Tag Archives: local resistance

If All Politics is Local

So yesterday, the President-Elect held what may have been the most surreal, embarrassing, childish such event ever held by someone preparing to assume that office. If there was any doubt about the need for resistance–the need to assure that this manifestly unqualified “man” and his collection of appalling cabinet choices do as little harm as possible–that display should have put it to rest.

So remember–local action can throw sand in the Orange One’s gears.

In the wake of the election, several cities have confirmed their intent to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants, in defiance of Trump’s threats to withhold billions in federal dollars.

Vox reports that Colorado is currently exploring how to keep an Obamacare marketplace open in a post-Obamacare era, continuing to use the technology the state built as a way to make shopping for insurance easier.

Jerry Brown has made it abundantly clear that California will continue to fight climate change. Aggressively.

Meanwhile, sites such as Resilience are actively encouraging what they call “anti-Fascist” organizing.

Policy innovation is already taking place at the municipal level. The practice of sanctuary cities is just one example. City governments in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Greater Boston, Chicago are increasingly funneling resources into worker-cooperative development, and devolving fiscal capacity to the community through participatory budgeting— both of which have also empowered undocumented immigrants in the policy realm as well as in their day-to-day economic well-being.

These developments are limited, even within the context of the cities themselves, but they can be pushed much further. The way for this to be done is through anti-fascist coalitions. In many of these cities there exists a smattering of progressive and even left-wing forces. This election has provided the sustained impetus for such groups to come together beyond the level of protest and contestation we have been seeing in recent weeks.

Although several of the suggestions in the Resilience article are framed in unnecessarily inflammatory rhetoric and somewhat “out there” (and in my own opinion, highly unrealistic), the emphasis on local action has much to recommend it.

It’s great that several blue states will resist the incoming Administration, but many of us  live in Red states, where it’s easy to get discouraged. If we live in urban areas of those Red States,however, we do have options.  If you look at the vote distribution in the Presidential election, it becomes abundantly clear that city-dwellers decisively rejected Trump and Trumpism .

Those of us who live in urban areas, surrounded by others who reject the racism, misogyny and xenophobia of the incoming Administration, who believe in science and environmental protection and endorse the moral and economic imperative of an adequate social safety net need to map out our counter-insurgency.

We need to decide what measures we can take at the municipal level to counter Washington’s likely retreat from governance. And then we need to work hard to implement those measures.

Bitching on Facebook is no substitute for face-to-face civic engagement.