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The Danger of Blind Resistance to Trump

Blind resistance to Trump is not only morally wrong but also strategically dangerous

President Donald Trump signs executive order withdrawing US from TPP trade deal. (Reuters)

Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday withdrawing the US from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Ironically, the President received praise and criticism from opposite crowds. Progressive leaders led by Sen. Sanders welcomed the President’s decision, but Trump received a rebuke from his party with Sen. McCain calling Trump’s action a “serious mistake.

Some Clinton supporters weren’t comfortable with the idea of agreeing with Trump on a political decision, even if that decision was the right one, or one that their own candidate supported (at least that’s what she claims). The idea of agreeing with Trump, that racist xenophobe misogynist demagogue, is just a non-starter. They worry that working with Trump would show that he has bi-partisan support, which would only empower him. In their view, resistance means criticizing Trump at all times and in every opportunity. Some even went the extra mile to condemn Sanders for being willing to work with Trump on the issue of trade.

Others decided to ignore Trump’s role altogether, claiming that the trade deal was already dead before he took office. The problem with that claim is that it’s disingenuous. If John Kasich, Marco Rubio, or even Mike Pence were President today, the deal would have been signed into law shortly afterward. While the people who deserve the most credit for this victory are the activists, labor unions, and progressives who campaigned vigorously against it, you still cannot erase Trump’s role in defeating the TPP.

Blind resistance to Trump is not only morally wrong but also strategically dangerous. Members of Congress have a responsibility to represent and to advocate for their constituents’ best interests while keeping the nation’s interests in mind. I recognize that almost every politician is guilty of violating this responsibility and, instead, they cater to the needs of the donor class and special interest groups. Nevertheless, endorsing blind opposition, something that Republicans have been guilty of since Obama set foot in the White House, is morally unacceptable. And what was morally unacceptable then, is still morally unacceptable now. Hypocrites will find a miraculous way to justify one but not the other.

I can agree that there might be some political points to score in the short term with this approach, but the long term impacts should not be overlooked, and they are by far more dangerous if Democrats hope to regain the White House anytime soon. If you haven’t been following, the American people are sick and tired of politics over all. They are hurting and they want change. The establishment has betrayed them with decades of false promises that never materialized, and they just want Congress to work in their best interest and not the interests of the donor class.

Yes, Trump manipulated his voters into believing that he would be that agent of change. He won and this is the ugly reality we are living in. Needless to say, it’s mission critical that Democrats must carve a way to win those voters back, many of whom voted for Obama in two consecutive elections. Do not award Trump a talking point to rail against the political establishment again in 2020 if the Democratic opposition were to blindly obstruct him. It’s absolutely critical that Trump fails not because of the Democratic opposition but as a result of the disastrous policies that he and the Republican majority implement.

In no way do I suggest that one ought to yield to Trump’s horrific proposals that will hurt the middle class and benefit the richest of the rich. In no way should Trump’s attacks on women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community be tolerated. Democrats and progressives must fight him vigorously when he crosses the line — something that we will be accustomed to in the next four years.

My advice is this: Be objective in your criticism, know your facts, be active, keep your senators and representatives busy, and “never lose your sense of outrage,” as Sen. Sanders often reminds us.

Written by Salam Morcos

Salam Morcos is a Managing Editor of Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

Political activist for democracy, social justice, racial justice, women's right and human rights.

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