On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s successful hacking of American democracy (congrats, Vlad!), a bit of encouragement for those who oppose the Trump regime’s assaults on healthcare, the environment, women’s rights, civil rights, human rights, the very idea of rights, basic human decency, and truth itself. I’ve divided this into three sections: (1) a resistance mix, (2) 75 better names for 45, (3) resources.
1. RESIST: a mix
A few notes on the mix (for any who may care). 2, 3, and 17 all written by Woody Guthrie. “Old Man Trump” is about 45’s father, Klansman and real estate developer Fred Trump. But, since (in this case) the rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the diseased tree, the song is also applicable to his white supremacist son. 6. Actually written about Richard Nixon, but don’t let that stop you from singing it at the tiny-fingered tyrant currently occupying the White House. Bonus: features the Jackson 5 on backing vocals. 11. A song about many subjects (including the current regime). If you’re curious about the many allusions, I recommend looking it up on Genius.com. 14 is from the Women’s March. You’ve probably heard the a cappella version of “Quiet,” which hasn’t seen commercial release. So, here is the songwriter’s recording. 15. The title track from Benajmin Booker’s album, which I predict will be on many end-of-year “Best of 2017” lists. 19. From Mavis Staples’ We’ll Never Turn Back, which is one of my desert island discs. 20. Simone transforms the Beatles wishy-washy lyrics into a truly revolutionary statement. This may be the best cover of any Beatles song ever. 21. A South African cover of U2’s song about MLK. 22. Frank Sinatra’s 1945 recording of this was a #22 pop hit. It’s also been recorded by Josh White (1945), Paul Robeson (1947), Sonny Rollins (instrumental, 1956), Sam Cooke (1960), Sarah Vaughan (1961), Mahalia Jackson (1962), and — most recently — The Mavericks (2016). The Ravens’ 1949 a cappella cover (included here) is my favorite. The song has music by Earl Robinson and lyrics by Abel Meeropol (under his pseudonum Lewis Allan). In case the name Meeropol (or Lewis Allan) doesn’t ring a bell, he also wrote “Strange Fruit” (first recorded by Billie Holiday, 1939). He and his wife Anne adopted Michael and Robert Rosenberg, after the U.S. government executed the boys’ parents, Julius and Ethel.
(I had to modify this playlist slightly because not everything is on Spotify. As a result, I couldn’t include “That’s What Makes Us Great” by Joe Grushecky with Bruce Springsteen, “sPEak” by Public Enemy, “Tiny Hands” by Fiona Apple [the Women’s March chant]. So, you’ll need to find those elsewhere.)
2. What’s in a name? OR, 75 better names for 45
Donald Trump is an unhinged, thin-skinned, narcissistic sociopath. He is a racist, a rapist, a bully, a traitor, and a pathological liar. He has no respect for the office he holds, nor for the people he governs. Indeed, he has no respect for anyone except himself. He also has no idea how stupid he is, and lacks the curiosity that might enable him to learn something. If you have been even casually following the crimes, craziness, and casual cruelty of his administration, you already know this. I am saying it here because language matters. Words shape our sense of reality. So, there’s no need to resort to euphemism when referring to a man who (for instance) brags about sexual assault. Indeed, there’s no need to be anything but blunt in describing a man who deliberately, repeatedly, severs words from their meanings.
So, I’ve been casually collecting alternate appellations for Trump. Like the man himself, some of these are not safe for work. I’ve given credit where I know whom to credit — but I don’t always know the author. A very few are of my own invention — or I think they are, but it’s possible I simply heard them and adopted them. If you find one that lacks a credit, please supply, and I will amend. Thanks!
