The Indivisible Guide (to continuing to help Trump)

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A group of former Congressional staffers [1] have penned the "Indivisible Guide" [2], a document purporting to describe how to oppose Donald Trump. The New York Times even gave them their very own OpEd [3], despite the fact that - like all Trump's other loud opponents - they aren't going to do anything but help him.

As happened before the election, people like them will continue to in effect help Trump just as they have for over a year. Even as the loudest opposition to Trump hasn't actually achieved anything - and obviously failed at its main goal - the entirety of that opposition has shown that they're incapable of learning from their mistakes and doing things in different ways.

Some notes on the Guide:

1. They repeatedly call Trump names, such as this near the start:"In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, [Trump] will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image." Trump is certainly an authoritarian, and that's a worthwhile area to explore as is the (strong) possibility that he'll use the presidency to profit. However, calling him a "racist" isn't accurate. The Guide fails Opposition 101: understand your adversary.

The unhealthy far-left tic of calling everyone who opposes them "racist" is one of the reasons why Trump won: he presented himself as an opposition to the PC that most Americans oppose. The broad outlines of Trump policies like reducing illegal immigration and keeping jobs in the U.S. are perfectly valid and calling Trump names over that won't sit well with most Americans.

2. One of the main themes of the Guide is that the opposition to Trump should be like the Tea Parties movement in being an opposition force without specific policy proposals and concentrating on local pressure of Congress. How'd that work out for the Tea Parties? The Guide paints a rosy picture of Tea Partiers shutting down Obama's agenda, but at the end of the day they didn't really achieve much besides making themselves one of the least popular groups in the U.S. When Trump does something that might lead to jobs staying in the U.S. and his opponents try to shut him down, it's not just Trump voters who are going to develop a negative opinion of Trump's loudest opponents.

3. The Guide has trouble with facts. They say "Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever call himself President-Elect." That statistic is questionable [4]. They also say "The Tea Party started as an organic movement built on small local groups of dedicated conservatives. Yes, they received some support/coordination from above, but fundamentally all the hubbub was caused by a relatively small number of conservatives working together." While millions were taken in by the Tea Parties, as discussed at the last link they were hardly an organic group: they were started by the Koch family in 2002 and then resuscitated by them in 2009.

4. They suggest acting like Code Pink and other groups that are national jokes: "wear relatively similar clothing / message shirts"; they want people to "chant" a common message; and boo speakers. They also suggest sit-ins of Congressional offices.

5. Like the far-left in general, they just hate it when dissenting voices are heard and want to shut down debate:

Hold organizational hosts accountable. Often events such as these will be hosted by local businesses or non-partisan organizations - groups that don't want controversy or to alienate the community. Reach out to them directly to express your concern that they are giving a platform to pro-Trump authoritarianism, racism, and corruption. If they persist, use social media to express your disappointment. This will reduce the likelihood that these organizations will host the Trump-friendly MoC in the future. MoCs depend on invitations like these to build ties and raise their visibility - so this matters to them.

6. They continue to show a disregard for the truth with this proposed call script to Congress:

I'm calling to ask what the Congresswoman is doing about the appointment of Steve Bannon to serve in the White House. Bannon is reported as saying he didn't want his children to go to a school with Jews. And he ran a website that promoted white nationalist views. I'm honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working feet from the Oval Office. Can you tell me what Congresswoman Sara is going to do about it? ...It is everyone's business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an advisor to the President. The Congresswoman is my elected representative, and I expect her to speak out on this.

The first smear was from a divorce case so one would be a fool to take it as fact. Like Trump, Breitbart News isn't even pro-white. The Guide continues to fail to understand their opponents but has to make things up.

7. Whites to the back of the bus! They repeatedly suggest joining with "local groups already organizing around the rights of those most threatened by the Trump agenda, we urge you to reach out to partner with them, amplify their voices, and defer to their leadership." If their non-white leadership is worse than your group's white leadership, defer to those who are worse simply due to your race. Now that's racist. Along the same lines, there's this: "Members of your group who enjoy more privilege should think carefully about how they can ensure that they are using their privilege to support other members of the group." All of that is something Trump supporters and most Americans oppose; the Guide wants to marginalize the opposition to Trump rather than including as many as possible.

8. They want people to go to townhalls and ask "good questions", then present this horrible example:

I and many district families in Springfield rely on Medicare. I don't think we should be rationing health care for seniors, and the plan to privatize Medicare will create serious financial hardship for seniors who can't afford it. You haven't gone on the record opposing this. Will you commit here and now to vote no on Bill X to cut Medicare?

Any politician will simply reply "I have yet to review the different proposals" and then pivot into a stock response. The authors of the Guide - former Congressional staffers - are so out of it that they don't realize how their former employers did things. Those who want to do things in smart ways should see Question Authority and [site coming soon] for examples of actual tough questions.

Also be sure to visit Donald Trump for how to oppose him in smart ways, not the dumb, repeatedly failed ways the Guide recommends.

[1] "A Partial List of Contributors to the Indivisible Guide: Angel Padilla, Billy Fleming, Caroline Kavit, Ezra Levin, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Jennay Ghowrwal, Jeremy Haile, Leah Greenberg, Matt Traldi, Sara Clough, and Sarah Dohl". On Twitter: @IndivisibleTeam, @ezralevin, @angelrafpadilla, @texpat, and @Leahgreenb.

[2] indivisibleguide dot com

[3] nytimes dot com/2017/01/02/opinion/

[4] See Rutherford B. Hayes and perhaps John Quincy Adams.