In 2009, a conservative uprising occurred in the form of the Tea Party. A grassroots movement, the Tea Party capitalized on anti-Obama sentiments to build a genuinely effective political force, one that forced even then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor out of office in favor of a hard line anti-immigrant conservative.
Less than a month after Donald Trump’s shocking Electoral College victory, about two dozen Democratic congressional staffers who served during the rise of the Tea Party released “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” Through four comprehensive chapters, they outlined a plan for effective progressive opposition to Trump in the mold of the successes of the Tea Party.
To the surprise of the creators, “Indivisible” immediately went viral. But it shouldn’t be surprising. Donald Trump lost the election by almost 3 million votes, a fact that he still cannot accept. Republicans also lost the popular vote in the Senate by over 10 million and lost six seats in the absurdly gerrymandered House elections. Trump went in as a historically unpopular president, and has only gotten more unpopular every day. Millions more people attended the Women’s March protests than his inauguration. The resistance is real. This is far greater than the Tea Party ever was.
“The bottom line is that our ideas are supported by more Americans than theirs,” said Ezra Levin, a former staffer for Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett who co-wrote the guide. “Their goal is to quickly pass as much bad legislation and regulatory changes as possible because they know their ideas aren’t popular and they know they don’t represent the vast majority of the country.”
Levin’s comments to Mother Jones reflect the three primary goals of the guide:
- Stall the Trump agenda by forcing them to redirect energy away from their priorities.
- Sap Representatives’ will to support or drive reactionary change.
- Reaffirm the illegitimacy of the Trump agenda.
The guide has already been an inspiration to progressive anti-Trump organizers. Along with protests, liberals have been calling their congressional representatives nonstop, storming town halls, and starting local groups to fight Trump and the GOP on the ground level.
On February 15, about 400 Californians met for the first officially “Indivisible”-inspired public event, hosted by Indivisible Yolo. Coordinator Emily Hill told the crowd: “We are more than a story, we are a movement.”
Jordan is a political writer, activist, cinephile, proud queer woman of color, and Mad Max: Fury Road fanatic. She’s cautiously optimistic about the future of humanity.