With the Strzok testimony dominating the outrage cycle this week & reports of an impending Rosenstein impeachment haunting the news again, I have a few thoughts on our national inaction & apathy in the face of creeping fascism.
Every time the threat that Mueller is about to be fired or Rosenstein will be removed from office arises, someone (usually the top comment on the reporting Reddit or Twitter thread) always links to MoveOn’s Rapid Response protest plan. (Here’s the link, which I don’t mean to fault in & of itself, FWIW.) The problem with this pattern, however, is twofold: On one level, it promotes only a reactionary politics, suggesting no progressive alternative that would curtail the need for protests in the first place. On another level, focusing only on and formulating responses only to the possible (even probable) firing of just the top level brass ignores the whole host of other outrages for which Americans should right now be taking to the streets.
When only the most unconscionable & over-the-top actions warrant formal, nationwide responses, the line for what is acceptable inherently moves closer & closer to those extremes. Moreover, it has meant that we by & large do absolutely nothing in response to the innumerable other, smaller iniquities, which get treated as acceptable just so long as this final, arbitrary line doesn’t end up getting crossed. It’s as if we have collectively said that top-level actions A & B are totally out of bounds, while meanwhile those in power make their way through the rest of the alphabet, from C to ZZZ, without consequence. Simply put, as is clearly evident simply by looking around at the crumbling of our republic, as a plan of political action, this is an utter travesty & total failure.
What is instead needed is near ubiquitous & relentless protest without specific cause, organized from sea to shining sea every damn weekend until those making a mockery of our democracy are removed from office. Perpetual protests should be there bare minimum (while, at least as I see it, perpetual revolution would be the ideal. At this point, we don’t need any more reasons for protesting or resisting, we don’t need to see any specific outrages to take to the streets—we should all be out there, holding up signs & chanting every day, en masse. We saw an example of this already this past week in London, as huge crowds met Trump with scorn, & it should embarrass every American that our national response to authoritarianism on our own soil has paled so thoroughly in comparison. And frankly, considering where the real power lies in this country—to quote a film as true for today’s politics as it was for its era, “follow the money”—we should be organizing general strikes until these simple demands are met.
Until we confront our collective apathy, until we protest the general state of our failing republic, things will only get worse & our goals only harder to achieve.