Warning: This post is intended for mature readers who can disagree agreeably, resistance soldiers and those who are considering joining the resistance.
I’m trying desperately to understand what drives your resistance.
It seems that you’re watching the implosion of our country and its values at the hands of a misogynistic, bigoted, ill-suited-for-the-job monster of a new president. You’re still reeling from the loss of your preferred candidate and feel galvanized to resist the tyrant at every turn.
You witness the 120-day ban on immigration from seven countries, and you see a “Muslim ban” that reeks of discrimination and bigotry and fear of a religion. But let’s consider—Is this a ban based on a religion or on points of origin? Muslim emigrants and refugees from Libya, Egypt, Turkey and Afghanistan can come.
If it’s a ban on a religion, why are they welcomed?
Discrimination is not always a dirty word
This temporary ban IS discrimination. But it’s discriminatory not of a religion, but of citizenship. And though the seven listed countries are majority Muslim— Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Scientologist emigrants from those nations would also be denied immigrant status under the ban.
Also, let’s be factual—this discrimination against citizenship doesn’t apply to green card holders or to those with legal status—only to those seeking a path to citizenship via immigration.
The ban also discriminates based on behavior. Consider this hypothetical scenario:
Let’s suppose you have a guesthouse on your property, and you advertise it for rental. Among the applicants are three guys, let’s say, who are devout Satanists. You do some research and discover that according to their satanic bible, they’re required to offer animal sacrifices to their god.
You also discover that other Satanists have used house cats and dogs captured in neighborhoods where they live as sacrifices. You have dogs and cats—and young children. And there are other applicants—one is a retired schoolteacher and the other is a “gearhead” who was sporting a greasy t-shirt when he came to see about the rental. What do you do?
You discriminate against the gearhead because you don’t want drip pans filled with oil sitting around the back yard. Now you’re left with two applicants: the retired schoolteacher who could be a potential positive in the lives of your young children as a very close neighbor and three young committed Satanists. How do you choose?
You discriminate based on potential behavior and politely tell the Satanists that you’re renting to someone else and secretly wish them bad pet hunting—somewhere else.
Actions AND words
How does this relate to the behavior of Muslims?
While most Muslim refugees who seek to immigrate are fine, upstanding, good-hearted souls in search of a better life, there are other Muslims who may want to come who’ve pledged to follow Islam to the letter of the Quran and who burn with desire to force infidels to embrace their religion or die.
What do you do, resistance? What does a president who’s responsible for protecting Americans—Muslim or of any other faith—do to prevent those committed to perpetrating more 9/11s, more San Bernardinos, and more Orlandos from coming here posing as immigrants?
We can agree that the ban is discrimination. Do you truly believe it’s based on religion? Do you care what it’s actually based on? I fear that you don’t care—that you employ the ban-on-Muslims narrative for effect. Tell me the truth—I want to believe you.
This temporary immigration ban is NOT a ban on a religion. It’s not a Muslim ban. And we have yet to see if all its provisions will become permanent, or if it can stand up to legal scrutiny. In my view, At THIS POINT, it’s not a legitimate reason for resistance.
Here is, to my mind, the logical, rational truth:
Your resistance is a farce. You’re fighting phantoms. You’re breathing fire because you’re fearful of what you think a president will do based on his foolish words and an equally frightened media. Please get a grip and some perspective.
Worthy of resistance?
Is this temporary country-based ban on immigrants worthy of resistance?
How about past and potential discrimination by high-ranking officials in government agencies toward businesses and religious groups they disagree with?
How about Muslim Americans who push for the adoption of Sharia law, which calls for the subjugation of women and sanctions honor killings?
Or resistance to the drug cartels who exploit open borders and use human beasts of burden to provide drugs to addicted millions? Do you really think resisting the building of a wall that could help reduce this double enslavement is more worthy of your resistance?
How about resisting terrorist-sanctioning theocracies’ that want to wipe a country and an entire race off the map?
Do you actually think that resisting attempts to get sanctuary cities to enforce state and federal laws regarding illegal aliens more worthy of your resistance?
Here’s a challenge
Try explaining your reasons for resistance to someone who understands real racism. Talk to people who have experienced the hatred and intolerance and fear that genuine fascists use to foment the murder of “undesirables” and infidels and Jews.
Could it be that partisan political and ideological agenda drives your resistance, not a reaction to real injustice? Do you not see the absurdity of your resistance when compared to resistance to the Third Reich or to the Pol Pot regime or to Stalin’s reign of terror?
