Make no mistake, the 21st century American Civil War is upon us. This is not a war of guns and ammunition; instead it is a war of ideologies. On one side, cloaked beneath the veneer of conservatism is the ideology of racism and fascism. Donald J. Trump’s regime, and the Republican Party as a whole, have embraced, pushed and fomented this ideology. On the other side are the rest of “US.”
“US” are the American people who voted against Donald Trump. “US” are the concerned citizens who believe in the American dream, a dream that is inclusive, a dream that each of us, regardless of race, color, creed, gender or religious background can aspire to their full potential without fear of persecution.
At first glance, this civil war may seem incredibly lopsided. The Republicans control the Whitehouse, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Republicans are poised to rewrite the rules, reverse decades of progress and stagnate progressive ideals for the remainder of the decade, if not longer.
If you are looking for the Democratic leadership to stand up for “US”, you might want to look elsewhere. Somewhere along the way, through eight years of Republican Anti-Obama action, Democrats didn’t get the memo. There’s a new playbook being used, a playbook that has only one rule. Seemingly unable to act in solidarity or to stand united, the Democrats refuse to invoke the power of this new rule.
That rule is OPPOSITION.
The Democrats refuse to fight. Even In the face of hopeless odds, even when opposition has no chance of success, you don’t lie down, you don’t play dead. You fight! You fight to the bitter end…and then you fight some more. This is, and always has been the AMERICAN WAY.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t “negotiate” with fascism. “Peace in our time” is never a valid settlement, and collaborationists will always find themselves on the wrong side of history.
There can be only one response. You must CRUSH fascism.
Even if the fascist is your president.
ESPECIALLY if the fascist is your president.
This new American Civil War is a war between the Republicans, led by Trump, against the rest of us, the American people. In such a war, what hope do we, the American people have? The Republicans, who would have us, believe we have no power, that we have no say. We are left impotent neutered invalids forced to watch the death throes of our democracy, without agency and incapable of retaliation.
But that’s where they are wrong.
We represent the majority of Americans, a majority who did not vote for Trump. A majority who have sent a resounding message to the President. A message that he LOST the popular vote by close to three million votes, and was elected by less than one quarter of the American people. Trump has no mandate. He’s no man of the people.
The majority of Americans do not want him as president.
The majority of Americans do not want Trump’s nominees.
The majority of Americans do not want his “administration”, his REGIME.
The day after the non-event that was Trump’s inauguration, three million protesters led by women let their voices be heard. I knew the Women’s March would make a bold statement. I had no idea that statement would make history. Every major American city held its own Women’s March. Not to be outdone, the entire world joined together in protest. A large percentage of the human race led by women protested Trump’s presidency and all that he represented. All of a sudden, on a single eventful Saturday in January, the 21st century American Civil War didn’t seem quite as lopsided as we once imagined.
Peaceful, and sometimes not so peaceful, protests, and public acts of civil disobedience have been a part of the great American tapestry since before its very inception. Through protest the masses have changed the course of American history, like dams changing the courses of mighty, and seemingly unstoppable rivers.
Civil disobedience has never gone out of style, and in certain sectors has even been in vogue. But on January 21st ,2017 civil disobedience went mainstream. Who then were these protestors? These were not seditionists. These were not anarchists. They did not represent a “fringe” element. They were our mothers. They were our sisters and daughters. They were our fathers. They were our brothers and sons. They were librarians. They were teachers. They were secretaries. They were housekeepers. They were doctors. They were lawyers. They were artists. They were musicians. They were scientists. They were clergy.
They were Black. They were White. They were Hispanic. They were Asian. They were Indigenous Peoples. They were South-Asians. They were Christian. They were Buddhist. They were Hindu. They were Jewish. They were Muslim. They were Atheist. They were Lesbian and Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, and Asexual. They were the Differently-Abled. They were the young and the elderly. They were all these things and more. But most of all… they were AMERICANS.
Because this is what America looks like.
If you voted against Trump out of fear for what he might do once in office, then the first week of a Trump presidency assuredly confirmed your worst nightmares. The President was petulant, vindictive, brutish and authoritarian.
From lamenting over inaugural crowd sizes, to baseless claims that millions illegally cast ballots costing him the popular vote, to a feud with Mexico over who pays for his proposed wall, to threatening to send federal authorities to Chicago to assist with the control of crime, the gaslighter-in-chief let his voice be heard.
His unbridled umbrage, a veritable barrage of barely literate tweets, all originating from an unsecured Android phone, in ironic echo of Hilary Clinton’s private Blackberry and email server.
