Politics & Policy

Tough Times for the Resistance

A protester wears a Donald Trump mask during the Women’s March in Chicago, Il., January 20, 2018. (Joshua Lott/Reuters)
Life doesn’t have to be ‘all Trump, all the time.’

Conservatives are doing a lot of arguing these days — most often, it seems, among themselves. Some people find this disheartening, but I actually think it’s okay. After all, how else does one develop good ideas? It might be far more depressing, at least I suspect, to be fully enrolled in the Resistance.

Oh, come on, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about: I speak of the Resistance, the dramatically titled and completely non-Star Wars-related movement determined to bring down the presidency of one Donald J. Trump.

Many self-described Resistance members are solely online warriors. Others show up at various protests and rallies celebrating a cornucopia of left-wing causes. Some are high-profile political leaders. A few too many, meanwhile, have alarmingly one-track minds.

“In America today, it’s all Trump, all the time,” Nicholas Kristof wrote recently in the New York Times. “We’re collectively addicted to him. The nonstop scandals and outrages suck us in; they amount to Trump porn.” Oh dear. Moving on: “At cocktail parties, on cable television, at the dinner table, at the water cooler, all we talk about these days is Trump,” Kristof continues. “So we complain about Trump being insular and parochial — but we’ve become insular and parochial as well.”

I am pleased to announce that the previous paragraph does not describe my usage of time.

At first glance, one might think that Resistance membership might be at least somewhat exciting and purposeful, not depressing. After all, every few days, some fevered news agency announces some variation of the following: “This is it! We have the smoking gun that will crack the Trump presidency, and it is completely different from the 1,326 purported smoking guns that we thought we had before!”

If you found that headline intriguing, I fear you’ve missed what generally happens next: The story drifts, the supposed smoking gun sputters, and everything slowly morphs into a cable-news cartoon soap opera, narrated by a voice not unlike that of Charlie Brown’s disembodied and unintelligible murmuring teacher.

Depending on the day, the tale in question will likely involve layers of campaign-finance law, the name-dropping of a Russian oligarch, 13 unintelligible memos (probably), Stormy Daniels and her lawyer (definitely), several acts of mind-boggling incompetence from both sides of the aisle, countless insufferable bureaucrats who are wildly overpaid with your hard-earned tax dollars, and at least one narrative element that you can’t appropriately discuss with children under the age of 23.

As an aside, the previous sentence is a fairly good illustration of why I think everyone should lean libertarian — well, that, and an alarming recent Washington Post piece that suggested D.C. hipsters be called “govsters.” But that’s a whole other column.

“Well, whatever,” a Resistance loyalist might say. “Didn’t you read All the President’s Men?” [Author’s note: I did.] “Drip, drip, drip,” said loyalist might continue. “The truth shall potentially out, and this is not like the late 1990s at all!”

Let’s assume, as a thought experiment, that this is correct. Let’s assume that the upcoming midterm elections will feature a sizeable “blue wave” of enthusiastic Democratic turnout, despite the fact that said Democrats are largely running on tax hikes, high-octane socialism, economically disastrous ideas such as “guaranteed” government jobs and forcing everyone to buy expensive solar panels for new houses (oh, sorry, that’s just California). Let’s then assume that, given the supposed incoming blue wave, the wildest Resistance dreams come true and Trump is impeached and removed from office.

This all depends on a whole lot of sizeable “ifs” — and as an aside, the GOP recently moved up in some midterm polls — but that’s beside the point. Friends, don’t you see? Even if the Resistance achieved its purported goal, gird your loins, gnash your teeth, and for heaven’s sake, don’t say “The Handmaid’s Tale” three times in front of a mirror: Mike Pence would likely become president, and I have it on good authority from left-leaning friends that he is worse than Voldemort and Darth Vader and the Soup Nazi from Seinfield combined.

This might seem ironic or even amusing, if you’re one of the remaining Americans who retains a sense of humor. But if you’re part of the hard-core Resistance, wouldn’t it be kind of a downer?

Here’s the upside: If the Resistance enjoys resisting simply for the sake of resisting, all of this is fine. The movement has even earned its own satirical website, a subsection of the parody site Clickhole. It is called, unsurprisingly, ResistanceHole. “Absolutely Perfect: The San Diego Zoo Just Totally Stuck It To Donald Trump By Putting An Orange Wig On A Giraffe And Blowing it Up With Dynamite,” declares one headline. (ResistanceHole’s sister website, PatriotHole, lampoons the opposite side: “Sorry Liberals, But Gun Control Won’t Stop Jackie Chan If He Wants To Take Out 30 People With a Single Mop.”)

In the long term, of course, life doesn’t have to center on grandiose schemes, and the Resistance could focus on blocking and tackling for specific policy goals. After all, just look at California: A new book describes the Golden State as “The State of Resistance”; the Los Angeles Times recently described it as the movement’s “headquarters.” If all else fails, dedicated resistance members can always head to the beautiful Pacific coast.

Ha! Just kidding. Thanks to leftist policies, almost no one can afford to move to California! That new solar-panel law alone will raise new home prices by at least $10,000 or more! “Resistance headquarters” or no, people are leaving the state in droves. Ugh, I’m sorry. That is kind of depressing. Never mind.

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