Welcome to the Resistance

All Americans now face threats under Trump. The question is how to respond.

In These Times Editors

A XENO­PHO­BIC HATE­MON­GER IS ABOUT TO TAKE OFFICE AS PRES­I­DENT OF THE UNIT­ED STATES. For mar­gin­al­ized peo­ple in our soci­ety — the undoc­u­ment­ed, African Amer­i­cans, Mus­lims, Native Amer­i­cans and many oth­ers — life has always been pre­car­i­ous. Now, all Amer­i­cans are expe­ri­enc­ing threats: to our health­care, our basic rights, our prin­ci­ples of com­mu­ni­ty and jus­tice, and, for many, our phys­i­cal safe­ty. How to respond?

One urgent task, as Zack Exley writes, is to harness the legitimate grievances that carried Trump to victory. Many Trump voters, like the voters inspired by Bernie Sanders, were responding to economic populism. They are not to be shunned, but engaged as potential members of the resistance. And we must retire the current Democratic establishment in favor of one that represents the needs of working people.

At the same time, strong multiracial alliances must be forged to protect those most vulnerable under the new administration: the Muslims Trump wants to surveil, the black and brown neighborhoods he wants to aggressively police, the immigrants he wants to deport. We must take to the streets and stand with those who refuse to go back into the shadows, as Prerna Lal urges. Every day, our voices and our bodies will be needed.

The mainstream media and the political establishment pretend all is well. Hillary Clinton enjoined us to grant the next administration “an open mind.” No, we won’t. As Rick Perlstein writes, a Trump presidency cannot be normalized.

Here’s our counterproposal. Let’s instead keep an open mind to the new ideas and alliances rising out of the urgency of this moment. Let’s dare to imagine how our movements can emerge from this dark time stronger and less isolated. Let’s resist the urge to cocoon ourselves in our usual echo chambers. Let’s engage everyone we can to join us as we organize to protect the rights of immigrants, women, people of color, workers and LGBT people. Let’s advance our shared interest in economic justice.

Welcome to the resistance.

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