- Agent Orange
- The amber Führer
- Angry Creamsicle [Stephen Colbert]
- angry pumpkin
- bigoted orange bully
- blithering turd buffet [Patton Oswalt via Twitter]
- the blonde Berlusconi [The Economist]
- carrot in a suit
- Casino Mussolini [Samantha Bee]
- Cheeto Benito
- Cheeto-dusted bloviator [Madeleine Davies]
- Cheeto in a suit
- cocktail shrimp in a toupee [Alexandra Petri]
- Don the Con
- The Donald
- Дональд Трамп [“Donald Trump” in Russian]
- Dorito in chief
- fascist clown
- fascist, loofa-faced, shit-gibbon [Daylin Leach.For more, see Ben Zimmer’s “The Rise of the Shitgibbon” (Strong Language, 9 Feb. 2017)]
- flaccid fascist
- Fuckface Von Clownstick [Jon Stewart]
- goddamn butterscotch nazi pissmagnet [Matt Fraction]
- grandpa baggysuits [Stephen Colbert, 25 Oct. 2017]
- Hair Hitler
- a hefty sack of pudding that’s gone bad [Stephen Colbert, 4 Oct 2017]
- Herr Gropenführer [Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury, referring to Arnold Schwarzenegger]
- Herr Twitler [popularized by George Takei, but source unknown]
- the idiot king
- Il Douche
- Insane Clown President [Matt Taibbi]
- Kim Jong-Un’s more portly twin [Stephen Colbert, 4 Oct 2017]
- a large scoop of orange sherbet covered with dog fur [Stephen Colbert, 4 Oct 2017]
- Mad King Donald
- Mr. Tangerine Man
- Napoleon BonaTrump [Samantha Bee]
- oleaginous orange bloviator
- Orange Gibbon
- a petty narcissist with barn hay for hair [Stephen Colbert, 4 Oct 2017]
- Petulant Plutocrat
- Pig Boy [Paul Slansky]
- President Backpfeifengesicht [“punchable face” in German]
- President Bonespur
- President Cheeto
- President Chump
- President Doucheweasel
- President Gaslight
- President Kompromat
- President Golden Shower
- President Snowflake [Samantha Bee]
- President Swamp
- President Tweetbait
- the president* or President* Trump [Charles Pierce]
- Putin’s Puppet
- SCROTUS (So-Called Ruler Of The United States) [@ElayneBoosler, who says “My original #SCROTUS meaning was scrotum + POTUS (pussy grabber in chief), but I like the ‘so-called ruler’ usage 2”]
- short-fingered overlord
- short-fingered vulgarian [Graydon Carter, SPY Magazine, 1980s]
- Spray-Tan Caligula
- super-callous fascist racist extra braggadocious
- Tang the Destroyer
- tiny fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon [@MetalOllie on Twitter. For more, see Ben Zimmer’s “The Rise of the Shitgibbon” (Strong Language, 9 Feb. 2017)]
- tiny-fingered tyrant
- tiny-handed, emoji-headed hate monkey [satirical program on BBC, though I don’t know which one]
- a total jackwagon with saggy neck meat [Stephen Colbert, 4 Oct 2017]
- Tropicana Jong-il [Michael Arceneaux, in The Root]
- Trümpelthinskin [Paul Slansky]
- vulgar talking yam [Charles Pierce]
- a walking talking rectum
There are more good ones out there, I’m sure. And you can create your own. Just mix and match, using the list above!
Also, to anyone who finds this list offensive, I would advise you to focus on what is truly offensive — for example, the fact that traitor & con-man Donald Trump is currently running the country, and that most of his party is colluding with him. A major US political party is also passively endorsing treason. FOCUS. Indeed, you might draw on some of the resources below.
3. Resources & Further Reading
Five days after the election, I wrote “Surviving Trumpism. Restoring Democracy.” It holds up pretty well (if I do say so myself), and calls me back to the sense of urgency I felt then. It reminds me that, among other things, I need to do more calling of my representatives.
But there are many, many other things you might read to stay focused, outraged, and active. This is an incomplete list of resources.
- United to Protect Democracy. Drawing its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address, the organization — led by former lawyers from the Obama White House — works to fight back against 45’s authoritarianism and disregard for the law.
Read more about the group in this Politico article.
- Wall-of-Us: Weekly Acts of Resistance
- Mark Bray’s ANTIFA: The Anti-Fascist Handbook (2017)
Waleed Shahid, “How to Topple a Dictator: An Interview with Erica Chenoweth,” The Nation 24 Feb. 2017.
- “Your Guide to the New Sprawling Anti-Trump Resistance Movement,” The Nation — from back in February. I’m not sure how many of these remain active.
- Donald Trump is Corrupt AF. Tracking the corruption of the Trump administration.
