“As We Go Marching On”*

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can get you to commit atrocities.” Voltaire

It’s been noted that I’m not now, nor have I ever been, a big fan of Donald Trump and that I have at times used this space to express my biased views.


The responses from those who disagree have fallen into two categories:

  1. Trump is doing what he said he would do. You may not like it. But he won.

All three sentences are correct.

  1. Those who vent their sour grapes – with their unbalanced editorials and angry protest marches – are actually playing into Trump’s narrative, reinforcing his message, and firing up his base.

I believe that also is true.

#1. Not fair. The first objection is based on fairness, as quaint as that may seem in these times. Trump won, get over it and give the man a chance. The peaceful transition of power is how a democracy functions, so we all need to play by the rules.

But an election is not a coronation, and the latest one has not yet repealed the people’s first-amendment right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (as a proponent of non-violence, I stress “peaceably”).

#2: Not smart. The second objection is based on stupidity. Trump’s opponents continue to pursue a losing strategy, and it’s backfiring.

But that may simply be buying into Trump’s narrative – repeated over and over and over again – that he won a crushing victory by tapping not just into Americans’ anger but into America’s soul. And therefore we should all just shut up.

The resistance may well be firing up his hard core. But it may also be (1) shrinking his broader support, which was never a majority in the first place; and (2) getting the attention of people who aren’t part of anybody’s base, including business leaders and Republican members of Congress.

If the opposition doesn’t keep drawing lines, then soon there may not be any lines.

* From: “Marching Song of the First Arkansas Colored Regiment”

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.