Shock and Awe

While everyone focused on our airports for a full day, President Trump removed the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs from the National Security Council. It’s cool, though, he replaced them with Steve Bannon and his son in law.  I heard somewhere that the Trump Administration planned this 100 days intentionally to be a version of Shock and Awe, presumably to stun us into passivity, so that there so many outrages that the “protest class” would tire itself out, or not know where to start.

I think they have miscalculated.

And I hope there is someone within the Trump Administration like Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, saying that they fear they have awoken a sleeping giant.

Most days, my feed is dominated by pictures of local protests. The march last weekend, the protests in Philadelphia midweek, and the airports tonight. These are not news reports, just people at rallies taking pictures.  And most of these rallies were not pre-planned in advance (save the Women’s March).   Most of them were spontaneous.  And when they were planned, 10 times as many people showed up than were expected.

I personally have never seen anything like it. 3,000 people turned out to Senator Jeff Merkley’s town hall when he was expecting 125.   That story has been repeated everywhere.

Going into the Trump Administration, I knew he would not pivot away from the horror he was as a candidate.  What he promised to be, he would be.   Pundits and more than a few idiot Democrats thought they could work with him here or there, to help the working class.  Those idiots ran the ideological spectrum within the party, from Bernie Sanders to Chuck Schumer.  And that would dispirit the resistance.  And I thought, through Democratic capitulation and compromise, and through the vast number of outrages Trump and Bannon would foist on us, we would all tire of being outraged all the time.  And thus protest would die out.

I am starting to reconsider that view.

Most individuals won’t be able to sustain the panic pitch of outraged opposition to Trump for four straight years, but they don’t have to, individually.   But Trump literally wakes every day saying “what can i do to foment a protest against me?”   He always needs an enemy to be compared to.  To fight against.  Standing alone in the full analytical gaze of the American press and public would destroy him, and he knows it. His vast insecurity and inferiority complex comes from a real place.

The strategy for surviving one Trump outrage so far has been to create more outrages.  To create the bigger story so the press and public moves on.  But the downside of doing that is that fresh outrages daily will invigorate an opposition that might otherwise tire and will invigorate different and disparate corners of that opposition.

I have seen it in my own life.  People who have never been political before are now what I would consider an activist.   What Trump is doing is creating new and fresh activists every day.  Thus, opposition to Trump will never tire.  It will never be shocked and awed.

Stay strong America. I am proud to see the actions and response from friends, family, and even strangers over the last eight days.  Be constructive with your outrage.  Attend a protest.  Organize.  Voice your opinion.  Never listen to those who say “enough with the politics, enough with the anger.”   Our anger is righteous.  And we will win in the end.




Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

7 comments on “Shock and Awe

  1. I’m seeing people who’ve never been active suddenly engage, too. It’s inspiring. Know what I’m not seeing – Trump supporters supporting his actions on my social media. Where did they all go?

  2. Bill Cortes

    Well said……And fully agree.

  3. I have yet to be called an optimist, but I feel good not only about the protests but perhaps a rebirth of journalism in America and the coming of a real movement. As noted an assortment of Dems foolishly believed Trump would not be as bad as he is, they are a part of the establishment and things like Trump just aren’t done old boy. That was then , this is the ugly now. Hope to see you in the streets as I will be making up for missing the protests so far.

  4. I’m one of those people who woke up. Sure, I followed blogs and griped about things, but I never took responsibility for making the phone call or attending events (the latter is still difficult due to caregiving responsibilities). Now I’ve become that annoying friend who always forwards calls to actions around.

    I find the surge in interest energizing and I’m seeing it in my friends as well. Enough people are fired up that even if three or four people need to take a break, there are three or four others still going.

    I wonder when regular Republicans, voters who believed in Trump’s promises of jobs, affordable healthcare, and draining the swamp, will realize that this whole movement has been orchestrated by right-wing think-tanks and the super-rich. They (the right-wing think-tanks and the super-rich) understood that the suppression of equal rights would probably incite a progressive backlash, but that’s fine with them, because once the government cracks down, it cracks down on all of us. Banks make no distinction between Republican and Democrat — when there’s a run on banks, only the bank shareholders profit, when transportation and agriculture are disrupted, the super rich jet off to Europe for their food. I know that I’ve been manipulated, but when will regular folks on the right realize that they’ve been manipulated, too, and for reasons totally unrelated to their values?

    I wish that we could find a single-issue overlap, like a raise in the minimum wage or increased consumer financial protections or getting money out of politics, and try to organize a phone-call blitz from both sides of the aisle. Maybe some of us want to see the minimum wage raised to $9/hr and others want it raised to $15/hr — no matter — the idea is just to call and state your case for a raise in the minimum wage as you see fit. Or an action demanding affordable health care coverage (whatever that means to you). I think that there are principles we can agree on even if we disagree on the extent of change needed. Enough of being divided by the details. If our elected representatives hear from all of us wanting them to move in the same direction, then maybe they’ll realize that at least on these isolated issues they can work together (I am not talking about cabinet nominees here!). This is not a call for anyone to change their principles but a call to try to find out where we overlap and a date when we all make the call to our elected representatives on the designated issue.

    OK, back to reality . . .

    This rant brought to you by the One Good Deed Derserves Another segment of todays broadcast of Radio Lab, discussing the prisoner’s dilemma and cooperation and betrayal (

  5. In stark contrast to my earlier comment . . .
    Chilling read and all too plausible (cross posted with Delaware Liberal):
    Also, Judicial Branch has disappeared from the White House website.
    Trying to imagine that some dedicated IT guy is just updating . . .

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