Starving Trump with Nonviolence

Protest Trump

Any form of violent confrontation with Trump or his supporters fuels the rise of Trump. Violent confrontation plays right into Trump’s hands. It provides justification for measures to rule with greater authoritarianism. A reference to history is helpful. The violent protests prior to the 1968 presidential election contributed to the rise of Nixon under the banner of being the “law and order” candidate. Violence leads to a desire for security, and Trump portrays himself as the strong leader who will not only make America great again, but who will also keep people secure and safe from the “violence of the other.”

It would be wise for people who are resisting Trump’s candidacy (and I think it is a moral imperative to resist Trump) to do so in a way that avoids contact with or even proximity to Trump or his supporters. Being from Oklahoma, I find it helpful to think of Trump as something like a tornado. When people give him attention by protesting in or around his rallies (especially when the protests turn violent), it is like the inflow of warm moist air that strengthens the tornado and the storm. The inflow feeds the tornado. The tempest of Trump and his supporters is made more powerful and more dangerous when they experience direct confrontational protest. It validates their feelings that there is something wrong with the rest of America and strengthens their resolve to rotate even more violently around the core of the Trump storm to make sure that its core does not dissipate. Trump himself seems to experience such confrontational encounters with a sense of glee. He knows it actually benefits him – especially if the violence involved comes from the side of the protesters.

Violence feeds Trump. Nonviolence starves Trump and his supporters. Nonviolence and avoidance of direct contact with Trump and his supporters creates an outflow from the storm. Outflow is one of the signs meteorologists look for as an indication that a tornado or a storm in general is weakening. When the inner dynamics of a storm are weakening, air tends to flow away from the storm as opposed to flowing in. Nonviolence and avoidance of contact with Trump and his supporters will likely cool off the storm and decrease the chaotic and frenzied whirling of supporters around the tumultuous Trump core. People who are resisting Trump must stop feeding the Trump storm. We must starve Trump with nonviolence and lack of direct physical contact. Without the frenzy around him, the weakness of the inner core of Trump and the vacuous nature of his ideas will be more exposed, and this will more likely lead to the dissipation of his candidacy. If, however, violent protests of Trump increase, and if this coincides with experiences of other forms of violence like terrorism, the United States may be headed for one of the most destructive and dangerous storms of our national existence. The discipline of those resisting Trump to be nonviolent and to remain in strategic physical disengagement could play a pivotal role in the months ahead.

Advertisements

About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
This entry was posted in politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Starving Trump with Nonviolence

  1. mfrancis111 says:

    Well, I’m not sure if your definition of “Nonviolence and avoidance of direct contact with Trump and his supporters” includes or excludes my proposal that (whether nominated or not) Sanders should start verbally ‘beating up’ on Trump & keep his massive following engaged with rallies, more fundraising & endorsing down the ticket.

    The transformation of this nation is already happening. Whether it becomes Bernie’s Revolution or Trump’s dangerous Fascism is yet to be determined. Maintaining the growing interest and enthusiasm by young adults (and old progressives, hopeful teens & a plethora of disgruntled voters) is crucial – and frankly, only Sanders can do it.

    We have a full-blown movement in progress – perhaps even a new Political Party. Let’s not fail our children and possibly, future generations. We can do this … NotMe,Us.
    ~ MaryFrancis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s