Resister’s Digest: Bernie Sanders Launches “Fight Back” Tour Against Trumpism

The senator hopes to build a Democratic party that is strong in all 50 states.

Theo Anderson April 17, 2017

Priorities for the “Come Together and Fight Back Tour” include pushing for a $15 minimum wage and pay equity for women, action on climate change, reforming the immigration and criminal justice systems and tax reform that “demands that the wealthy and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes.” (Bernie Sanders/ Facebook)

Resister’s Digest is a week­ly roundup that spot­lights ways read­ers can con­nect with and learn about cam­paigns to oppose Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s agen­da, pro­tect human rights and pro­mote equal­i­ty. Have ques­tions or tips? Con­tact writer Theo Ander­son at theo@​inthesetimes.​com.

'It’s clear that the energy on the left to protect Barack Obama’s health care law—and oppose President Donald Trump—is still soaring.'

Ver­mont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the chair­man of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee, Tom Perez, launch a tour of sev­er­al red” and pur­ple” states Mon­day, start­ing in Port­land, Maine. The tour then heads to Louisville, Ken­tucky, on Tues­day, Oma­ha, Nebras­ka, on Thurs­day, and Salt Lake City, Utah, and Mesa, Ari­zona, on Fri­day. Ral­lies are also ten­ta­tive­ly sched­uled for Flori­da, Mon­tana and Neva­da. Search for details here.

The tour will begin the process of cre­at­ing a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty which is strong and active in all 50 states, and a par­ty which focus­es on grass­roots activism and the needs of work­ing fam­i­lies,” accord­ing to an announce­ment by Sanders and Perez. Their pri­or­i­ties for the Come Togeth­er and Fight Back Tour” include push­ing for a $15 min­i­mum wage and pay equi­ty for women, action on cli­mate change, reform­ing the immi­gra­tion and crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tems and tax reform that demands that the wealthy and large cor­po­ra­tions start pay­ing their fair share of taxes.”

Sanders and his ideas have broad pop­u­lar sup­port. A Fox News poll released in mid-March found that 61 per­cent of respon­dents approve of him, while only 32 per­cent dis­ap­prove. And an Economist/​YouGov poll in ear­ly April found that 60 per­cent of respon­dents — includ­ing 46 per­cent of Repub­li­cans — sup­port expan­sion of the Medicare pro­gram to include all Amer­i­cans, a key issue for Sanders.

In Mon­tana, Sanders and Perez will help build sup­port for Rob Quist, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date for the state’s open House seat. Quist is a folk singer who’s well-known in the state and has been endorsed by Sanders’ orga­ni­za­tion, Our Rev­o­lu­tion. The elec­tion will be May 25. Quist recent­ly report­ed that he had raised $1.3 mil­lion for the cam­paign, most­ly through small con­tri­bu­tions. The Mon­tana race and the spe­cial elec­tion in Georgia’s 6th Dis­trict, where Demo­c­rat Jon Ossoff is com­pet­ing against mul­ti­ple Repub­li­can can­di­dates on Tues­day, are being viewed as ear­ly gauges of the strength and mobi­liza­tion of the resis­tance to Trump.

More furi­ous” town halls

Town halls are planned across the nation this week, as Con­gress con­tin­ues its recess. Halfway through the recess, Politi­co not­ed, it’s clear that the ener­gy on the left to pro­tect Barack Obama’s health care law — and oppose Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — is still soaring.”

MoveOn​.org main­tains a list of sched­uled events here. Indi­vis­i­ble offers a toolk­it of resources for mak­ing effec­tive use of the events here, includ­ing a primer on pol­i­cy pri­or­i­ties and a list of sam­ple ques­tions. The web­site FiveThir­tyEight tracks the vot­ing record of each mem­ber of Con­gress and ranks them accord­ing to how they align with, or against, Trump’s agen­da. Find the Trump Track­er” here.

Cov­er­age of Congress’s first week of recess was bru­tal for the GOP. For exam­ple, Huff­in­g­ton Post said that House Repub­li­cans were hav­ing the worst spring break ever.” USA Today not­ed that many law­mak­ers had decid­ed to avoid town halls alto­geth­er. And The Hill report­ed from a furi­ous” town hall of a New Jer­sey Republican.

Health­care reform has received most of the spot­light, but the town halls vary in their focus. In New York, for exam­ple, an event on Wednes­day, co-spon­sored by sev­er­al Indi­vis­i­ble and Demo­c­ra­t­ic groups, will fore­ground the future of immi­gra­tion in the Unit­ed States.

Ral­ly­ing for sci­ence and the planet

On Sat­ur­day, sci­ence advo­cates, sci­ence edu­ca­tors, sci­en­tists, and con­cerned cit­i­zens” will stage a March for Sci­ence” in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. About 500 more satel­lite march­es are sched­uled in towns and cities around the world. Orga­niz­ers note that sci­ence is a vital fea­ture of a work­ing democ­ra­cy, spurring inno­va­tion, crit­i­cal think­ing, increased under­stand­ing, and bet­ter, health­i­er lives for all peo­ple,” and they describe the march as the first step of a glob­al move­ment to defend the vital role sci­ence plays in our health, safe­ty, economies, and gov­ern­ments.” Go here to find a march, reg­is­ter for one and donate to the cause.

Sat­ur­day is also Earth Day, and var­i­ous ral­lies focused on envi­ron­men­tal­ism are planned through­out the week, such as a ben­e­fit for the Ver­mont chap­ter of the Sier­ra Club on Tues­day, the Min­neso­ta Water Action Day on Wednes­day, the Ral­ly for Water and Wildlife in Salem, Ore­gon, also on Wednes­day, and the Sus­taina­gan­za in Mis­soula, Mon­tana, on Thursday.

Sci­ence is increas­ing­ly under assault by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and its allies in the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment. For exam­ple, the Heart­land Insti­tute, a lib­er­tar­i­an think tank, has been dis­trib­ut­ing books and videos that cast doubt on the human con­tri­bu­tion to cli­mate change. Heart­land has so far mailed about 200,000 pack­ages to pub­lic school teach­ers, and it has the goal of get­ting the mate­ri­als into the hands of every sci­ence teacher in the country.”

The orga­ni­za­tion 314 Action is active­ly recruit­ing peo­ple with a sci­en­tif­ic back­ground to run for pub­lic office. Sign up here.

Build­ing bridges to Trump voters

Indi­vis­i­ble Berke­ley is host­ing a con­ver­sa­tion between soci­ol­o­gist Arlie Hochschild and lin­guist George Lakoff on the theme of reach­ing out to Trump vot­ers.” The event is Mon­day, and will be livestreamed (reg­is­ter here) and post­ed to the organization’s web­site.

Lakoff is the author of Moral Pol­i­tics and oth­er books. Lis­ten to an inter­view with him about the pow­er of Trump’s rhetoric on the This is Your Brain on Trump” episode of the Make Me Smart pod­cast. Read a sum­ma­ry of it here. Hochschild is the author of Strangers in Their Own Land, an analy­sis of the nar­ra­tives and frame­works that shape the world­views of con­ser­v­a­tive vot­ers. Read the ITT review here.

Theo Ander­son is an In These Times con­tribut­ing writer. He has a Ph.D. in mod­ern U.S. his­to­ry from Yale and writes on the intel­lec­tu­al and reli­gious his­to­ry of con­ser­vatism and pro­gres­sivism in the Unit­ed States. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @Theoanderson7.
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