WASHINGTON – According to Webster's Dictionary, the definition of the word, "resistance" is pretty straightforward: a refusal to accept or comply with something. It happens all the time whether it be children resisting bedtime or adults resisting change. In Donald Trump's case, "The Resistance" can be described as a movement of biblical proportions. The president himself has taken notice. "They've been plotting to overthrow the election since the first hour that we won," Trump has told his supporters.
Wall Street Journal Columnist Kimberley Strassel seeks to explain who the "they" are in her book, Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America.
"These were the folks who from the very moment Donald Trump was elected, they viewed him as illegitimate in occupying that office and that they were, therefore, in extension, allowed to take any actions they wanted to get rid of him," Strassel told CBN News.
Undiagnosed "Trump Derangement Syndrome"
The veteran journalist argues criticism of the president is one thing, but the blind rage that crosses barriers and undermines our institutions is a whole other level.
"I make the case in the book that the very beginning of the resistance in one of the first examples of what I call 'undiagnosed Trump Derangement Syndrome' is Jim Comey," she said. Strassel thinks the former FBI Chief's multiple sneaky moves are at the top of the resistance list: like taking private notes while meeting with Trump, then leaking them to get a Special Counsel appointed in the Russian Investigation.
"It is still astonishing to me that we are saying out loud that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign," Strassel said. "This is beyond all reasonable things you do."
As Strassel points out, reasonable and resistance don't usually go hand-in-hand. Look at the Judiciary, for example. One by one, a judge somewhere in America can impose his or her view on the entire country by proclaiming a nationwide injunction against Trump policies.
"This goes against everything the Supreme Court tells the lower courts to do," Strassel said. "We want diversity of opinions throughout different courts [but] there's a presumption that the Executive Branch gets the kind of benefit of the doubt. They're ignoring all of this just because they can't stand the guy, but it's doing damage to our judicial system."
Who's Really Damaging America?
Donald Trump's critics often claim it is the president doing the damage to the institutions of our government and in the process eroding America's democracy. Strassel takes the opposite view.
"For three years we've been told by a lot of people in the media that Donald Trump is destroying our democracy, undermining our institutions, breaking our norms. I do think he is a bit norm-breaking, but if you step back and look objectively, it tends to be mostly in his speech, in his rhetoric, in his tweets and in his demeanor in office. It's harder to make the case that that in any way affects his departments or his policy. In fact, I think if you step back, this has been one of the more rule-bound administrations that we have had in a very long time."
Comments like that will send the Trump Haters into angry meltdown mode. They see Trump as the one breaking rules and now want him impeached. But how do ordinary, American citizens in the Heartland feel about what Democrats are doing?
"It is anger," Strassel points out. "We talk about the anger of 'the resistance' but there is real, serious anger among average Americans about what they see happening; the lack of due process, the constant accusations of criminal activity. These are the people who went to the polls and they registered their vote and they now feel as though there is one half of the country trying to reverse that vote and get a do-over."
Hold Them Accountable Now or It Will Get Worse Later
The Wall Street Journal Columnist says we've seen this behavior before in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
"There are a lot of examples of that," Strassel said. "Impeachment as a partisan political tool; the degradation of the Senate confirmation process; the lack of trust we have in the DOJ (Department of Justice), the FBI and the federal bureaucracy; the lack of trust people are beginning to have in the federal judiciary. I worry that if we don't start calling out some of this behavior and holding people accountable right now, it will only get worse regardless of whether Donald Trump is president or not."
The Resistance movement Strassel examines is not exclusive to just one party. It comes from what some describe as the 'Deep State' and also within the walls of the White House. Who can forget the anonymous New York Times op-ed with the provocative headline: 'I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.'
"People will justify this and say, 'well, you must follow your moral conscience,'" said Strassel. "No, your job is in fact to do your job. The president was elected to institute policy. Congress was elected to create laws and if you feel like you can't do your job, there is a course for you. You can resign."
The Complicit Media
They often get help from a complicit media writing damaging headlines while hiding behind generic and anonymous sourcing regarding vital and sensitive national security information.
"When you have people out there saying a, 'US government official,' they are purposely attempting to cloak that they have been talking to a partisan but they don't want you to know that they've been talking to a partisan," Strassel explained. "It's bad behavior."
The book leads to a final question: while these haters call Trump bad for America, what have their own actions possibly done to cause our country major harm? Hypocrisy seems to rule.
"We can be critics at times of Donald Trump, support others of his policies," Strassel said. "That's rational thinking but they need to understand that they have so convinced themselves that he's doing all this damage, and it's that terrible human failing we all have where often the things we accuse other people of doing are the things we are doing ourselves."