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Calling All Protesters! | The Nation

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Remember 2017? Those were the days. In Trump’s first year, we marched and demonstrated constantly, for women’s rights, for immigrants, for science, for the planet, and for the release of his tax returns. We jammed the airports to protest the Muslim travel ban, subscribed to civic action sites like 5 Calls, and made phoning and postcarding part of our daily routines. We confronted Republican lawmakers at their town halls and even picketed the homes of Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer, who seemed too eager to compromise with Trump.

Inevitably—and rightly—protest turned into politics and the patient, sometimes frustrating local organizing that electing new leaders requires. We took back the House and made important progress in the states, including Virginia, New Mexico, New York, and Maine. Black voters mobilized, and so did the Democratic Socialists of America, Indivisible, and VoteRunLead. On the ground, going door-to-door, the mostly suburban, mostly white women of the resistance (mocked by a self-described dirtbag leftist as middle-aged hysterics) sought to outmobilize the 52 percent of white women who voted for Trump in the first place. These efforts achieved wonders, including the election of the charismatic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and victories for black House candidates in mostly white districts, such as Lucy McBath, Lauren Underwood, Jahana Hayes, and Antonio Delgado. Among the many local progressive triumphs, Chicago elected Lori Lightfoot as its first openly gay, black mayor. There are now no fewer than six DSA members on the 50-member Chicago City Council.

All this is crucial. But what happened to the fierce urgency of now that barely 24 months ago sent us pouring into the streets at a moment’s notice? Two and a half years into his term, Trump has not moved an inch. He is the same cruel and ignorant liar, bigot, and bully he has been since his youth. He has learned nothing in office: He still lacks a grasp of the basic civics and government that we were taught in eighth grade, such as what tariffs actually do. He just keeps pushing the limits, always on the attack and holding his ridiculous rallies, sending out his bizarre and misspelled spiteful tweets, blaming the Democrats for things he himself is responsible for, and appointing weirdos and randos to important positions. (His chief of protocol, Sean Lawler, just resigned in the wake of reports that he intimidated staffers and carried a whip in the office.)

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