Op/Ed By George Payne –
I am not interested in violence. If I oppose the Trump administration for enacting violent policies, then I must not sanction the use of violence to overthrow the president. A forceful removal from office is out of the question. Nor will mass protesting in the street be in the best interest of our nation. Violence begets violence.
It is an ancient truism.
Yet, it occurs to me that every civil right worth having as a citizen, has been earned through resistance. Would there be a minimum wage law without miners and textile workers pouring out their blood, sweat, and tears on the strike line?
Would there be suffrage and a Voting Rights Act without women getting arrested and thrown in jail, or African-Americans overcoming the threat of firebombs and biting dogs?
Would the incalculable carnage of Vietnam have ended without Buddhists immolating themselves, or students taking over administration buildings?
Would Native Americans have survived as a population, without ceaseless resistance?
Allow me to be as straightforward as possible. If anyone deserves to be resisted, it is President Trump. The man has done very little accept golf, binge watch television, Tweet, act obnoxiously in front of foreign dignitaries, scare the hell out of immigrants, campaign for an outright bigot in Roy Moore, work systematically to dismantle the First Amendment, auction off millions of acres of national park land to oil companies, saber rattle with a nuclear-armed North Korea, spread Islamophobia, and inflame the Middle East.
He is an extremely dangerous man.
But, resistance with bloodshed is useless. Through and through, the resistance must be based on democratic values, fair play, peaceful assembly, creative disobedience, honest journalism, and open communication. In the end, the resistance must come because the vast majority of Americans want it.
Thank God that it is our intrinsic right to resist when the cause is justified.
(George Cassidy Payne is a freelance writer, domestic violence counselor, SUNY adjunct professor of philosophy, and co-founder of the Lower Falls Foundation.)