Thursday, May 11, 2017

Is It Time to Stop Being Polite And Start Raising Hell with Republicans

Many have argued that to succeed, Democrats must be polite and try to reason and "educate" Trump supporters.  Similarly, Democrats and anti-Trump forces are told to stop looking down on and being disdainful of Trump's racist and ignorant supporters.  I do not fully agree, or at least not insofar as it applies to Republicans and Republican staff and surrogates.  As my fellow LGBT blogger Michelangelo Signorile argues, it is time to go all out and raise Hell with Congressional Republicans and others who are protecting Trump and his corrupt and possibly treasonous regime.  It's time to make their lives Hell and pressure them relentlessly and make it clear that a majority of Americans do not support their Vichy France like conduct and their lies to protect a man who is nothing less than deplorable and unfit for the White House.    Here are highlights from Michelangelo's piece at HuffPost:  
Donald Trump made his most frightening authoritarian power grab yet in firing James Comey, the FBI director who was leading an investigation of his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia
This could be viewed as a direct step toward consolidating power and, yes, toward fascism, as we’ve seen play out in other countries ― in Turkey recently, and in many other countries in history from which you could choose as an example.
And Trump is only four months into his administration.
It’s time to move beyond polite protests within specified boundaries. It’s time to escalate the expression of our outrage and our anger in a massive way.
Starting today and from here on, no elected official ― certainly those in the GOP defending and supporting Trump on a variety of issues, for example ― should be able to sit down for a nice, quiet lunch or dinner in a Washington, DC eatery or even in their own homes. They should be hounded by protestors everywhere, especially in public ― in restaurants, in shopping centers, in their districts, and yes, on the public property outside their homes and apartments, in Washington and back in their home states. 
White House officials too ― those enabling the authoritarian ― need to be challenged everywhere, as do all those at the conservative think tanks who support Trump and those who publicly defend him in their columns and on television. 
The elected officials and White House staffers must be challenged going to and from their cars and at the many public speeches they give at organizations and think tanks throughout DC and elsewhere. They should be bombarded with questions and placards by groups of people as they head to media appearances at the cable networks where they spew their lies every day. And they should be challenged when they come off TV for what they just lied about.
These people also attend functions and fundraisers at night (which are easy to locate), and these events should be disrupted, inside and out, until these politicians answer to the recklessness in which they are engaged. Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, should not be able to attend any function, eat in public, or enjoy dinner at home without hearing people expressing how his actions are harming their lives and their families’ lives in terrible ways.
Donald Trump is not operating within boundaries ― nor is anyone who is enabling him. We must fight back with equal force. But let me be clear: I’m of course not calling for violence or any of the thuggish behavior of the Trump supporters during the campaign.
I’m calling for what ACT UP, the life-saving AIDS activist group with which I was involved, did in the ‘80s and ‘90s . . . You don’t need a large crowd, but you do need an idea that grips people, puts the target on notice, displays passion, makes a spectacle, and says, “No more business as usual.”
One of my old friends, Greg Gonsalves, wrote about how we need to “ACT UP To Stop Trumpcare.” After the Comey firing, we need to ACT UP against everything Trump, and against anyone enabling him.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for civil disobedience in the tradition of the civil rights movement. Democrats who don’t push hard should be targeted too. Right now, all business in the Senate should be made to stop immediately by Democrats, for example, until we have a special counsel in the Trump-Russia probe (which Democrats have called for). And we have to make them do it.
I’m imploring some in the Resistance to up the ante. Everything that’s already been undertaken ― the marches, the phone calls to Congress, the letter-writing, the protests, the town halls, putting up candidates for House races ― has been powerful and needs to continue. But it’s time to also be more forceful and more captivating.
The firing of Comey is an audacious turn toward fascism that must be stopped before it’s too late. We are now fighting for our lives as we know them. There’s no time to waste.

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