You’re clamoring for resistance to “fascist” actions that have yet to happen. And you’re calling for others to join you based on fears filtered through election disappointment, ideological bias and personal disgust.
Your fear and loathing of a thin-skinned, heavy-handed, loose-cannoned neophyte of a president has shaken your grip on reality.
Yes, Trump says foolish, objectionable things. And I know—his thoughtless words and machismo do nothing to allay fears. But is it possible that he uses bravado to mask inexperience and dispel doubts about whether he’s up to task? Have his actions risen to the level that warrants the intensity of the resistance thus far?
It IS possible that you’re resisting a bogeyman. Let’s wait until the bogeyman shows himself a tyrant, then let’s resist him. With everything we’ve got.
But until then, open your fists, and get a grip.
Suppose the tyrant orders suppression against Muslim Americans with a form of Kristallnacht—German for “night of crystal”—during which hordes of Nazis broke windows and vandalized Jewish-owned stores and property throughout Germany and Austria.
Say that devil Trump signs an executive order to round up and illegally deport Mexican Americans suspected of harboring or aiding undocumented workers.
I’ll join you in a heartbeat.
Now I’ve heard about fascist Trumplings smashing windows and scrawling swastikas on mosques and minority-owned businesses. This monstrous stupidity is worthy of all our resistance. To the point of resorting to our resistance fists, if necessary.
Here’s my point:
In my view, at present, your “resistance” is much ado about nothing. I grant you—Trump’s actions have crossed ideological lines. But they haven’t crossed legal or moral lines, in my opinion.
I know. You probably hold that Trump HAS crossed legal and moral lines, or that he’s about to. That’s your perspective, and I invite you to persuade me on this score. Persuade. Don’t dodge questions and call names.
Let’s talk about it. But first, let’s talk about words.
Racist, bigot, hater, intolerance
You in the resistance hurl these words like toxic grenades to neutralize and demonize opposition. Do you realize the damage you’re doing to honest debate?
Scroll up to the five-fisted recruitment banner at the top of this page. Spread the deliria? Really? Do those in the resistance even know what they’re calling for or to what they want us to join?
To “spread the deliria” is to propagate:
A state of violent excitement or emotion.
Is it possible that most of you in the resistance have yet to face real bigotry or genuine hate? Will you consider the possibility that much of the intolerance is coming from your side?
I posted a question on the Facebook page of John Pavlovitz, a former pastor and now blogger, speaker and author who appears to align closely with the resistance. I also posted a link to my Trump is not the devil. And God is not a clockmaker post, in which I argue that God rigged the election.
Based on the tone of his answer, I made the mistake of commenting (subjectively) that he seemed angry and arrogant, for which I later apologized. He hasn’t responded, but one of his followers did. I’ll call him Tim.
Here’s a portion of Tim’s opening comment:
“Realistically, no politician in America is going to FORCE you to do anything, but in the case of many of the things Trump has done and continues to do, it really is a choice between his views and God’s. Trump’s immigration policies are plainly contradictory to what the Bible teaches about loving refugees and welcoming immigrants.
You can’t be a strong Christian and succumb to fear of Mexicans and Muslims. You feared that Hillary would be the one to make you choose between your faith and the US government, but in fact Trump has done just that. You probably don’t regret your vote just yet (I’m quite sure you voted for him) but you will.”
Here are the top and bottom sections of my reply:
“Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree that American politicians don’t force us to do anything and didn’t mean to imply that in my blog post. Glad you pointed that out though, so I can tweak it. I think we just disagree about Trump’s immigration policies.
To my thinking, placing a temporary immigration hold until extreme vetting processes can be developed and implemented is wise. I think many who decry Trump’s immigration policies are assuming the worst and inflating his intentions based on bias and actions that have yet to happen.
I don’t regret anything about my vote—my vote is irrelevant—I live in California. Unless you’re into the popular vote nonsense. I don’t regret it and won’t regret it because I believe God is in complete control and that he appoints leaders—good and bad—not for our comfort or sense of rightness, but for his master plan.”
“I believe you’re a coward. Sorry, I know that’s blunt, but i believe it to be true for a couple of reasons:
1. You believe more “vetting” of refugees is necessary- even though NOT ONE SINGLE American life has ever been taken at the hands of a refugee. This means your fear (yes, it is FEAR) of those refugees is based not on facts or reason but by something else completely–the fact that they look different and worship differently than you, perhaps. Irrational fear of different cultures is cowardly.
