Resisting and persisting in the age of Trump.

Author:Pocan, Mark
Position::Voices of the Resistance - Essay
 
FREE EXCERPT

Every time we glance at our phones, browse a media site on our computers, or turn on the television, we are punched by another breaking news update. It may be about Russian interference in our elections or an unqualified cabinet nominee, a bigoted executive order or policy proposals reeking of personal business gain, or some other illustration of swamp-festering corruption. The news overflows with disturbing examples showing how the Trump Administration, with the Republican leadership marching in lockstep behind it, is failing our country.

It would be easy, while absorbing current events in twenty-four-hour news feeds, to feel worn out and hopeless.

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Yet that's not what I'm seeing.

People are ready for action. We are ready to resist each new violation of our values. Everywhere I go, in my home district in southern Wisconsin or in Washington, D.C., people come up and ask me what they can do to push back against this new age of President Trump.

Our office is getting more calls than ever and many of you are more determined than ever to be an effective part of stopping the Trump/Republican agenda. Our resistance broadens with each new piece of evidence of bigotry, hatred, misogyny, racism, or xenophobia on display. Our resistance deepens as we hear it from cabinet appointees, presidential advisers, executive orders, and even statements (or tweets) from the President himself.

Coming from Wisconsin, where we continue to fight against measures that make life harder for workers and struggling families while helping the wealthy, I'm no stranger to resistance. Even so, I have always found ways to work with Republican colleagues to get things done, and I've developed friendships across the aisle.

Out of respect for the office of the President, I had planned on attending the January 20 Inauguration. That changed after I read the alarming classified briefing on Russian election interference and saw how the President-elect degraded the accomplishments of U.S. Representative John Lewis, a civil rights hero. Further, President Trump continued to show unwillingness to separate his business interests from the office of the presidency, leaving us with an entire executive branch and Cabinet filled with conflicts of interests.

At the time, I said that while I respected the office of the President, I was not certain this feeling was shared by the man about to take that office. He was acting like an immature, undignified reality TV star with...

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