Platform of the Resistance Party

Last Revised December 28, 2016

Preamble

We are in the midst of a global crisis of democracy. As the foundations of the post-war international order are shaken, in part due to the real failures of existing American, European, and international institutions to address the needs of ordinary people, extreme right-wing movements are on the rise. Amid austerity, inequality, high youth unemployment and underemployment, strained relations between Russia and the West, and a refugee crisis caused in large part by the disastrous failures of American foreign policy in the Middle East, the threat posed by a virulent anti-democratic Right waxes every day in the United States and in Europe. In the United States, the radicalized Republican Party under Donald J. Trump is laying the foundation for a program dangerously reminiscent of fascism that we may refer to as Trumpism. Under Trumpism, the United States appears poised to continue to depress the wages of workers, to dismantle what is left of our social safety net, to suppress dissent in violation of the Constitution, and to mobilize racism, scapegoating minorities, who are threatened with mass deportation or worse, and who are already experiencing an uptick in hate crimes. We should not underestimate what a grave threat Trumpism represents to our democratic norms, constitutional checks and balances, the rule of law, and human and constitutional rights.

In light of this grave domestic and international threat, The Resistance Party has formed to defend and advocate democratic norms, the rule of law, and human and constitutional rights in the United States. The Resistance Party will organize on behalf of progressive causes and candidates, leading efforts to resist the assault on our rights and norms that Trumpism is sure to bring.

We have serious reason to doubt that the 2016 election was fully free and fair. Whether or not Russian hacking of voting machines affected vote tallies—in a press conference given on December 16, 2016, President Barack Obama declared there is no evidence of this—US intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia was behind the DNC hack that, along with FBI Director James Comey’s intervention (a possible violation of the Hatch Act), did considerable damage to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. We know also that Russians hacked the RNC as well, but did not leak any information; that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself had a hand in deciding how the hacked material would be used; and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and James Comey suppressed this information during the election cycle.

In addition, undemocratic (if not illegal) gerrymandering and voter suppression during the first presidential election after the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Roberts Court further contributed to providing a radicalized, anti-democratic GOP with disproportionate power at a time when the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote by over 2.8 million votes.

Despite this popular defeat, the realities of Trump’s transition give every indication that he is not only planning to govern as if he has a mandate, but also to run roughshod over our rights and norms and the rule of law. Patriotic Americans—the anti-Trumpist majority—must not stand for this. The Resistance Party is committed to defending our Republic against this vicious, anti-American attack, but we do not only define ourselves against Trumpism. While we are committed to working in the domestic context with the broadest anti-Trumpist coalition possible, including reasonable anti-Trumpist conservatives, in defending the progress our country has made in civil rights, and in the international context with the global Resistance movement against fascism, we also stand for a broad progressive vision for America that may be described as democratic socialism.

Our Goals

The Resistance Party stands for:

  • Free and fair elections. Currently we support a full investigation of irregularities and Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Looking ahead, we call for an end to partisan gerrymandering; the restoration of the Voting Rights Act; nationwide early voting; expansion of voting locations, particularly in lower income and primarily minority neighborhoods; and the overturning of Citizens United. Election Day should be a national holiday. In addition, The Resistance Party supports the abolition of the undemocratic Electoral College and its replacement with a national popular vote for president. Paper ballots should be used for voting nationwide, allowing for transparent recounting and auditing when there are serious questions, as there are for the 2016 election cycle, regarding the integrity of an election.

  • Economic fairness. It is well documented that substantial economic inequality, such as we face in the United States, erodes trust and fosters social tension. It is equally well documented that inequality, in terms of both wealth and income, has expanded rapidly in the United State in recent decades, with the top 1% now taking from 18%-23% of US income and holding 33%-2% of US wealth, according to estimates from 2015 and 2016. The Resistance Party supports policies designed to reverse this corrosive trend, including but not limited to robustly progressive taxation with increased marginal rates on families earning over $250,000 per year; increasing the capital gains tax to 20%; increasing the top rate for the estate tax to 50% and lowering the estate tax exemption threshold from $5.45 million to $2.5 million.

  • Racial justice. We must work together to end white supremacy in America, a reality that precedes Trumpism and that has persisted despite civil rights gains. Trumpism appears poised to make white supremacy even more explicit and entrenched in American society, as is clear from its “law and order” rhetoric. The Resistance Party supports Black Lives Matter and opposes racial discrimination in law enforcement and the unjust and unaccountable targeting of numerous black and brown lives by a racist system of policing.

  • Native American rights. We are committed to supporting Native Americans in the face of injustice from the United States’ government and corporations, as well as protections of Native American lands. While the Dakota Access Pipeline battle has been won for now—a testimony to the power of persistent grassroots protest—continued vigilance will be absolutely necessary under Trumpism.

  • Accountable, just, community-centered law enforcement. Too often, American law enforcement protects the powerful and not only fails to protect the vulnerable, but actually preys on the vulnerable, as sources such as the Justice Department’s report “Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department” document. The Resistance Party supports initiatives and policies designed to make policing more equitable and community-centered, including but not limited to the increased involvement of special prosecutors in investigations of police misconduct; mandated bias and sensitivity training for all officers and initiatives designed to create positive interactions with the community and to prevent needless violence against people of color and the disabled; and consistent national data collection on local law enforcement and increased federal oversight of local law enforcement. State and federal laws that would shift law enforcement toward the protection of the vulnerable should also be passed. For example, the “War on Drugs” must end, and sex work should not be criminalized.

