WE are the Resistance

Resist!! That’s the message we seem to hear from the Democratic Party and its most devout loyalists on a near-daily basis in the wake of Trump’s election. The question, though, in relation to the referenced “Resistance” is “what are we resisting?” Is it just Trump? Is it the Republican Party? How about the oligarchy? If it is just Trump who draws the ire of this supposed rebellion then I have to say it is barely a resistance worthy of our attention.

Why? Isn’t Trump a fascist hell-bent on destroying everything and everyone standing in his way; including the rule of law? Well, yes, but Trump is merely a symptom of a societal cancer which has been growing and spreading for quite some time. Resisting Trump alone is tantamount to removing a single tumor in a stage 4 patient. Today it is Donald John Trump, but in the near future it could be someone far worse with a superior and more effective grasp on the political process.

Do we need to make sure that Trump is held accountable so as to preserve the rule of law and maintain the fragile stability of our Republic’s checks and balances? Absolutely, and the same was the case for the numerous abuses of power which expanded the authority of the presidency for most White House occupants since –at least – the Civil War. This gradual usurpation of power by the nation’s chief executive officer accelerated in the past 50 years, and now we are on the cusp of a total transition to authoritarian rule.

Let’s just focus, for a second, on one of the more recent examples of an opportunity missed for reining in on the presidency to restore the regular order: George W. Bush. I know, many across the political spectrum are falling in love with Dubya all over again because he seems like the standard of decency in politics compared to the toddler with nuclear arms we have now, but let’s not forget one important fact (of MANY enumerable damning facts), which is that Bush Junior LIED this nation into a war. The war that Bush started without provocation enriched a few and cost the lives of thousands of Americans and even more Iraqis. It was also the first domino to fall which later produced – as PREDICTED by the war’s opponents in 2003 – the regional chaos that itself gave rise to ISIS.

Where was this resistance when American soldiers were being sacrificed for the agenda of neoconservatives, and which profited Halliburton and the Oil Industry? Oh, I remember now, those of us who took the time to speak out were marginalized as being on the “extremes” even by the so-called opposition party. Furthermore, when the Democrats were given full control of Congress for the first time in 12 years after the 2006 Midterms, the cowardly incoming-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said “impeachment is off the table”, and when then-Congressman Dennis Kucinich used a privileged resolution to force the then-Democratic House of Representatives to vote on numerous – well-studied and thought out – articles of impeachment against Bush, Cheney, and others for their subversion of the rule of law…the Democrats laughed it off and swiftly killed the serious measure by tabling it.

What the hell happened when we needed the checks and balances to provide some balance with a check on the powers of an imperial presidency? I will tell you what happened. This system of ours is in danger, because it is broken at its foundation. The Democrats in 2007 and 2008 didn’t act on the evidence which existed regarding Bush’s egregious and literally deadly abuses because they were afraid of losing the support of their donor class.

Oh, wait, you thought that the Republicans were the only ones suckling from the teat of the oligarch cow? No, they are merely the only ones who aren’t afraid to openly admit their servitude to our aspiring plutocratic overlords. Republicans in the post-Nixon era are increasingly subservient to one cause alone and that is the unyielding pursuit and preservation of power. In that power-centered pursuit they know that they must satisfy their base – while distracting them with the politics of cultural division – as well as please their wealthy financiers with policies which rob the safety net, weaken democratic rule, and facilitate an atmosphere which permits an uninhibited concentration of wealth into the hands of the few. This incarnation of the Republican Party will NEVER take any action which endangers their claim to power, never.

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With the Democratic Party, they started to abandon their creed of fighting on behalf of the working class when a few corporate-friendly members determined that Reagan won and Bush Senior won because the Democrats were too anti-business, thereby suggesting they were too close to the interests of the working class. Because, you know, the working class wants socialist things like guaranteed healthcare, a strong safety net, and fair labor practices.

After this turning point, the Democratic Party started to play the part of an ally for working people during campaigns, but then governing in ways which largely pleased the 1%. Each successive election cycle from Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory through to present day has seen the Democrats shifting further and further into the arms of the oligarchs. Using language such as “middle of the road” and boldly stating that “the era of Big Government is over”, the party’s leaders led the way for NAFTA’s implementation and advocacy (yes, Bush Senior and Reagan started pushing for this, but the Clinton-Gore White House AGGRESSIVELY promoted it), they sold out the impoverished with so-called “Welfare Reform”, they established a corporate-backed acceptance of China’s “Most Favored Nation Trading Status” under Clinton, and abolished financial protections for the working class via the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

That was far from it. Despite screaming for years about the policies of George W. Bush, Congressional Democrats helped start his illegal war, helped fund the damn thing – even when they took control of Congress -, and even voted (on numerous occasions) to sacrifice our Constitutional protections (think/research the 2006 Military Commissions Act and the 2008 Protect America Act). When Democrats took total control of the Government in 2009, they refused to even vote on the proposed Employee Free Choice Act – which would protect workers seeking to organize and make it easier to do so – they passed corporate-friendly and seriously watered down restrictions on Wall Street, and – the biggest kicker of all during the Obama years – they “reformed” healthcare with legislation written by healthcare lobbyists.

