The Resistance might seem far away from some TAS readers’ lives. But in Washington, D.C., large parts of the media and policy intelligentsia do not consider Trump a legitimate president. A former D.C. television producer I know believes assassination is the answer. Civil disturbances and psycho behavior possible only in postmodern America are receiving a pass and often a media blessing.
Do you recall the January 18 Queer Dance Party that showed up at Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s house in Chevy Chase two nights before the inauguration? Maybe not. You won’t find the event covered in the New York Times “This Week in Hate” feature. The Washington Post ran a covertly approving piece. Advocate magazine reported:
When the march finally made its way up to Pence’s house, it was blocked by police. The car and motorcycles leading the queer cavalcade stopped there, and an impromptu dance party began. Firas Nasr, the founder of Werk for Peace, danced on the roof of a car that blasted Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Nasr shouted from the roof, “Daddy Pence, come dance!” The crowd chanted, “We are queer, we are here, we will dance!”
Last Saturday night, WERK founder Firas Nasr and his confederates danced from Dupont Circle to “Rexi and Ivanka-poo’s neighborhood to send the clear message that our climate and our communities matter.” Hundreds of protesters swarmed the Ivanka Trump house before moving on to Rex Tillerson’s place. Beforehand, Huffington Post’s crowed, “There’s Going To Be A Huge Queer Dance Protest Outside Of Ivanka Trump’s House.” ABC’s Washington affiliate got in on the act. Facebook Events announced “Queer Dance Party for Climate Justice at Ivanka Trump’s House!” The media was on the qui vive. Come on down.
Now, look, there’s something disgusting about targeting public people’s private houses like this. It’s crossing a civil line of decency. But such stunts are becoming a Washington thing, and the media and the D.C. police are complicit. Aren’t Huffington Post, ABC7, and Facebook accessories to this chilling civil disturbance? A Fifth Column for the Resistance?
“Ivanka Trump has presented herself as a friend of the gays and a climate czar,” Nasr told Fortune magazine. “We’re not going to blindly accept her claims in being support of the climate and LGBTQ communities. If she does support us, she needs to speak out for us while we are under attack.” Other devils, in Nasr’s bill of complaints, include “Scott Pruitt, the climate denying head of the EPA” and Rick Perry, “an oil hawk who’s a flaming homophobe.”
“The entire Trump Administration has shown a blatant disregard for our planet and it’s [sic] inhabitants,” Nasr declares. “The reality is that the people most affected by the administration’s bad climate decisions are our most vulnerable friends: our poor, working class, native, trans & POC siblings.” For a kicker, he adds, “Also, in case you hadn’t heard, Trump revoked protections for LGBTQ government employees.”
Nasr says he created WERK (rhymes with twerk, get it?) for Peace as a grassroots movement in response to the June 2016 shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, using dance to promote peace. A 2015 graduate of Middlebury College, he takes epicene into uncharted territory. (Think Milo Yiannopoulos but left-wing, gayer, and not funny.)
An exhibitionistic, enterprising, and shrewd queer activist, Nasr is apparently a first-generation Middle Eastern-Latino hybrid raised in northern Virginia. In Trump he has found a super-devil and means of staying in the news. From the evidence, a constructive policy discussion with young Nasr won’t work.
Questions, questions: Why is Nasr not grateful to be living in the U.S., as a recipient of its freedoms and educational largess? Why is he not putting his energy and talent to constructive use? Why is he instead dancing on car tops like a demented go-go boy in short-shorts and rainbow suspenders? Does he realize how grotesque this behavior is?
In 2016, progressives expected to complete a power shift to a larger liberal agenda. Trump was an impossible surprise. Admittedly, Trump seems unable so far to grasp his position, or how serious, the spheres of government and diplomacy are. Crude and charmless, he gives the Resistance traction. But like Trump or not, lese-majesty is an offense against the dignity of the state and its offices. Lese-majesty has a rich American heritage, but most functional governments in history or the contemporary world would detain, muzzle, hospitalize, or kill poor Nasr.
The Resistance may scream for Climate Justice. But what it wants to do is destroy an unanticipated tribune of American nationalism, and to do so, it is willing to wreck civil government. And the dance party’s just begun.
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