  • Women’s equality. The gender pay gap is not yet overcome, and women continue to suffer disproportionately from sexual harassment and workplace discrimination and to be expected to perform a disproportionate amount of domestic and emotional labor. In addition, women suffer disproportionately from domestic violence and continue to be adversely affected by an all too pervasive rape culture. The Resistance Party supports policies and initiatives designed to rectify these situations, including but not limited to the stricter enforcement of Title IX at American universities and colleges; initiatives designed to encourage women to enter disproportionately male fields, particularly in science and technology; and initiatives designed to increase women’s representation in local, state and federal political institutions. In addition, we call for state mandated paid parental leave, allowing both fathers and mothers to take time off work for parenting.

  • LGBTQ rights. The Resistance Party calls for an end to all discrimination on the basis of sexuality and gender identification in housing, benefits, healthcare, and all other aspects of American society. Public accommodation must be equal. This is the majority position in America and the only decent, patriotic and humanitarian position. Nationwide protections in terms of employment and housing must be passed. We oppose attempts to create exemptions for “religious” businesses (we also contend that corporations should not be regarded as persons), such as state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs). We will defend Obergefell v. Hodges and will push for the expansion of transgender rights, including bathroom access.

  • Equitable, sensible immigration policies. The Resistance Party supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have been living in the US and contributing to our economy and culture. Congress should pass the DREAM Act and consider other similar measures. We also call upon the US to take a leading role in resettling Syrian refugees. Irresponsible suggestions that our vetting process is insufficient should stop.

  • Separation of church and state (which provides for equitable religious freedom). The Resistance Party opposes federal and state sponsorship for the propagation of religious beliefs. Schools that teach young earth creationism as science, for example, should not be eligible for federal or state funding, and religious organizations that contract with the government must be bound by the same non-discrimination rules that apply to all other federal contractors. Such measures actually enhance religious freedom, properly understood. The Right has perniciously reframed “religious freedom” to mean freedom for white Christians to dominate the rest of American society. This must not stand. It must be no more difficult for a community of Muslims to establish a mosque than it is for a community of Christians to establish a church. In the current environment, The Resistance Party opposes the “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA), a power grab for conservative Christians with an Orwellian name that in fact promotes discrimination, particularly against members of the LGBTQ community (including LGBTQ Christians—right-wing Christians do not have a monopoly on the religion). Religious freedom must entail equal freedom for people of all confessions and no confession.

  • Sustainability. The Resistance Party supports pro-environment policies that will move the United States toward sustainability and help to mitigate the global crisis caused by climate change. The US should stand by its commitment to the 2016 Paris Agreement. In addition, the federal government should end favorable treatment for the fossil fuel industry and focus on subsidizing green energy technologies, such as wind and solar.

  • Universal, genuinely affordable, quality healthcare. The Resistance Party calls for the implementation of a single payer, state-managed healthcare system. Pragmatically, we may support any policies that move us in the direction of eliminating the corrupting force of for-profit insurance (for example, insurance reform making a public option available to all Americans). In addition, we call for price controls on pharmaceuticals, which may be worked out by bringing all stakeholders to the table. Price gouging by pharmaceutical giants and their investors must no longer be allowed to stand.

  • Abortion access and women’s healthcare. The Resistance Party believes that decisions regarding contraception and abortion should be made by affected persons in consultation with medical professionals. We oppose efforts to restrict a woman’s right to choose.

  • Disability rights and accessibility. The Resistance Party recognizes that the members of the disabled community regularly face discrimination and are not afforded the accommodations to which they are legally entitled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) They face discrimination in the workplace and the criminal justice system. They are also often denied access to housing. This must stop. The Resistance Party supports local, state, and federal initiatives to increase disability access and to end discrimination against the disabled. We view Social Security Disability Insurance as an essential part of our social safety net that should be well-funded and accessible without undue burden. In addition, we support government investment in programs providing job training, education, and placement for people with disabilities.

  • Fair incomes for workers. Setting a national minimum wage that is a living wage is not only humane, but also more simulative to the economy than allowing those at the top to control the vast majority of the nation’s wealth. The Resistance Party backs the Fight for $15 and in fact would call for an even higher minimum wage. According to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage would have reached $21.72 in 2012 if it had kept pace with increases in worker productivity.

  • Stronger schools and affordable education. The Resistance Party calls for a more equitable distribution of funding to America’s public schools and opposes voucher programs that funnel money into private schools that may have poor standards, such as schools that teach creationism as science. In the same vein, The Resistance Party believes that America must find a way to make college education affordable for all qualified students. Our current level of student indebtedness is a moral failure and unsustainable.

  • Policy based on sound science and reliable information. The Resistance Party opposes all manifestations of post-truth politics as toxic and antithetical to American values. Facts are facts, and the denial of facts represents an anti-democratic politicization of knowledge and is a historical tactic and hallmark of fascism. The scientific consensus on such matters as climate change must be recognized by politicians and the federal bureaucracy as fact. Selecting, for example, a climate charge denier to head the EPA will never be acceptable.

Our Vision

The threat of Trumpism to American’s institutions and norms, and, indeed, to democracy itself, must not be underestimated. Sustained grassroots pressure represents our best hope of staving off the worst. While dark days surely lie ahead, we in The Resistance Party will join with the patriotic majority of Americans in raising a loud voice and exerting political pressure in support of an alternative vision—one of a just, equitable, tolerant, humane, and multicultural America, an America that works for all the people, not just the wealthiest among us, and an America that exhibits real global leadership, as opposed to abdicating our international responsibilities amid tough talk of “deal making.” We must never forget that it is our vision, and not that of the anti-democratic Trumpists, that embodies true American values.


©2016 The Resistance Party, ©2016 Christopher Stroop. Adopted December 19, 2016, revised December 28, 2016

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