Sorry, You’re Not a #Resistance

Words matter – they transmit meaning to help us make sense of the world around us and communicate our intentions and fears and needs to others. Consequently, one of the things that frustrates me most about the US over the last years has been the attempts to undermine our language. Morphing the word “liberal”, which used to mean “free from restraint in speech or action” and instead making it a totalitarian political mantra policed by know-nothings. Or taking “capitalism”, the system that gave the world the greatest prosperity in history and lifted billions from poverty and converting it to an insult insinuating greed. I could go on, but you get the point.


Resistance. Now I know a thing or two about resistance. Night flights from darkened airports; graves populated by the ‘disappeared’. I one time worked with a group of war crimes investigators who were piecing together bodies – exhumed from a mass grave – trying to make the legal case to try a heinous crime against those who resisted the regime. Do you know what the “stench of death” really smells like? I do. A good friend of mine from Argentina once told me the story of how he had to flee from the Junta after being disappeared for three days – daring to study and to read, and think – freed only by the pressure of the priests, running to Peru with only the clothes on his back. Leopoldo Lopez, who I have known, continues to languish in a Venezuelan jail – for speaking against those who would have preferred him silent. At least you’ve probably heard of him. Lorent Saleh – a student activist who angered Venezuela’s regime – is in a place called “The Tomb”, underground, where they keep the temperature in the fifties, the lights on all the time, feed him at random intervals and play loud music at him. In Nicaragua one time I spent a morning listening to the stories of a woman who was selling thimblefuls of coffee on the plaza – in Leon, famous for the student uprisings against the Somoza dictatorship – she showing me the scars of torture from cigarette burns and car batteries. I have written letters to US immigration courts helping those who made it to our shores fleeing tyranny to find safe-haven.

Those are stories of resistance.

Resistance is fleeing from North Korea’s monstrous regime (buy this book!); resistance is a Tuareg man in Gao, Mali boldly going on television to demand that his clan, his people put down their guns; resistance is dousing yourself in gasoline as a final desperate act of violence in protest at a seemingly endless dictatorship, not because you want to die but because the police just seized your entire livelihood and you don’t know what else to do; resistance is joining a pro-bono law firm, running around behind the tens, hundreds of people arrested by Venezuela’s totalitarian regime, trying futilely to bend the regime to the law through the force your will and your righteousness alone – and sometimes even paying the ultimate prize.

No, sorry, you aren’t a resistance, because USA is not a dictatorship. Nobody is persecuting you; none of your rights are being violated; no illegal purges enacted; no tortures and disappearances. You didn’t like the results of an election – and want to pretend it is illegitimate, because you don’t want to do the hard work of rebuilding a constituency alienated, “Because you thought correcting people’s attitudes was more important than finding them jobs. Because you turned ‘white man’ from a description into an insult (…) Because you cried when someone mocked the Koran but laughed when they mocked the Bible. (…) Because you kept telling people, ‘You can’t think that, you can’t say that, you can’t do that’,” as Brendan O’Neill has said. Alas, the only people losing their legitimacy are you; who wear little pink hats and take off all your clothes and wander through public spaces offending friend and foe alike; who vandalize coffee shops and write little slogans misspelled on cardboard. No, you aren’t a resistance, and you don’t get to have that word.

For those who have fought and suffered for their liberties, it is far too sacred to let it – too – be defiled.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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40 Responses to Sorry, You’re Not a #Resistance

  1. Thank you for saying what I’ve been trying to find a way to express.


  2. Don, the Rebel without a Blog says:

    This is the first article of yours I have ever read, having come here via American Digest I will try to remember to visit again. Keep up the good work.


  3. Snakepit Kansas says:

    Nicely written. Very good contrast with folks that have actually had their liberties taken. I also was directed here by American Digest.


  4. Andrew King says:

    “…totalitarian political mantra”?? I don’t think so.

    You say that a political disagreement within a democracy isn’t the same as resisting, say, the North Korean dictatorship; therefore, by your own logic, you don’t get to use the word “totalitarian” to describe the views of the political opposition, when the people expressing those views clearly don’t exercise totalitarian power over anybody.


  5. J Balconi says:

    I was directed from the Ace of Spades HQ. This is a great piece. I think young people in particular have no idea about actual tyranny because it’s too removed from them; they can only imagine what they’ve seen in dystopian movies in which young people are heroic. The only hope is the thoughtful ones learn by seeing their peers go off the deep end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kerri Ishimura says:

    Nicely done. I arrived via Ace of Spades HQ.


  7. TXmyTX says:

    Came here via Ace of Spades. Well done!


  8. Jim Dandy says:

    Just to stay with the flow, I came here from Ace of Spades. First time reader. I’m going to sign up for updates on the way out.

    Very good article. Well written and concise. Most importantly, a very necessary message. I think you might agree that the issue is communicating the message and context to those Americans deluded by their leftist leaders such that they can believe they both are being oppressed and that they are a morally justified ‘resistance’.

    Since the election, the American left has been in a state of mass hysteria, perhaps the largest case ever recorded. Not that the hyper-liberal little realm of American Psychology/Psychiatry will ever point it out. But the history of this time will not overlook such a phenomenon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gracepc says:

    Thank you. This is spot on. They do not have the right to that word Resistance.


  10. Very, very well put, sir. I had to bite my tongue and stifle a snicker when a liberal friend showed me her bracelet made from electronic resistors that she said shows she’s part of “The Resistance”. No, really.


  11. Hank_Scorpio says:

    Fantastic expression of what needs to be shouted from the rooftops of every progressive-run university. I also came here from Ace of Spades HQ


    • Alas Hank, we seemed to have taken a turn to a weird place… All we can do is try to use our words correctly and point people back to sanity. You might like this one

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hank_Scorpio says:

        “As Yaron Brook has said, “We are entering a very scary period.”

        I would add that we are living in a very stupid time. A screenshot of a tweet warning people against “misgendering” their pets, and stating to do so would constitute animal abuse of your transgender pet.

        I…I just don’t have the words….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just wow – the best description I heard, I also wrote about. To show any preference is prejudice and leads to discrimination. Their cardinal sin. So what they go for is a blank-slate, never to judge anything lest they somehow fall afoul of their doctrine and are damned. I hope we are rescuing ourselves from the brink; but what you describe, has become normal behavior.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautifully stated, Sir. Elegantly put and just the words the kids need to hear. It’s time for some perspective and you certainly provided it here. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.


  13. Oh! And I came here from Ace’s place.
    About the misgendering of pets…those misbegotten SJWs run the risk of having such open minds that everything falls out!

    It’s madness.



  14. Wonderful! I have purchased Lords of Misrule and look forward to reading it. It looks intriguing. Thank you kindly for the link.


  15. Pingback: Of Free Speech and #Resistance | nebraskaenergyobserver

  16. came from MOTUS AD land and posted your article on my FB page.


  17. jbryan314 says:

    Most excellent. Especially perfectly worded when you start talking to the “resistance”.


  18. John says:

    I too thank you.
    Arrived via Ol’ Remus’ Woodpile Report.
    Will be looking your other works up (blog and book).


  19. Greg Heath says:

    Great writing! Well said!


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