News Release

What Kind of Resistance to Trump?


KATHY KELLY, kathy [at], @voiceinwild
Kelly is co-coordinator of the group Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She just wrote the piece “Steer Your Way Into Love and Resistance.”

Currently in Chicago, Kelly will be in Washington, D.C. in very early January, participating in the annual Witness Against Torture fast.

She said today: “Here at Voices we’ve tried to better understand the call for diversity in our current, post-election context. Consider, for instance, a reflection by Betsy Leondar-Wright which was recently published in the UK-based newspaper, Peace News. She encouraged people to build personal and political ties with people already targeted or potentially targeted by Trump’s campaign promises. ‘But,’ she added, ‘we also need to reach out and build personal and political ties with those Trump voters who aren’t committed haters, but whose economic woes and worries we can empathize with.’

“Describing such woes and worries, Arlie Russell Hochschild speaks of a puzzling paradox in the U.S.: ‘Across the country, red states are poorer and have more teen mothers, more divorce, worse health, more obesity, more trauma-related deaths, more low-birth-weight babies, and lower school enrollment. On average, people in red states die five years earlier than people in blue states.'”

Kelly was recently in Afghanistan. She added: “Many people in Kabul could readily empathize with U.S. people living in toxic environs, lacking access to potable water, frustrated by joblessness, shut out of decent education, and likely to die at relatively young ages. Many are shocked by the lavish resources available to the U.S. military in Afghanistan compared to the desperation of 1.8 million Afghans now living as internally displaced people, some in refugee camps located just across the road from U.S. military bases. …

“It’s important for people to energetically unite in refusal to compromise with President-elect Trump’s terrifying campaign promises. Yet we must also unite in refusal to compromise with wars and inequities that have already plagued our planet and species, under non-Trumpist Presidential administrations of both parties. An essential question becomes: How can people at last unite to tackle the very greatest terrors we face, the terrors of what, Trump or no Trump, we have been doing to our planet?

“The frightening truth that our society is a train hurtling toward an abyss must be faced. We surely can’t expect leaders that have already made compromises with militarists and greedy corporate elites to stop the train, help people disembark and then pull up the tracks. We must continually build alternative institutions and, as much as possible, stop paying for institutions that commit mayhem and murder. We need unions willing to strike and activists willing to refuse payment of war taxes as I’ve been perhaps specially privileged to be able to do since 1980. We need voters able to see the full bleak vision of where our species has arrived.”