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February 1, 2021

A Focused Resistance

The Biden administration will give us plenty of fodder for resistance, but our primary focus should be on one simple thing.

A historian may one day revisit Joe Biden’s inaugural speech to catalog its many lies, but we needn’t wait to know which of its whoppers was the biggest. When our 46th president said, straight-faced, “I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did,” we knew it would tower Everest-like above all others.

Had we a gulp of coffee in our mouth when we heard it, we’d still be cleaning our keyboard.

The proof of this falsehood isn’t hard to find, and it mounts with each passing day. As our Nate Jackson noted, “[Biden] signed a whopping 17 executive orders and actions in his first few hours and has followed that up with even more in his first 10 days — the total is close to 40, including at least 25 executive orders.”

Does anyone here believe that this unprecedented onslaught of executive orders works as hard for those who didn’t vote for Joe Biden as it does for those who did? Didn’t think so.

So, what to do? Resist, dagnabbit, resist!

No, we don’t mean taking to the streets like antifa or BLM, and we don’t mean mobbing up and harassing Biden administration officials like Maxine Waters encouraged her fellow Democrats to do to Donald Trump’s cabinet members. We all know in our gut that those kinds of tactics, that sort of scumbaggery, is beneath us.

What we mean is, we can arm ourselves intellectually, especially in one-to-one and small-group conversations. We can be better informed than the opposition and better able to argue why their policies are so ruinous. And if we don’t have the time or energy to soak up and spit out the details of specific policies, we can focus on a single existential matter — that of free speech. We can announce at every turn that the First Amendment to the Constitution is first for a reason, and we can commit its 45 words to memory and recite them on command just as we can our favorite Scripture.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Resistance, like everything else, is most effective when it’s focused. Rather than reciting a laundry list of complaints, we can continually demand the redress of a single grievance: that of the right to speak freely.

We can and should use the First Amendment as a rhetorical truncheon.

We can remind others that there is shame in censorship. And cowardice in cancelation. And tyranny in both. And, if we’re bold enough, we can venture into town hall meetings and school board meetings and neighborhood association meetings, and we can challenge those in our communities with one simple mic-dropping truth: If they weren’t afraid of losing the argument, they wouldn’t need to censor us.

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