Trump’s first week brought executive orders in rapid-fire succession. However it was the EO that came at the end of that week, on a Friday that sent the country into a tailspin. It was the unconstitutional executive order banning millions of people from the Muslim world from entering the U.S. To their credit many Democratic leaders rallied and opposed this order.
But the true opposition came from the American people. The backlash was immediate. Concerned citizens descended in droves on every international airport in the United States. The protests lasted three days. And why wouldn’t they? This so-called “Muslim Ban” was a travesty. It was an exercise in misdirection and subterfuge. Supposedly making America safe from “terrorism” by promoting religious intolerance and racism.
Real Americans, true Americans saw through this divisive unconstitutional executive order and let their voices be heard. Seven days after a record breaking Women’s March, two months in the planning, thousands of United States citizens were out in force protesting the attempted illegal actions of the Trump regime. Protesting yet again.
However this time the resistance was almost instantaneous.
Thousands gathered; immigration lawyers, congresspersons, concerned citizens. In support of immigrants New York taxi drivers called an immediate halt on trips to JFK. Thousands gathered, and they did so with swiftness unseen before.
Welcome to the new age of connectivity. People are connected and they are communicating in real time through Twitter, through Facebook, through Instagram and Snapchat. While people are protesting in the streets they are also protesting online.
With social-media we are witnessing a new phenomenon, a genuine interest in politics, a concern for how actions in Washington affect the real world and everyday lives of Americans, and of those we love. In the threat of this new Trumpian age, normal, everyday people are at last becoming engaged in our democracy.
Civil disobedience is blossoming online and is using social media as the conduit.
American citizens are using various platforms as incredible tools to mobilize, stay connected and exchange information. On Facebook alone Anti-Trump closed groups are materializing almost daily. Some groups have memberships in the thousands.
The dissension is growing.
Beyond the updates of Trump news, beyond the Anti-Trump jokes, beyond the Anti-Trump memes something is happening. In the midst of the scrum of hopeful comments and above the din of meaningful noise a narrative is emerging.
The consensus of resistance in the 21st century means to be civilly disobedient in public, to be civilly disobedient online, to publicly support political allies, to support the judicial system, and to disrupt the flow of commerce by any peaceful means necessary.
However, there is one conversational thread that overrides all others. So much so, it in turn has begotten sites with one sole purpose: IMPEACH TRUMP.
These IMPEACH TRUMP Facebook sites are numerous but three in particular stand out due to their impressive and increasing membership.
Impeach Trump Now! 42,154 members
Impeach Trump 32,808 members
Impeach Donald Trump Now! 20,987 members
The dissension is growing.
And the dissension isn’t just relegated to Facebook and other social media sites. The dissension is coalescing into action. There are several online petitions to impeach Trump that are in play. One in particular is really making waves.
It’s the “Impeach Donald Trump Now” campaign. According to the progressive news source Democracy Now! the online petition was created just moments after the Trump inauguration. The petition now has over a half a million signatures.
The dissension is growing.
The question remains, do these groups have a legitimate legal recourse to impeach and remove a president? When it comes to Trump the answer is a resounding YES.
Donald J. Trump is now the President of the United States. Trump is also a businessman with business holdings both home and abroad. Some say the conflicts of interest are unprecedented.
They’re also potentially illegal.
Trumps’ business holdings violate the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, which provides: “[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” The purpose of this provision is to prevent foreign influence or corruption. “Emoluments” from foreign governments include “any conferral of a benefit or advantage, whether through money, objects, titles, offices, or economically valuable waivers or relaxations of otherwise applicable requirements,” even including “ordinary, fair market value transactions that result in any economic profit or benefit to the federal officeholder.”
President Trump has close to eighty pending or forthcoming lawsuits in play, more than any President in recent memory, but the violation of the U.S. Constitution Foreign Emoluments Clause is the smoking gun. This is the decisive way to remove him.
In broad strokes this is how it would work: It’s The House of Representatives responsibility to launch impeachment charges. A resolution is called for an investigation referred to the House Committee on Rules who in turn refer its findings to the Judiciary Committee for investigation. The Judiciary Committee has the power to subpoena witnesses and documents. With enough evidence said committee reports articles of impeachment for a full House vote. In turn the House votes on these articles by simple majority.
If the House votes to impeach, the Senate then conducts the impeachment trial. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides when the President is tried. The Senate requires a two-thirds majority to convict with conviction resulting in the immediate removal of office.
Whew. Yes it’s a rather lengthy process, but embedded within the legaleeze minutia is the fact that… THE REPUBLICANS ARE IN CONTROL.
