The Rebellion Begins

From Daily Kos:

[BIG YAY!] to Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. John Lewis, California Reps. Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman, Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, and Illinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez for announcing that they will boycott the inauguration of Unpresidented-elect Donald Trump® next week. 

Grijalva said:

“My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy. But as an individual act, yes, of defiance, at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we are taking in this Congress. […] 

“Rather than participate in the inauguration, I will be participating in my district and reaffirming and renewing this democracy and the people that are part of it.”

I heartily applaud this act of resistance.

Unfortunately, unless 100 or so of their colleagues sign up for this, their absence will not be much noticed by the media or their constituents. Even then, the boycott would probably only get a half-minute or so of coverage.

Resistance of all sorts is needed. And this boycott is a lot better than participating resignedly at the inauguration. These six representatives and whoever else joins them are already guaranteeing their inboxes will fill up with hate mail. They deserve a lot of credit for doing so.

But on my wish list is something slightly more aggressive, something that can’t be ignored by the media because it would be so highly visible, something that Donald Trump® himself can’t miss on his Big Day. 

I’d like to see 100 or more Democratic Congresspeople show up and the inauguration and, when the time comes for the oath-taking, stand up and turn their backs. 

I’m an idealist. But I am a realistic idealist. I know my idea for a more confrontational protest at the inaugural won’t happen. I know that some progressives view this kind as action with distaste. I know where they’re coming from. However, I view this not as some extremist action but rather half a baby-step on the path we need to travel if we expect our resistance to produce results.

Mild as it would actually be, this back-turning would, of course, be interpreted by the gatekeepers of appropriate dissent as disrespect. It definitely would be. That’s the point. Not, as Congressman Grijalva rightly says, disrespect for the office of the presidency or for democracy. Rather disrespect for the “billionaire” disrespecter of women and people of color and fairness and democracy who will soon plunk himself down behind the big desk in the Oval Office to begin leading us toward the political abyss.

We should, indeed, all turn our backs every day on what Donald Trump® has in store for Americans and the rest of the world. This doesn’t mean being passive in the face of the dismantling he and his fellow Trumpkochians have in mind. Quite the opposite. 

Resistance requires a partner: rebellion.”