I don’t believe in the “quiet resistance”

Photo by Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4156824

White House Art for Opinion


Parker Rose
Opinion Editor
pdrose@uab.edu

“It may be cold for comfort in this chaotic era,” writes a recent New York Times Op-Ed article in regards to our current administration. “But Americans should know that there are adults in the room.” “It may be cold for comfort in this chaotic era,” writes a recent New York Times Op-Ed article in regards to our current administration. “But Americans should know that there are adults in the room.” 

 This article, written by an unnamed senior White House official, is somewhat groundbreaking. It isn’t particularly unprecedented in content, but it’s certainly significant in its publication.  The Times editors were bold in their decision to publish the article, as it is rare that Op-Eds are written anonymously. Not to mention the boldness of the move due to its authorship.

 “It’s highly unusual, but not unheard of,” said Joey Kennedy, a B-Metro columnist and English professor at UAB. “This is a highly unusual presidency."

And while I would love to believe most of the things that the article claims – such as that our president is being effectively babysat by responsible adults who have our country’s best interests in mind – I can’t help but not only be disturbed and angered. 

 Especially when the author writes: “The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.” 

Some people agree with this approach and think that the article’s message is even positive.

  “It almost seemed hopeful,” said Aleena Khan, a sophomore in economics. “To know there are people fighting to put the country first and not succumb to the Trump administration.”

 But I would have to disagree. If you watched the recent confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, you might have noticed the screaming protestors in the background, or the women in the hallways of the building dressed as handmaidens in reference to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian manifesto.  Or, more importantly, you may have noticed the several Democratic senators who made reasonable objections to the fact that less than 10% of Kavanaugh’s records have yet to be reviewed by both parties.

Their request for adjournment was met with callous disregard, outright interruption, and defiance.  While I agree that we all have a part to play in resisting the Trump administration, I would hardly say that those in opposition have remained silent.  Moreover, I would be hesitant to say that it is the responsibility of those who are being ignored to put an end to such treatment. We can all be - and should be - acting effectively to resist the tactless, disgraceful politics that are being fed to us, but it isn’t just up to us. 

 I also think that such a claim is especially concerning considering that it is coming from someone within the administration doing the oppressing.  “There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first,” anonymous writes.

 “But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.”  

And while I’m happy to wear my badge of “American” and speaking up for what I believe in, I also believe that it is the duty of those closest to the presidency to do the same.
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