I keep seeing both the headlines saying, “Trump considering mobilizing the National Guard to round up undocumented immigrants,” and the headlines saying, “White House says that’s ‘totally false fake news,’” accompanied by Trump supporters commenting “HA HA you believed a rumor, stupid snowflake diaper baby BENGHAZI!!” Also, the superior sniffing of the “OMG, you are all so stupid for caring, because this is all just a smokescreen for the REAL issue that only I am sophisticated enough to discern, which is...” set.
Both of these groups of people are full of shit.
EVERY rumored executive action—no matter how ridiculous—must be resisted immediately, loudly, and indomitably. Full stop. We can’t afford to wait and see if he “really means it” or “is totes being sarcastic LOL.” This administration has given up any right to the benefit of the doubt.
If certain horrible executive actions never make it out of the planning stage, that fact should be read as proof of the efficacy of resistance, not as proof of its uselessness. Why else would awful people be fighting against it so hard? If we know the Trump administration lies constantly, why should we believe them when they insist they’re NOT backing off a planned course of action because, of course, they were never actually planning to do that stupid thing anyway?
We shouldn’t. We can’t.
Assume that Trump is serious when he’s not, and the most you risk is the poorly-punctuated derision of people who hate you anyway. If you can handle a first grader calling you a doodyhead, you can handle these peoples’ attempts to flip you shit.
Assume that Trump is “just being sarcastic” when he’s serious, and the most you risk is everything.
But forthright Trump supporters annoy me less than the too-cool-for-school, “I don’t even CARE, but it’s OBVIOUS that this is just a DISTRACTION from...” hipsters. Their discouragement is all about ego, plain and simple. They need to feel superior to other folks, they need to deflect any criticism of complicity or cowardice. Oftentimes, they want to distract people from noticing that they stand to benefit either socially (cis straight white boys) or personally (Omarosa, Kellyanne) for selling out everybody else to Trump.
If they really don’t care, then why are even they talking about it in the first place?
DO NOT believe these self-serving idiots. DO NOT believe the White House when it clutches its collective pearls and insists that it would NEVER. DO NOT wait and see. There IS no smokescreen, it’s just that everything’s on fire.
And don’t fall for any lines about how “we need to conserve our energy,” or “resistance fatigue.” Don’t fall for any lines about “going high,” or “we’re better than that.” This ain’t Queensberry rules, sweetheart—we’re in a street fight, and in a street fight one does not pause in her fighting as one’s opponent slams her head against the pavement and think, “Wait, let me just see where he’s going with this.”
If you’re tired, grab some coffee. If you’re fatigued, catch a nap. But don’t stop fighting. I have multiple sclerosis—I’ve been tired for the past sixteen years. So what? I don’t stop when I’m tired—I stop when I’m done.
Okay, that’s it for now, and my deepest thanks to anyone who made it all the way through. Fair use - feel free to copy and paste, in whole or in part, anywhere you think it’d be helpful. You got any questions, hit me up. Thanks guys!
Martha Stallman’s work has appeared in The Offing, Electric Literature, The James Joyce Quarterly, The Joyce Studies Annual, and Playboy. She lives and writes in Austin, Texas.