And let’s face it, they’ve been complicit accomplices in the Donald J. Trump shitshow. Even with an online petition barreling towards a MILLION signatures for Trump’s impeachment, will that alone be enough to give them pause?
Let’s revisit the rules of resisting in the 21st century: civil disobedience in public, civil disobedience online, and most important… Disrupt the flow of commerce by any means necessary.
In the early stages of the Trump presidency public civil disobedience has been reactionary. It has been REACTING to the actions of Trump. Public civil disobedience needs to be PROACTIVE. Trump business assets along with the Whitehouse are the obvious targets of these protests.
The not so obvious targets of these protests should be key Republican leaders. Protesting with the clear message of IMPEACHING TRUMP. Let’s take two leaders and use them, as examples shall we? I think they’re rather deserving of the attention. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. We should be protesting both their offices in Washington, and their offices in their respective states with a simple concise message: REPUBLICANS MUST IMPEACH TRUMP.
Let’s expand the scope of the protests to the remainder of the Republican Majority leaders: Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Republican Conference Chair John Thune, Senate Republican Policy Committee Chair John Barrasso, Republican Conference Vice Chair Roy Blunt, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Cory Gardner, Senate Republican Steering Committee Chair Mike Lee, Senate Republican Chief Deputy Whip Mike Crapo.
Imagine a concerted and extended peaceful public protests targeting these key Republicans both in their home states and Washington with the singular message: REPUBLICANS MUST IMPEACH TRUMP.
It makes a POWERFUL STATEMENT does it not?
Can’t protest in the street? No worries, I got you Fam. I realize, only the most ardent and dedicated FREEDOM RESISTORS can sustain peaceful public protests over an extended period of time. It’s the 21st century, and protesting online couldn’t be easier. But it does need to be focused.
It needs to be surgical.
Donald Trumps prides himself with using social media to bypass the real media to speak directly to his base. My counter to that is… Why should he have all the fun? The sword cuts both ways. Every Republican leader mentioned above has an online presence. They all use Twitter, and they all have a Facebook page.
Imagine if EVERY Impeach Trump Now! With it’s 42,154 members [and counting] decided to get OFF their closed Facebook page and ON to the Republicans’ pages? Leaving a concise and RESPECTFUL message: REPUBLICANS IMPEACH TRUMP #RepubsIMPEACHtrump. What if those members who were on Twitter tweeted the same message?
Repeating that message OVER AND OVER AND OVER again? It makes a POWERFUL STATEMENT does it not?
This is a safe, non-violent and EASY way to let your voice be heard. Your grandfather stormed the shores of Normandy to fight FASCISM. You can do it with your cellphone and a #hashtag.
Make it a part of your everyday routine, it’s cheaper than buying WAR BONDS…and it’s JUST AS PATRIOTIC.
The final component of this civil disobedience trifecta is disrupting the flow of commerce. Boycotting Trump businesses is a obvious tactic. Boycotting Republican assets is another. However the quickest, fastest way to achieve monetary DISRUPTION is through a GENERAL WORK STRIKE. Most recently the #J20 and the #DisruptJ20 movement invoked a GENERAL WORK STRIKE on Donald Trumps’ inauguration day. A GENERAL WORK STRIKE means not going to work, not going to school, and no spending, all in a effort to bring attention to a specific cause.
What seemed subversive and clandestine in the opening days of a Trump regime now seems like the AMERICAN thing to do now. Personally, I was going to suggest FLAG DAY [Wednesday June 14], which also happens to be Donald Trumps’ birthday for a proposed GENERAL WORK STRIKE.
But to their credit the Women’s March movement is organizing a GENERAL WORK STRIKE of their own. It’s called A DAY WITHOUT WOMEN. As of this writing, details are sparse, but I’m confident more information will be forthcoming shortly. The Women’s March movement made HISTORY on January 21st. I have complete confidence they will do so again. It certainly offers an opportunity to send yet another message to Republicans. I can see the marketing copy now:
If MILLIONS of you marched on a Saturday in protest of your President then MILLIONS of you should be able to stay home on a Wednesday. #RepubsIMPEACHtrump
I’m confident a nationwide monetary disruption of this magnitude might put Republicans in a more agreeable disposition to do what absolutely needs to be done: IMPEACH TRUMP.
In closing, I think the hardest hurdle we face is convincing average everyday people to act in ways they never expected to act. Do things they never expected to do.
You’re an AMERICAN. REAL AMERICANS CRUSH FASCISM. Even if the fascist is your president.
ESPECIALLY if he’s your president.