By Rebecca Solnit
The Guardian (6/18/17)
n this moment, populist intervention is everything, not as hate and attack but as an expression of popular will and power. Or as love, since we defend what we love. It is an extraordinary moment, an all-hands-on-deck emergency in which new groups and coalitions are emerging along with unforeseen capacities in many people who didn’t previously think they were activists. It is saturated with possibility, as well as with danger.
Of course there are also people resident in the US who love the dismantling of healthcare, education, environmental protection, and the Bill of Rights, but they are an increasingly small minority. The most recent Gallup poll found nearly twice as many people – 60% disapprove of the president – than approve (36%).
People like to predict the future, often a dismal future, but the future is not written. It is ours to write. In this moment of utter turmoil, civil society must be the counter to a rogue administration.
The graph shows a growing chasm between the minority that approves and the rest of us, and nearly half the public likes the idea of impeachment. Republican approval of the direction the country is going fell an unprecedented 17% in a month, according to a new Gallup poll.
People who don’t like democracy and civil rights don’t think what the public thinks matters; that includes the Trump administration which seems to have thought that power would be inherent in the presidency, rather than dependent on honoring relationships with institutions, allies, with rules and laws. What the public thinks matters, if we turn thoughts into actions.
The great conundrum of this crisis is that if people believe that they have the power to change this nation’s destiny, they will act; and if they don’t they won’t. Like many other prophecies, this one is self-fulfilling either way. I believe we have the capacity to limit the damage or even bring down the Trump administration through nonviolent resistance and good organizing, and I see extraordinary things happening in this moment.
We are off to a good start. After all this is an administration that has been stymied at almost every turn, unable to kill off Obamacare in its first five months, or build a wall on the Mexican border, or cancel sanctions against Russia, or pass almost any significant legislation, an administration harried by an investigation into its possible collusion to corrupt an election and serve a foreign power. …
- ‘Count me out’: Conservative Staffers Have No Stomach To Work For ‘radioactive’ Trump Administration – According to the Washington Post, many positions in President Donald Trump’s administration remain unfilled because potential staffers are turned off by the volatile nature of the current White House. Although White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed he has people “knocking down his door” to work for Trump, 27 sources who spoke to the Post tell a different story. “Trump is becoming radioactive, and it’s accelerating,” Bill Valdez, former Energy Department official and advocate for a group of 6,000 federal leaders told the Post. “If you’re working with a boss who doesn’t have your back, you have no confidence in working with that individual,” Valdez said, referencing reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew the president’s ire when he recused himself from the Russia investigation. The personnel situation is so bad that a group of conservative politicians penned a letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus about the administration’s “leadership vacuum.” … Read the Rest