Don’t forget, they also largely voted with the Republicans to grant a monstrous bailout to the wealthy criminals which collectively brought the Great Recession upon us. This one particular vote should help instruct us as to what is afoot. It is telling that BOTH parties feature candidates with massive donations from the wealthy, and BOTH parties had the support of the oligarchy at their conventions in 2016. Why? Why are we resisting Trump when he is a symptom of the people of this country increasingly divided by and fed up with this falsehood of partisan politics?

People are in pain, and the reason their pain is not being addressed is because NEITHER party is willing to take a stand against the forces responsible for said pain: the oligarchy. The resistance, the TRUE RESISTANCE should not be singularly focused on the latest product of this broken system. No, the resistance must focus its attention on the system itself.

So, yes, RESIST! Resist Trump, resist the Republican Party, resist the Democratic Party, resist the partisan system, resist income and political inequality and – most importantly – RESIST THE OLIGARCHS!

This is not a resistance for or of the Democratic Party. It is a resistance of the masses against the degrading, debilitating, and disastrous agenda of the few! WE – all of us yearning for a restoration of our collective power over our government and our destiny – are the resistance. Now, get away from your phone, your computer, or whatever device you are using to read this and get ready to organize. Your services are needed, because our time has come.

Resist!

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Daniel H. Crawford III

Daniel Crawford is the proud father of Austin (born in 2006) and Madison (born in 2008), uncle to seven nieces and nephews, brother to three younger siblings, and the surviving son of his late-mother – Starla Kay Hunter -, whom passed away at the age of 49 in 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Government with Minor Degrees in History and Public Administration in 2013 from Ashford University. A long-time activist, Daniel first got involved in politics when he was 18 in 2003 by frequently contributing to a progressive blog called Democrats.com under the pseudonym “dem4christ04”. In 2005, he created his own blog through Xanga at http://democratforchrist2020.xanga.com/ and still contributes to such from time to time. In 2004, Daniel began volunteering with his local Democratic Party in Licking County, Ohio and soon thereafter helped to build the Licking County Democratic Club; in which he later served as the Club’s Second Vice President in 2016. From 2006-2008, Daniel was a vocal advocate for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney for their numerous offenses, giving numerous, lengthy speeches at his local City Council meetings in promoting a resolution to pressure his members of Congress to hold the administration accountable. In 2014, Daniel again saw the need to advocate for impeachment, but this time for President Obama, for his overreaching use of executive powers, as well as a perceived continuation of many abuses under George W. Bush, warning that the continued circumvention of Congress – regardless of the intent - was a usurpation of legislative powers and a dangerous precedent for the separation of powers. In 2011, Daniel formed a local chapter of “Occupy” called the “99% of Newark and East Central Ohio”. The group’s members came together for numerous reasons, but soon concentrated on the issue of money in politics as the foundational issue which needed to be addressed first. From 2014 through 2016, the group’s small membership managed to make history in Newark by successfully placing a citizen’s initiative on the ballot to create an educational event – called “Democracy Day” - centered around the money in politics issue with special emphasis on the Citizens United ruling. The initiative – which narrowly failed, sadly – would have created this event and would have demanded that our members of Congress support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United. In 2017, despite the failure of that initiative, the group – which became a subgroup of the Licking County Progressives, an organization formed in the wake of the 2016 Election – hosted our first “Democracy Day” event, seeing that we needed to do more to educate the public on the matter. Also in 2016, Daniel was appointed to the Board of the Freedom School of Licking County – a nonprofit which promotes education for the purpose of empowering average Americans in society and the workplace -, and was elected to a term as its Chairman that summer. Daniel has also authored a number of books – created and published through an Amazon service called “CreateSpace” -: a manifesto entitled “The Pillars of Unitism” and a novel entitled “The Politician: Crisis” (the latter is the first part of a planned trilogy). His undying devotion to the cause of empowering the people via a strengthened democracy is what drives him each and every day. While his children inspire the bulk of his determination to build a better world, he learned to be indiscriminately compassionate from his mother, as she sought – through to her dying day – to see every mouth fed, every back clothed, and everybody housed…so long as she could help it. Why – it must be asked – is this compassionate vision for the world so controversial in the first place? In Daniel’s mind, challenging the status quo of rugged individualism and inspiring the rejuvenation of a collective spirit is his life’s work.