So, how can an average schmuck like me bring down Donald Trump? After all, he is (and I still choke on these words when referring to him) the president of the United States. And who am I? Nobody important, I’me just a guy with a blue collar job and a blog. Somehow the contest seems a bit unfair…that is until you start thinking like my boy Carl Von Clausewitz!
Who the heck is/was Von Clausewitz and what does he have to do with the price of pinatas in Oregon?I’m so very glad you asked!
I’m so very glad you asked!
General Carl Von Clausewitz was a 19th-century Prussian soldier and writer who stressed the psychological and political aspects of war (see where this is going?). His most famous book was titled “On War” and is considered a masterpiece of military theory that is still studied at West Point today. Why? Because soldiers like to win and old Carl had some pretty good ideas on how to beat a superior opponent with whatever force you happened to have.
One of his most applicable ideas to the Trump problem was his concept of “friction.” Von Clausewitz used this word in a very specific way. He said, “fiction is that which makes the easy difficult and the hard impossible.” Marching troops from one town to another may be easy, but if the roads are muddy, the bridges are out and the troops all have the flue the easy soon becomes impossible. Thus, if you want to win, you should do all you can to increase the friction of your enemy and decrease friction on your own side as much as possible.
So, how does this apply to the anti-Trump resistance movement?
Simple, we must make the easy difficult and the hard impossible for Trump at every opportunity! If he wants to build a wall, we must protest upon the construction site. Can he have us forcibly removed? Certainly he can, but we have just increased his friction…and we ain’t done yet. Next, we slap him with a lawsuit, write letters to the editors of local papers, and flood the phone lines of every congressman in Washington. Soon, his easy little construction project becomes more and more impossible difficult until he gives up because it’s not worth the effort.
In short, throw enough sand in the machine and the machine stops working. Every action you or I take is just such a grain of sand and I intend to throw in fist fulls!
As an individual, I don’t need to be so strong that I can take down Trump by my own self. I merely harass and annoy him while joining my efforts with as many others as I can. We resist with every means we have available until we gum up the gears beyond repair. Using this understanding, no act is too small as long as it either adds to Trump’s friction or decreases ours.
How do we decrease our own friction? By working together. We must join with others who share our concerns and work toward the common goal. This is why I was glad to see a pro-life women’s group included in the Women’s March on Washington, DC on January 21st. True, I and most other liberals disagree with their position on abortion. But today the fight is against Trump and every grain of sand counts!
We are already seeing the effectiveness of this strategy as Trump released an executive order this past week banning Muslim immigrants. In one day massive protests took place at airports nationwide, followed by an ACLU challenge that a federal court supported. Is this battle thus won? Maybe, and maybe not; but no soldier expects to win every battle in a war. But we keep fighting just the same. By keeping up the pressure in big ways and small, we will wear down our opponent until he finds himself utterly exhausted and demoralized.
And in the end, Von Clausewitz and folks like us will defeat Trump!