Barring some unlikely scenarios, the GOP will effectively be in control of all branches of government for at least the next two years. Progressive citizens can protest this all we want, but even if we were completely unified (which we are not) our representatives are numerically incapable of blocking Trump or the Congress from passing regressive legislation or appointees that will hurt many communities we care about.
How those opposed to the GOP agenda respond in the coming weeks, months, and two years before the next Congressional election is critical. In 2018 there is a chance to challenge the GOP control of Congress. Not only is this important as it is the most potent and feasible way to change the balance of power in the federal government, but it will have a great impact on the re-drawing of districts after the census of 2020. If the GOP retains control in 2018 in Congress, they could re-district the nation in ways favorable to GOP candidates, helping to shore up their chances in future elections.
While I am encouraged by the responses to some of Trump’s actions that have happened already, I am thinking more broadly and more-long term about how progressives can flip the balance of power. I am also thinking about what progressives can work towards rather than always being reacting to the GOP’s actions. Over the next two years (and beyond) I want to commit my finite energy and resources to the most effective and promising ways to oppose the regressive GOP legislation, so I have been thinking about this a lot. In this long, multi-page post (use the numbers at the bottom to change pages) I wanted to share my thoughts at length as I’m sure others are in the same boat.
Looking forward I see a few broad options available to progressives, some of which are more viable than others, and none of them are really good or easy.
Very good essay. The second wilderness image is provocative and well-chosen.
There is ample time now for progressives (at least middle-class ones) to examine their own lives and think about how they may be quietly enabling the kinds of tyranny they deplore. Movements to boycott Wells Fargo and US Bank (over the DAPL pipeline) are promising, I think. And we should not forget holidays tailor-made for resistance like International Workers’ Day on May 1st.