts it believes are the most competitive for Democrats (the most 'flippable')" and allows donors to target those districts.

Taken together, all signs are looking up for the movement. The Trump administration, from pillar to post, is an unmitigated disaster, lumbering forward and crushing American ideas and conventions as it does. Damage is being done, there is no doubt, but Americans are not taking it lying down. They are standing in opposition. They are feeling their power. They are energized, and I'm very much encouraged.

The New York Times

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