“Keep your powder dry.”
“Stay alert, be careful, as in go ahead and take on the opposition, but keep your powder dry. This colloquial expression, which originally alluded to keeping gunpowder dry so that it would ignite, has been used figuratively since the 1800s, but today it is less common than take care.”
Donald J. Trump and his merry band of miscreants just can’t wait to give their mean-spirited natures voice, and their worst instincts legal legs. This is not a threat to just Americans of modest and no means, it is a promise Donald telegraphed and sealed with a Mafioso-style kiss throughout his campaign. I want to console those low/no-information voters on screwing themselves and their family and friends. I don’t blame you in large part because you saw a need for change. We won’t need to wait long; change is on its way in the form of a shift kick in the arse.
The only thing that really roasts my chestnuts over an open fire is that this yuge mistake is going to cost all of America dearly, when indeed he lost the election by well over 500,000 votes and climbing. Ain’t democracy grand?
Each one of us in this loosely forming American resistance movement will have to make up their own minds about how to approach this travesty and impending disaster. I am simply pleading with all of us who know Trump to be a threat to everything we know and love about America, heed the non-violent organizational underpinnings of Martin Luther King, Jr.; adhere closely to the three basic principles of civil disobedience.
1) The first principle is that you maintain respect for the rule of law even while disobeying the specific law that you perceive as unjust.
2) The second principle of civil disobedience follows from the first: you should plead guilty to any violation of the law. (This is what gave King hope that the aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.)
3) The third principle of civil disobedience: you should attempt to convert your opponent by demonstrating the justice of your cause. (Active nonviolence does not seek, as Gandhi says, to defeat or humiliate your opponents, but to win their friendship and understanding.)
As upset and disappointed as I am with how this great American tragedy has come to pass, that’s polluted water under the bridge. Democrats, and that sure includes yours truly, lost touch with the people in those parts of our country we stopped looking at or caring much about. We left them to drown in their Republican-run states. But here’s the good news, they remain our natural allies if we are intelligent enough to stop and explain ourselves, and not just arrogantly assume they don’t have the brain power to understand. There must be no question that to the degree these good people are motivated by racism, Donald J. Trump is their kindred spirit, and they are welcome to each other. However, when it comes to their economic well-being and the well-being of their families, progressives have been, are now, and always be their natural political home base. Unfortunately, we have forgotten how to make that case and listen to how we can be supportive. A one size fits all, federally regulated solution, is often not what is required and needed here, and we must demonstrate the willingness to listen and support their dreams that will serve all of their people.
The one thing I am 100% sure of, however, Donald J. Trump has no clue as to who these good people are, and the political party to which he has attached his star, has no self-interests invested in their concerns. The unvarnished truth is that Republicans have consistently legislated against their best interests. Indeed, as any fair minded person will note, these former progressive constituents gave up on us, their natural-born allies, because once we hit that Republican-wall-of-greed our Democratic leaders fought by partaking in its bounty and called it fighting fire-with-fire. Either we fight greed by opposing it at every turn, or we wear our current garb of hypocrisy and accept the fact that there’s not a defensible difference between us.
Blowing shit up, and continuing to talk down to disenfranchised Whites, is exactly the wrong reaction to this crisis in representation. Based upon who legitimately should have wanted Donald in the office of the US presidency, he should have gotten about 5% (tops) of the votes. Therefore, if we are strategic and “keep our powder dry”, we can win way more than half of his supporters back simply by demonstrating through our actions that their best interests are completely aligned with progressive populism. This must start at the local level and be community-based. The coastal elites (in their eyes that’s most of us, despite our opposition to being seen that way) have shown ourselves to be self-serving and dislodged from the realities of those fly-over states.
We can go to the bank in predicting that it will not take long for the bunch Donald is now surrounding himself with to alienate the hell out of hard-working and forgotten Americans. This wrecking crew of conservative elites doesn’t know the constituency that just voted for Trump. However, Banana Republicans are eternally grateful to them for their ignorance of how Washington, D.C. works, and they are betting that by the time Trump royally screws them economically, FOX News will spin the blame onto Obama.
For this American resistance movement to work, therefore, we need to stay hyper-vigilant and consistently loud about every mean-spirited step the Trump Administration is already planning regarding unraveling the social safety net that supports strong communities and healthy families.
Listen, Donald J. Trump is going to go down in flames for one simple reason; his gigantic ego and arrogance has proven time and again to exceed his leadership skills. The man is a walking-talking self-admiring narcissist. (Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.) He can’t help himself; screwing up and taking those around him down is in his DNA. He is beyond certain that he is the smartest guy in the room at all times, and if you don’t believe that and reinforce this belief, you are a disposable piece of garbage.
The presidency in America’s checks and balances system requires everything Donald is not; thoughtful, knowledgeable, systemically strategic, and focused. Just how far will his carnival-barking skills take him? Well, he is the president-elect, and he has now dragged us into his fun house for the show.
But when we expose what’s really behind the curtain of lies Donald has been hiding behind, can his vengeful arrogance be far behind?
My next several blogs will advance and highlight the multiple examples of civil disobedience and resistance movements emerging as we speak. After presidential elections (especially the past two) progressives have patted themselves on the back and politically gone to sleep. As evidence I simply need to point out the election of 2010.
Not this time; we must mobilize, mobilize, and mobilize. Women, white guys that know better, people of color (especially African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians), the LGBT community, the interfaith community, science believers, and people who believe in a future that serves the needs of all humankind must not go back to sleep now. We have all been brutally slapped in the face and denigrated by this man’s words; and if we leave him alone, he will turn those words into deeds. We can let him “Make America Hate Again”, or we can help him realize that he needs to seek therapy for his narcissistic personality disorder. He can certainly afford to live out his years in some secluded and peaceful place, and it must be our mission to help him attain that state-of-being as quickly as possible.
November 13, 2016