There is, perhaps, no more fitting label for 2017 than the Year of The Resistance. This was not the year of the namesake cause spawned by the radical left, however; it was the year that another movement – branded “deplorables” – saw their candidate take the highest office in the land. That candidate was, of course, President Donald Trump and his inauguration marked the beginning of resistance to business as usual in Washington, D.C. More than that, however, Trump’s ascendancy appears to have heralded – perhaps, even precipitated – cracks in the pillars of American culture.
Along with the political establishment, the federal bureaucracy, the entertainment industry, and the traditional, establishment media have all been shaken to their foundations in 2017. Is Trump himself responsible for all of this? Are his supporters? Perhaps not, but it’s hard to deny that his first year in office has coincided, weirdly, with such widespread convulsions.
A Deplorable Resistance Movement
The voters who failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton dismissively dumped into a “basket of deplorables” brought about a resistance movement far more significant than the tantrums thrown by the so-called “Resistance” spawned by a coalition of left-wing protest groups. Antifa, the fascist anti-fascist movement, has, to date, achieved nothing more than destruction, disruption, and violence.
Meanwhile, Trump has notched up an impressive record of meaningful resistance. In rolling back hundreds of federal regulations, he continues to resist the administrative state, also known as “the deep state.” He has resisted demands from the establishment that he act “presidential,” instead, creating a new concept; “modern-day presidential.” To the delight of his supporters – and, doubtless, many more Americans – he has resisted the pervasive, Orwellian culture of political correctness. Even the “war on Christmas” took a hit as, this year, Americans began to say “Merry Christmas,” again, rather than the vacuous, non-greeting “Happy Holidays.”
Woe Is Media
Perhaps Trump’s most widely discussed act of resistance, however, has been his assault on the establishment media. A number of recent polls have shown that, in general, the majority of Americans do not trust the establishment media (known to many as the mainstream media). The most recent Harvard-Harris poll showed 65% of Americans believe the media has a “fake news” problem.
The media establishment has, over decades, fostered a culture of elitism in which journalists, newscasters, and the associated analysts and contributors consider themselves above reproach. Touting their special mention in the First Amendment, journalists have come to interpret their constitutionally protected status as meaning that no criticism of them is justified. Since the founding of the country, presidents and other politicians have criticized the media but, in recent times, former president Barack Obama made a point of directly going after Fox News. Donald Trump has directed his ire and ridicule against several left-wing news entities, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and NBC.
Trump declared the media part of the opposition, and for a good reason. The coverage of him personally – and of his presidency – has been utterly overwhelming in its negativity. To their horror, Trump has battered them relentlessly in speeches and on social media. The vast majority of individuals in the establishment media despise Trump and have no intention of reporting on him fairly, yet, still, their indignation over his constant barbs and insults is almost hysterical.
Feeling the inexorable advance of alternative electronic media outlets, the establishment media fears completely losing the last of its credibility and fading into anonymity; adrift in an ocean of new information sources. Their crusade against Trump may well be their last hurrah before their vaunted status disappears altogether.
American Sovereignty Resists Globalism
The president has also resisted the march of globalism, pulling the United States from multilateral trade deals and environmental accords. He has withdrawn American support from a United Nations plan to flood the western world with refugees and other immigrants and, most recently, defied the international community by announcing the relocation of America’s Isreali embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Trump foreign policy doctrine is, unshakeably, one of America First. While respecting that all other nations will, first and foremost, act in their own interests, Trump has vowed that, for America, the concerns of America are paramount.
The Trump Movement Versus The Right-Wing Establishment
In addition to all of this, Trump and his deplorables resisted the establishment Republicans. The conservative movement itself was torn over his election victory. Whilst many conservatives celebrated his rise to power, still others – the former ‘Never-Trumpers’ – have continued to rage against his every move, to the point of abandoning their principles for fear of having to give him credit for taking action they would have applauded, had any other Republican done the same.
In one year, Trump has given momentum to a resistance movement that has rolled back the cultural and political trends that had become entrenched. And it shows no signs of slowing as the new year comes into view. How much further will it have moved by the end of 2018? One hardly dares imagine.