- Presterity: “Our mission is to document the Trump phenomenon, and ideally, limit the damage that can be caused by this unprecedented assault on facts, civil liberties, civil rights, and norms of public and political behavior.”
- Trump Con Law podcast: Noting that the 45th president is constantly testing the U.S. Constitution, Roman Mars uses this as an occasion to learn about Constitutional law — via Professor Elizabeth Joh. That might sound dry to you, but it really isn’t.
- The Weekly List, compiled by Amy Siskind.
- What the Fuck Just Happened Today? Daily guide to WTF is going on in the U.S.
Editorial Board, “The Republican’s Guide to Presidential Etiquette,” New York Times 8 Oct. 2017.
- Newspapers, TV, other publications — many possibilities here. And do keep in mind that journalists make mistakes. I’ve seen people say this newspaper published this incorrect story — I’m cancelling my subscription! But stop and reflect. How does the media outlet do in general? Is this anomalous or representative? Definitely hold the media accountable, and push back against false narratives. But remember, also, that a free press is what stands between us and tyranny. They need our support. In return, we have the right to hold them accountable. Anyway, here are a few — and note that it’s useful to rely upon more than one source, international ones especially.
- Journalists & citizens who are paying attention (incomplete list):
Know your history
- M.T. Anderson, “In a Regime of Lies,” Slate 18 Jan. 2017. Published just before the inauguration of 45, Anderson draws lessons from history — specifically, from life in Stalin’s Russia.
EPA Data Dump: Before Trumpy’s EPA purged science from the EPA’s website, its data was migrated over here.
- Learn From Europe: “The Authoritarian Regime Survival Guide
- Matthais Kolb, “We have at most a year to defend American democracy, perhaps less” [interview with Timothy Snyder] SZ International 10 Feb. 2017.
Geoff Read, Cheryl Koos, and Samuel Kalman, “Trump, Fascism, and the Lessons of History,” ActiveHistory.ca 20 Jan. 2017.
- Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017).
Southern Poverty Law Center’s The Trump Effect: how 45’s candidacy and presidency is threatening children of minoritized communities.
- Southern Poverty Law Center’s White Nationalist Flyering on American College Campuses: tracking hate groups on college campuses.
- Syllabus: Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data
- Teaching Against Trumpism (Radical Teacher)
- Dana Cloud, “Responding to Right-Wing Attacks,” Inside Higher Ed, 7 Nov. 2017.
- Philip Nel, “Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 Sept. 2017.
Katherine W. Phillips, “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter,” Scientific American 1 Oct. 2014.
Organizations that need your help
- ACLU: Donate & take action.
- Campaign Zero: Learn how you can take action to end police violence.
- Earth Justice: Donate & take action.
- Emily’s List: Donate & find out how to run for office.
- Environmental Defense Fund: How you can help.
- International Rescue Committee: How to help.
- Lambda Legal: Donate.
- NAACP: Donate & get involved locally.
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund: Get involved.
- National Immigration Law Center: Get involved.
- National Resource Defence Council: Get involved.
- Planned Parenthood: Donate & volunteer.
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): Donate & volunteer.
- Southern Poverty Law Center: Donate & sign the petition.
- Carolina de Robertis, ed., Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times (2017).
- Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark (2004; updated edition, 2016).
Eric D. Weitz, “Against Despair,” Public Books 1 Oct. 2016.
- Howard Zinn, “The Optimism of Uncertainty.” The Nation 20 Sept. 2004. “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places–and there are so many–where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.”
- “Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 Sept. 2017.
- “Laughter and Resistance: Humor as a Weapon in the Age of Trump.” The Horn Book, May-June 2017.
- “Refugee Stories for Young Readers.” Public Books, 23 Mar. 2017. Review-essay on Francesca Sanna’s The Journey — framed by reference to 45’s inhumane policy towards refugees.
- “The Public University in an Age of Alt-Facts,” 13 Dec. 2016.
- “Surviving Trumpism. Restoring Democracy.” 12 Nov. 2016
- “Election 2016 in Picture Books; or, What Will We Tell the Children?” 8 Nov. 2016.
- “Fight Fascism. Vote Clinton,” Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote, 30 Sept. 2016.