As President Trump approaches 100 days in office, Adam Gabbatt surveys the resistance movement’s biggest moments so far, key groups, and challenges ahead
The Women’s March in Washington on 21 January was part of what has been called the single largest day of protest in US political history. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Saturday is President Trump’s 100th day in office. Adam, the Guardian’s lead reporter on the Resistance Movement, has just published a timeline of activism efforts over this same period, from the airport protests against the proposed travel ban to challenging elected officials at town halls.The Guardian April 24, 2017
Human Rights Campaign: Thank you for resisting during the first 100 days of the Trump presidency
As a way to thank you and pay homage to the difference you are making as an HRC Partner, we’ve created a short video that shows your support in action over the last 100 days. Take a minute to watch it.
The first hundred days of a new presidency are widely acknowledged to be the most productive of an administration due to the honeymoon period a new president enjoys. Pres. Trump has squandered his first months in office and has little to show for them. Many of his high-profile campaign promises (immigration ban, ACA repeal and a tax reform bill) have been stopped by the courts, fallen apart in the public eye or failed to even be introduced as legislation. In particular, the health care bill’s defeat must be credited to you. The grassroots resistance Donald Trump faces is like no other I have ever seen, keep it up.
Pundits have begun considering Trump as mostly a problem of manners and refinement to solve. The press helpfully reimagines Trump as he might be, rather than analyzing him for what he really is (and always will be).
Early Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order he says instructs federal agencies to “aggressively promote and use American-made goods.” The order also directs those agencies to begin reviewing the much maligned H1-B visa program that allows U.S. companies to hire highly skilled foreign workers.
Trump said the Chinese are “not currency manipulators.” Just last week, he said they were “world champions” of currency manipulation, and he pledged throughout his campaign to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. He tweeted in 2012 that President Barack Obama’s failure to call China a currency manipulator “helped China steal even more jobs and money from us.”
Trump said, “I do like a low interest-rate policy.” During his campaign, he excoriated the Federal Reserve for keeping rates low, and said in 2011 that the policy would lead to hyperinflation.
Trump said he was open to the idea of reappointing Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve. On the campaign trail, he said he would “most likely” replace her. “I like her, I respect her,” Trump told the Journal at the time.
Trump said he supported the Export-Import Bank, noting that small companies are “really helped” by the institution. During the campaign, he said the bank was unnecessary.
What does the culture of cruelty look like under a neo-fascist regime?
First, language is emptied of any sense of ethics and compassion.
Second, a survival of the fittest discourse provides a breeding ground for racial and social sorting.
Third, references to justice are viewed as treasonous or, as at the present moment, labelled dismissively as “fake news.”
Fourth, the discourse of disposability extends to an increasing number of groups.
Fifth, ignorance becomes militarized, enforced not through an appeal to reason but through the use of the language of humiliation and eventually through the machinery of force.
Sixth, any form of dependency is viewed as a form of weakness, and becomes a referent and eventually a basis for social cleansing. That is, any form of solidarity not based on market-driven values is subject to derision and potential punishment.
Seventh, the language of borders and walls replaces the discourse of bridges and compassion.
Eighth, violence becomes the most important method for addressing social problems and mediating all relationships, hence, the increasing criminalization of a wide range of behaviours in the United States.
Ninth, the word democracy disappears from officially mandated state language.
Tenth, the critical media is gradually defamed and eventually outlawed.
Eleventh, all forms of critical education present in theory, method, and institutionally are destroyed.
Twelfth, shared fears replace shared responsibilities and everyone is reduced to the status of a potential terrorist, watched constantly and humiliated through body searches at border crossings.
Thirteenth, all vestiges of the welfare state disappear and millions are subject to fending for themselves.
Fourteenth, massive inequalities in power, wealth, and income will generate a host of Reality TV shows celebrating the financial elite.
Underlying this project is one of the most powerfully oppressive ideologies of neoliberal neo-fascism. That is, the only unit of agency and analysis that matters is the isolated individual. Shared trust and visions of economic equality and political justice give way to individual terrors and self-blame reinforced by the neoliberal notion that people are solely responsible for their political, economic, and social misfortunes. Consequently, a hardening of the culture is buttressed by the force of state sanctioned cultural apparatuses that enshrine privatization in the discourse of self-reliance, unchecked self-interest, untrammeled individualism, and deep distrust of anything remotely called the common good. Freedom of choice becomes code for defining responsibility solely as an individual task, reinforced by a shameful appeal to character.
Liberal critics argue that choice absent the notion of constraints feeds Ayn Rand’s culture of rabid individualism and unchecked greed. What they miss in this neo-fascist moment is that the systemic evil, cruelty, and moral irresponsibility at the heart of neoliberalism makes Ayn Rand’s lunacy look tame. Rand’s world has been surpassed by a ruling class of financial elites that embody not the old style greed of Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street, but the psychopathic personality of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
The notion that saving money by reducing the taxes of the rich justifies eliminating health care for 24 million people is just one example of how this culture of cruelty and hardening of the culture will play out.
Dark Times are truly upon us. There will be an acceleration of acts of violence under the Trump administration and the conditions for eliminating this new stage of state violence will mean not only understanding the roots of neo-fascism in the United States, but also eliminating the economic, political, and cultural forces that produced it.
There is more at work here than getting rid of Trump, there is a need to eliminate a system in which democracy is equated with capitalism, a system driven almost exclusively by financial interests, and beholden to two political parties that are hard wired into neoliberal savagery.
President Trump visited the Environmental Protection Agency on March 28, to sign a sweeping executive order that instructs regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions and other environmental regulations. (The White House)
President Trump on Tuesday took the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.
The sweeping executive order — which the president signed with great fanfare in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Map Room — also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.