For months, left-wing activists opposed to President Donald Trump have been calling themselves the “Resistance,” likening themselves to the partisan underground in Nazi-occupied Europe — with Republicans cast as the Nazis.
California Governor Jerry Brown cautioned his colleagues against the use of that term. “I don’t use the term resistance … That was a term I associate with the French underground and people who risked their lives. So I don’t know that that’s a fair, apt metaphor for the latest contretemps over policy,” he told the New York Times in April.
Nevertheless, they persisted — and did so despite warnings that the term had violent connotations. As Breitbart News warned, also in April:
The whole concept of the so-called “Resistance” is also farcical. It implies that the United States is a dictatorship that cannot be opposed through ordinary politics.
It is a radical idea, one that lends itself to excess — such as the violent protests at the University of California, Berkeley last week.
Not all of the so-called “Resistance” protests have been marred by violence. But many Democrats have embraced the militant connotations of the term. It has been accompanied by an increasing coarseness in the party’s rhetoric — from the cursing in its leaders’ speeches, to the bizarre competition to outdo one another in calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached or declared illegitimate.
That may be a reflection of widespread frustration among the party’s base, resulting not only from the shock of Trump’s victory in November but also from the realization that Democrats remain largely confined to urban centers and have few opportunities for political gains prior to the 2020 elections.
Regardless, the “Resistance” talk has amplified the desperation of Democratic voters, who have been continually promised that each new special election, or each new congressional hearing, will be the one that finally drives the stake through the heart of the Trump administration. And each time, those voters have been bitterly disappointed.
The gunman who attacked Republican congressmen on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday apparently acted alone. If Democratic Party rhetoric and left-wing media bias were solely to blame for his actions, there would be far more acts of violent zealotry. Yet the same people who routinely blamed vigorous Republican political opposition for mass shootings by deranged people over the past several years are totally blind to the extremist rhetoric of the “Resistance.”
Chuck Todd of MSNBC actually opened Meet the Press Daily on Wednesday by intoning: “This is a day many of us feared would happen.” But the media celebrated the “Resistance,” never warning that someone might take that label literally, or that anti-Trump hysteria might have violent consequences.
Going forward, the term “Resistance” has become more problematic than ever. It is an unacceptable name for ordinary political opposition. Democrats should drop it, now.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.