Yesterday, April 29, President Trump spent part of his hundredth day in office speaking to his “Trailer Park Caucus” in Harrisburg, PA. It was likely for him better than being in DC where there was a climate march and the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. It seems that Trump needed a “safe space” of his own.
Or was he trying to hide from his relative lack of accomplishments. Besides signing executive orders, the same things that had the mobile estates in an uproar under Obama, and getting a Supreme Court Justice confirmed, with some extreme measures required, he hasn’t done much in terms of legislation. His only attempt so far, an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, has not ever reached the House floor. That bill can’t seem to get support from Trump’s own party.
The failure to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act is but one of several successes of “The Resistance”. This group of minority, women, and millennial activists has not gone away. Their efforts began literally on day one, with the “Disrupt J-20” events , the next day brought a “Woman’s March”. Others have followed, a call for Trump to release his taxes, a “March For Science”, and most recently a “People’s Climate March”. There are more planned, May 1st will bring rallies across the country in support of immigrants. There have been marches at airports, occupations of ICE facilities, and numerous other local events.
Harrisburg, PA has played its role in this. When a minority family had its car vandalized soon after Trump’s election, 50 or so people held a vigil on the Friday before Christmas on a day’s notice. That was only the beginning; Harrisburg has had its own “Women’s March”, a march for immigrants and refugees, a rally and march for Muslims, two rallies to preserve the Affordable Care Act, and the list goes on and on.
That’s not to say that the resistance has not had flaws. Very often it seems that groups are not coordinating, yesterday there were several marches and rallies planned for Trump, and it would have been impressive if all of these events could have converged into one massive rally. There also seems to be a gap between Democratic leadership and the resistance. The leaders of the party seem reluctant to embrace the ideas of the youth that will become the party’s base in a few decades.
One thing I would like to see is a the anti-war movement of the early part of the 2000s reawaken. Trump’s foreign policy seems like a mix of cold war and video game thinking. A reawakened anti-war movement could merge with the current resistance and make both movements stronger.
I finished reading “A People’s History of The United States” a few weeks ago. It seems that the history of America is one of repression and resistance. It’s our time and our turn now. History will judge our efforts, and so far, I like what I see from the resistors.