PreDonald Trump isn’t Superman. He isn’t going to bring his alternative facts, revenge, and ultra-nationalist way door-to-door. If he’s serious about Brezhnev-esque parades of missiles and men, there will be opportunities for direct resistance before the president. But generally, the President’s policies are going to be enacted by agents of his administration.
Activists chant slogans with placards during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Somewhere, down the line, someone has to put the work in. Donald Trump isn’t going to be knocking down homes and clogging up rivers when the wall starts to go up. That work will go to contractors and other cronies. Some goon in a suit does the groundbreaking, but someone local gets their hands dirty.
Where the policy meets the polity is where action can and should be taken. The resistance at Standing Rock and the D.C. inauguration checkpoints represent good practices. Undermining Trump’s supporters and agents is essential, practical and practicable. Frustrating the diggers and the triggermen of the new administration should be the focus.
This might mean bringing back police watches, or it might mean something more COINTELPRO-proof. The very idea that a city or county or state could declare itself a sanctuary from Trump’s anti-immigrant policies reveals the limits of his executive authority. That some cities have openly declared their willingness to forego federal funds lays out what a local resistance could and probably should look like. It’s talk right now. But like the earlier demonstrations, it’s a start.
The 2017 Women’s March on Jan. 21 was not timed to take advantage of Trump’s brief absence from the Oval Office but to let it be known where he stood with a large swath of United States citizens. The protest centered on one common theme: opposition to Trump. This opposition covered his platform, his character and other qualities. Any struggle can start with that, but there’s real work to be done elsewhere.
Trump has already signed his first drone death warrant, but he won’t be unleashing the Hellfire himself. The Dow Jones industrial average hit 20,000 points on Jan. 25 2017, was this a victory for Trump? Or was this the inevitable outcome given the last decade’s inertia?
Similarly, the citizens of the United States have little to gain by protesting Trump in his new home in Washington, D.C. Demonstrations have their use in firing up the masses. It’s an essential piece of radicalizing, organizing and creating a sense of accountability. But for realizing gains and spoils, it’s barely a means and not an end unto itself. It’s right there in the name: Demonstrations are proofs of concept. But they are neither a fully developed program nor a product. Trump represents an idea in one man. After all, 43 million plus people voted for him and his policies.
People don’t wait agonizing seconds at stop lights hoping Trump and his armored Beast just keeps rolling by. These people are watching for cop cars and listening for the aircraft unblinkingly taking down their every coming and going.
J.K. Schmid is an intern in the Baltimore office of the AFRO-American Newspaper. He is a student at Towson University in Baltimore.