It’s hard to remember that before Resistance/Indivisible had formed there were already smaller, anti-Trump conservative movements up and running. Remember the Never Trumpers and Evan McMullin? They’re still here, and still working as part of the conservative opposition. Evan McMullin is now running an organization called Stand Up Republic. which is attempting to organize conservative grassroot opposition.
Another small, but growing conservative organization, The Reagan Battalion, played a role in ending the career of professional “provocateur,” alt-right icon and Trump supporter, Milo. Someone found his past comments on pedophilia.
In other words, opposition to Donald Trump is active in some conservative circles as well as liberal ones. However, opposition on the left is far larger than on the right. Polling makes it obvious why. Republican voters are unified behind President Trump (83% approval according to Quinnipiac) while Democrats are unified against (91% disapproval). Encouraging Republicans in congress to rein in President Trump, or at least move away from him, would require Republican voters hear from more conservative activists that oppose him. They aren’t likely to listen to liberal activists in a polarized environment.
Conservative and liberal opposition groups would have difficulty working together. They aren’t going to agree on a lot of policy. However, what they will agree on is the desire to protect democratic institutions and oppose the ethnic nationalism of Donald Trump’s agenda. Encouraging unity in polarized America is a good thing, and using a unifying umbrella term for all opposition groups — liberal or conservative – would be one way to do it.
I suggest, “The Allies.”
Trump’s nationalism, and the agenda of far-right European politicians, is similar to the 1930s style nationalism that was ultimately defeated during the Second World War. Co-opting the imagery of the West’s Finest Hour from the mid twentieth century would be a good reminder of why that kind of nationalism was opposed in the first place.
On a purely tactical level for activists, it might help to co-opt a name Americans will probably forever associate with the patriotic good defeating evil. On a more fun level, if someone becomes a de facto figurehead of all Trump opposition — maybe a 2020 Democratic candidate — they could get the title Supreme Allied Commander.
The memory of anti-fascist Allied forces is already in the zeitgeist. After white nationalist Richard Spencer was punched in the face by a protester (no, I don’t advocate punching people. Here’s the video), a lot of anti-fascist imagery flooded social media.
That’s part of history. There is another set of images the name “Allies” can evoke. The Rebel Alliance from Star Wars is really just another way of wording “resistance” and “allies.” Like the memory of the Second World War, Star Wars imagery is also in the zeitgeist right now, and will be in future when the next movie is released. It doesn’t take much searching to find anti-Trump twitter users using this image of Princess Leia as their profile picture. Steve Bannon even hinted he admires Darth Vader.
It’s something to think about. At the very least it demands activists consider a more unified opposition. Any kind of unity between liberals and conservatives would be a good thing for a nation so dangerously polarized as the United States. Donald Trump did say he would unify the country. The Allied Forces could make it happen.