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Caroline C. Lewis / August 2, 2018

Resisting Progress

Immediately following the 2016 election, #resist became the Left’s anti-Trump battle cry.

Immediately following the 2016 election, #resist became a battle cry for those opposed to the presidency of Donald Trump. Resistance has come in many forms: social media campaigns, protests, intimidation, congressional obstructionism, and in some cases violence no doubt brought on by Trump Derangement Syndrome. Those who participate in #resist claim they are helping to “save democracy.” Or, as Dennis Prager observed, it’s “as if they were American reincarnations of the French who fought real Nazis in World War II.”

The question remains, “Are they?”

The resistance made its first public appearance at the inauguration. Breaking windows, lighting cars on fire, and striking fear into those who attended the event, #resist certainly made the news. But does violence and vandalism “save democracy”?

At the so-called Women’s March, angry attendees wore genitalia hats and costumes, while Madonna said she’d like to “blow up the White House.” Saving democracy? You can decide.

Then came the congressional obstructions. As a bloc, Senate Democrats have slowed the confirmation process at an unprecedented level. A July 2018 report noted the striking differences between the confirmation of Trump’s nominations and the nominations of previous administrations. At a similar time in their presidencies, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama had 80%, 84%, 72%, and 75% of their nominees confirmed, respectively. Trump has 57%. Moreover, David B. Rivkin Jr. and John Shu noted in The Wall Street Journal, “Obama’s nominees faced only 17 cloture votes in his first term. Trump’s have faced 108 in 18 months.”

Consider the effect that slowing the confirmation process has on “democracy.” The democratic process gives power to representatives who vote on behalf of the people (which is why we’re a democratic republic, not a democracy). Obstruction challenges rather than supports this process.

Obstructionism also negatively affects the people of this country. Having a government without the full staff of agency heads and other employees makes everything inefficient for the people. Additionally, obstruction hurts the American people by denying them qualified people in key positions.

Consider the case of Andy Puzder, nominated for secretary of labor. The son of an immigrant, Puzder worked his way through law school and ultimately became CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Junior. He knows the value of hard work and understands how to unleash the productivity of the American worker.

In his book, The Capitalist Comeback, Puzder recounts how protesters came to his front door, held a rally in his town, and drove a billboard through his neighborhood accusing him of abusing women. Perhaps the most alarming incident happened in the form of a mysterious package addressed to his wife. It contained white powder, a paper doll with a noose around its neck, and a pink piece of paper with the words “TRUMP.” Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Sadly, Puzder withdrew his nomination after lack of support in the Senate. Did the protesting, intimidation, and obstruction “save” democracy?

In any case, Rep. Maxine Waters advocated harassing Trump officials, meaning she evidently does think this wretched behavior “saves” democracy.

The most recent blockade has been against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a highly qualified jurist who sits on the DC Circuit Court. A graduate of Yale Law School, Kavanaugh also lectures at Harvard Law School (he was hired by Elena Kagan when she served as dean of the school). Lauded by Right and Left as a brilliant jurist, Judge Kavanaugh now faces baseless attacks on his character, his family, and his legal record. Isn’t obstructing a qualified jurist “endangering democracy”?

Even the quintessential American sport, football, has been weaponized. The national anthem, long held as the symbol of unity for the American people, has been transformed into a political statement by those hoping to #resist. However, are these people resisting Trump, or American values? How does this “save democracy”?

The resistance also calls for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Perhaps the most visible has been the Occupy ICE campaigns, such as the Portland campaign, which left the protest area with blocks of trash, bottles, and used needles. Does protesting and trashing property “save democracy”?

Many people have begun to question the validity of #resist and the ideology of those who support it. The #WalkAway movement has revealed an awakening of more traditional liberals who do not subscribe to violence, bigotry, and hateful distain for those with whom they disagree.

As Ronald Reagan stated, “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: [up] man’s old — old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”

Reagan understood that dividing lines did not fall between Right or Left. Rather, they fell between Liberty and tyranny. Returning to this basic understanding of America helps to shed light on what #resist represents. The resistance blockades the American people, American values, and American patriotism. The resistance subscribes to violence, lewdness, and bigotry. While considering themselves “progressives,” resistance members regress downward to a divided nation and a country that cannot move forward. Ultimately, they resist unity, democracy, and forward-thinking policy. Ironically, they #resist progress.

(Updated.)

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