There’s a madman in the White House. Right wing zealots are running amok. Democracy as we know it is in peril. What better time for Democratic Party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to bolster their tone-deaf bona fides? Instead of issuing a rousing call to action, they went the parental lecture route, extolling the virtues of a civil society. There’s a time and place for being polite. Unfortunately, 2018 in the Republic of Trumpistan isn’t one of them.
Donald Trump might not know how to run a university, avoid bankruptcy, locate countries on a map or tell the truth, but he loves to break things and he’s proving to be very good at it. Aided and abetted by his hand-picked goon squad, Trump is systematically dismantling government institutions with alarming efficiency. Filling another vacancy on the Supreme Court will only hasten his march of destruction.
THE OPPOSITION SHOULD BE SEEN AND HEARD
While Team SchumerPelosi would prefer an anti-Trump movement that follows Robert’s Rules of Order, tucking tail and playing the shopworn role of “well-behaved liberal” isn’t the answer. Also off the table: walking on eggshells to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of Trump supporters. Screw them and the thin skin they’re apparently made of.
In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea. https://t.co/vlpqOBLK4R
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) June 25, 2018
Opposition to the Trump agenda should be visible, vocal and pervasive. It will (and should) look different at the local, state and national levels. A “one size fits all” strategy doesn’t apply. Contrary to the opinion of some media pundits, that doesn’t automatically equate to actions that are irresponsible, scattershot or a distraction from midterm election voter turnout efforts. No one is talking about half-cocked, tit-for-tat like the tiki-torch terrorism and public displays of assault weapons favored by the alt-right. What the center-left majority in this country is saying: silence and genteel genuflection are not options.
DOOMOCRACY! A VISUAL TOUR IN TWO PARTS
Celebrate Independence Day with a revisionist look at what it means to be polite and impolite. Why is the former assumed to be a positive while the latter is always associated with negative behavior? This special two-part series upends those presumptions in order to make a case for direct action in opposition to the policies and practices of the Trump Administration.
Central to each installment of Doomocracy! is an image gallery. Created specifically for this series, these visual elements are designed to enhance conversation, encourage debate and make a succinct point. You are welcome to download and share any of them on your favorite social media platforms. Including attribution via a link to this post or @ronthinkblog on Twitter is appreciated.
POLITE AS FIVE DREADFUL DOPPELGANGERS
When you’re playing with a puppet, it’s all fun and games. What isn’t a laughing matter? Being polite to the point that you’re treated like a puppet. That’s one way powerful people maintain control. The solution: cut the strings and think for yourself.
THE SITTING DUCK
Ducks are cute, fun to watch and, whether Daffy or Donald, make great cartoon characters. Of all the different kinds of ducks, bad guys like just one: the sitting duck. They’re oblivious to danger and ridiculously easy to vanquish. If you’re going through life with blinders on, you’re being polite at your own risk. The solution: keep your head up, eyes open and take action before it’s too late.
THE PUNCHING BAG
No one wants to be a human punching bag, but bullies and bigots prey on those most likely to be exactly that. The polite patsy is their chump of choice. Fear and intimidation are used to marginalize victims, dehumanize them and ensure their silence. The solution: speak up for yourself and stand up for others. Don’t behave like an easy target and don’t turn your back on those who are most at risk.
In reality, nice guys don’t always finish last. In fact, you’ll often find them at the head of the pack. Pushovers, however, never even get a chance to join the race. Corrupt politicians and their malevolent minions get away with skulduggery whenever constituents are easily swayed or overly worried about being disruptive. Paranoid and polite don’t work well in combination. The solution: get a backbone and steel yourself for the possibility of a difficult confrontation. Elected officials answer to us. We don’t answer to them or owe them blind deference.
The welcome mat is a pleasant tradition. It’s a symbol of warmth, courtesy and polite salutations. Welcome mats are also doormats and all doormats are stepped on and walked over. When the enemy is particularly onerous or outsized, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re underfoot and trampled. It’s also easy to stay down and let an adversary ride roughshod over you. When you surrender, they win. The solution: resist the urge to throw in the towel and reach out to other like-minded citizens. Rise up together and stand as one.
PART TWO: COMING JULY 18