2. You refuse to take responsibility for your vote. If Trump leads us into WWIII, I am 100% sure people like you will throw your hands in the air and say “It’s in Gods hands” when in fact YOU were the one who elected him.
Take responsibility for your part in this. I don’t care that you live in CA. You’re sitting here blogging about how we should “submit to our new leader.” You did this. If you’re not comfortable with that, then repent. It’s not too late. The resistance is just starting.”
I added italics because it’s more spooky and fun that way. Not to mention creepy. The resistance is just starting? V for Vendetta?
After repeatedly telling me what I think and how I feel, Tim proceeded to call me—sprinkled throughout our combined 18 comments and replies—coward, fearful, irresponsible, irrational, hypocrite, foolish, apathetic, denier, satanic, and an embarrassment.
I encouraged him to read my post decrying name-calling, Uncivil Discourse: How we’re vilifying viewpoints, warping words and destroying debate. His response? To tell me that he’s not Jill, the open-minded, big-hearted modern progressive “thinker,” of the post’s hypothetical debate scenario.
From this point our “conversation” plunged downhill and eventually off the cliff despite my many attempts to engage him respectfully and ask clarifying questions. I spent most of my time trying to get him to stop telling me what I think and to accept my telling him what I think.
During the free fall, Tim came up with these highly empirical stats and predictions:
“Trump has proven himself, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be 100x more dangerous than any Syrian refugee.
Trump’s careless pen stroking has already cost the lives of over 30 civilians and a US Navy SEAL. So yeah, trump has killed more Americans than Syrian refugees have. It’s proven and measurable. Perception doesn’t change the fact that those people are dead and many thousands more will die if the ACA is repealed.”
Does a president “cost lives” by “pen-stroking” (signing executive orders)? Did Trump’s predecessor’s pen-stroking cost lives?” Is the costing of lives based on your agreement or disagreement with the merits of an executive order?
These are the kinds of questions I asked Tim. Ad nauseam. Each and every time, he either ignored or twisted my laser-focused questions into assumption-bloated, over-generalized and absurdly false caricature.
It was like playing catch with someone who kept throwing the ball AT me, instead of TO me, and so ruined the game.
Had Tim reigned in his zeal and buffered his bias for a nanosecond, had he addressed my questions and points, had he taken me at my word concerning my thoughts and feelings, we both might have learned something.
Instead he engaged in talking points, bullying and name-calling—the most uncivil of discourse. We missed an opportunity to better understand one another’s perspectives on some crucial issues.
Here’s a question for you, resistance: Is Tim the exception or the rule of the resistance? To me, he seems to have embraced the call to spread the deliria by waving and brandishing both fists.
The resistance’s call to spread deliria is apparently being taken quite literally by groups like the actionnetwork.org. Here’s their statement of purpose from their Website:
“This election has shaken us to our core. Millions of Americans are feeling desperate to find ways to get involved. We need to show the whole political establishment that there is a massive progressive force that will fight against Trump’s extreme agenda of greed and hate every step of the way.”
Agenda of greed and hate? Really? It’s silly, lazy fighting phrases like this that make the resistance difficult to take seriously.
Here’s a more militant sounding call to action from The Donald J. Trump Resistance (at least they’re respectful in adding his middle initial.) And they seem to think that making Each Word Start With Uppercase Letters Makes THEIR Tagline That Much More Impressive:
“Where WE Make Hatred, Bigotry, Xenophobia, Sexism, Racism, and Greed Pay the Price”
What IS the price, exactly?
Here’s some advice for you, resistance that, if heeded, would make your cause much more attractive to doofuses like me:
Shelve your exertions until the time comes when resistance is truly necessary. Wait for genuine governmental abuses of power—and then act. If presidential overreach in the form of executive orders is the standard, shouldn’t we have resisted during the last eight years? Where was the “resistance” then?
And finally—and perhaps most importantly—resist the urge to engage in uncivil discourse. We can disagree agreeably. Ask and ANSWER clarifying questions to better understand another’s point of view. Listen, THEN talk.
I believe in resistance. If I were in the Star Wars universe, I’d join the Rebellion. Or better yet, the Jedi Knights. Or even as a third with Han Solo and Chewbacca.
But I won’t join a joke.
I resist you, resistance. In fact, in light of events as they stand AT THIS TIME, I wouldn’t join any of you jokers—even if you offered me the Millennium Falcon.
Stop muddling meaning and lobbing word grenades. Get a grip on the gravity of our issues. Save your powder for the real battles, if and when they come.
Get serious, not delirious. Then, count me in.