“Anonymous” is No Hero: And That Op-Ed is Not Resistance, It’s Privilege

“Anonymous” is No Hero: And That Op-Ed is Not Resistance, It’s Privilege September 6, 2018

For starters, that New York Times op-ed—the one that’s breaking the internet?—it isn’t at all surprising. It simply confirms what many of us already believe about the level of chaos in this White House. But the lack of a byline means that Trump and supporters can still call “fake news” and nobody can call them to account.

It almost reads like a confession, but I don’t think that’s at all what the author was going for. In fact, it seems like he (I’m willing to bet any amount of money it was a man) wants some sort of medal for he and his crew for creating a protective hedge around Trump’s more destructive inclinations. The message is, “reasonable minds do prevail, no matter what you hear or see to the contrary!” The truth is not the truth, etc.

But what comfort is that to anyone? All it shows is that the “reasonable minds” prevailing will keep up the facade of a functional system, no matter how distorted that image might be from any reality. The author makes it sound as though this small band of “resisters” has the best interests of the country at heart. But what they’re doing is protecting their own profile and their own careers. It’s sick, and it’s cowardice. It’s a lukewarm gesture in a system that needs to be ravaged by fire.

And it is absolutely dripping with privilege.

Here’s why I’m so sure this thing was written by a man. Because, well, a) aren’t they all? But also, b) it is the height of privilege to be all “don’t worry folks, we’ve got this under control,” rather than uphold your sworn duty to protect the republic, and empower the people to take back their government from a despot. This is what powerful white dudes do: they protect the system at all costs, because the system works for them. Even if it means covering for an unhinged dictator.

If all of the allegations in this piece are true—as most of us believe them to be—then the ones who witness it first hand need to blow the whistle. They are, in fact, the ONLY ones who can. Those closest to his inner circle are the only ones who will have any voice to sway that core of die-hard supporters who won’t hear a word against him from any other source. Those who contain the real implications of this toxic presidency are the only ones who can bear public witness, whose word may hold up in court, and who can narrate, first-hand, the tenuous framework that currently holds up our democracy.

Telling us you’ve got it “handled” is not helpful.

But I don’t think this “anonymous” is trying to be helpful here. You’ll notice there’s no real S.O.S., no call to action for Congress or the American People. On the contrary, the author of this piece wants us to know that good things are still happening behind the scenes, in spite of Trump if not because of him.

By “good things,” they mean tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest among us; deregulations that destroy the environment; policies that prey on the poor; and a racist immigration policy that tears families apart and makes us no better than our enemies.

That is not resistance.

So, “anonymous,” if you are listening: Paint yourself as a hero all you want. But if your idea of protecting the American people is covering for a mad man because his tax cuts benefit you–and his toxic rhetoric will further your career—then miss me with any talk of “resistance.” Thanks for confirming what we already knew. But I’ll not thank you for keeping the real work out of the office that should be held ultimately accountable for it. If it’s really as bad as you say, then burn that shit down!

Until you can speak truth to power, you are no “man of honor,” as you consider yourself. You are no hero, you are no “lodestar,” whateverTF that is. You are just a white guy filling a chair with hollow words, protecting the privileged until the real resistance moves in.

That real resistance is coming. And we are bringing women.

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