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What We Do Now? Standing Up for Your Values ​​in Trump's America / The Resistance Handbook. 45 Ways to Fight Trump
The shock that followed the American election is about to subside. Now it has to be traded. 


Americans continue to shake off the shock. Shocked that a male chauvinist, woman-hating, Muslim-hating white man could win the presidential election. Or at least, that's how it works when I meet people here in Berkeley, where I live next time to work at the university. In Berkeley, Trump is something to apologize for. Something almost embarrassing.

Of course, this is not the case everywhere in the United States. Because although Hillary Clinton probably got over two million votes more than Trump, there were still 63 million Americans who gave Trump his vote. Several of them I meet on a summer tour of western states such as Arizona, Nevada and Utah. They have elected Trump because they are tired of the politicians talking and talking but doing nothing. Because they are tired of an ingested Washington. Because they want renewal. And, of course, also because they want the United States back on track, so the country can become mighty again, now using one of Trump's eternal passwords.

So Berkeley is definitely one thing. Part of the remaining US something quite different. Or, as a retired craftsman (who now lives by trading shares) tells me on my tour: «Berkeley used to be the hub of freedom of expression. Now it just comes from the left-wing speech that excludes everyone else. ”You can take that statement as usual, conservative mockery of the left-wing. Or you can see the statement as an illustration of the US being gradually divided into two: the progressives who claim that the United States was created by immigration and should continue to thrive. And the isolationist, or patriotic, if you will, who want a country closed to themselves, a United States reserved for the select few.

Resistance Manifesto. Two new books certainly do not set out to reconcile the two camps. On the contrary, both books show the impression of gunfire and the Americans to take action. Now, the shock must depart in favor of activism and resistance.

anthology What We Do Now? brings together more than 25 thinkers' contributions. The authors range widely. We find both well-known voices such as Bernie Sanders and George Lakoff, but also countless more locally rooted intellectuals such as Sharon Kleinbaum, who is a rabbi in a New York-based LGBT synagogue. The common stand across the line, of course, is that the United States needs to go in opposition to Trump. That the Americans must mobilize a decided resistance movement. Most contributors present a brief analysis of how Trump could win, but at the heart of the book are the many bids on which opposition may consist.

“Berkeley used to be the seat of freedom of speech. Now we only hear leftist speech from there, which excludes everyone else. "

Here are long-term plans, such as Bernie Sanders' idea of ​​restoring the middle class and limiting the enormous power of large financial institutions, which, Sanders said, was the reason for both the financial crisis and, not least, the subsequent rebuilding, where tax dollars had to be used to reinstate institutions that reportedly our too big to fail. However, we also find more tangible directives, such as when activist and women's rights advocate Gloria Steinem advocates for failing to purchase goods from companies that are somehow connected to Trump (the Boycott Trump app shows how).

However, despite many fine but minor analyzes, a pervasive weakness of the anthology is that it all too often repeats abstract politician chants and most of all reminiscent of speeches in assemblies already convinced of the sender's message. Many of the texts are also decidedly political speeches, which in this context is no strength.

Make friends from a different ethnicity. Become a volunteer in a political association. Learn a foreign language. Support media that report facts and do not base their journalism on propaganda.

The closest. The tangibility is far better in the resistance manual The Resistance Handbook. 45 Ways to Fight Trump. Behind the book are Markos Moulitsas and Michael Huttner, who runs two of America's many progressive interest groups, namely ProgressNow and Daily Kos. Here is no florid speech and long perspectives, but on the contrary 45 concrete directions to get Trump passivated and eventually removed from power. Many of the directions do not require large sums of money or much time: Make friends from a different ethnicity than your own. Become a volunteer in your local progressive political association. Learn a foreign language. Support media that report facts and do not base their journalism on propaganda. Announce your vote on petition collections.

The book is divided into a number of categories, which cleverly allows you to select the measures that best suit your own mood and social circle. This is well thought out, because if the masses are to be mobilized, the first steps will probably have to be the easy steps that lie ahead.

These two books are just a very small selection of the light stream of resistance books we see these months (see also the review of Naomi Klein's manifesto-like writing No Is Not Enough in New Time, July 2017). One can, of course, take a cynical perspective and see these publications as just a calculating way to earn a quick penny, but if we put on the more optimistic glasses, we can also see the publications as one of several signals that an increasing number of American citizens getting involved politically. Not only by taking an active position, but by acting, demonstrating, demanding and even contributing. A steadily increasing number of people write letters of complaint to public bodies. More people are running for political office than ever before. And if these books initiate a thought that becomes an action, resistance can become a reality to such an extent that change will sooner or later occur. We've seen it before. And we'll see it again.

Steffen Moestrup
Steffen Moestrup
Regular contributor to MODERN TIMES, and docent at Denmark's Medie- og Journalisthøjskole.

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