The resistance showed up at US President Donald Trump’s doorstep Monday evening as he returned to his high-rise apartment on Fifth Avenue for the first time since taking the oath.
My position was just below 55th Street on the west side of 5th. City sanitation trucks lined the east side of the Avenue near Trump Tower – acting as a supplemental buffer to a massive but genial police presence. Many people brought homemade signs with varying levels of creativity. The President would not personally see most of the reception. Multiple press accounts say he avoided Fifth Avenue altogether while slipping into the building in the 9 PM hour.
When Donald Trump deflected responsibility for the chilling, large-scale demonstration of racist ideology in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend, it felt like a last straw moment. We’ve had a lot of ’em from this President.
Even those numbed by watching this train wreck were shocked by his Charlottesville statement Saturday.
By that time, he had seen the lit torches and the murder of a young counter-demonstrator. He was no doubt briefed on clearly audible anti-Jew vitriol from the throngs of white supremacists who said flat-out they were emboldened by a Trump presidency.
Instead of condemnation we got the “many sides” blunder that will be linked to Trump in history books forever.
48 hours later on Fifth Ave the homecoming was all about Charlottesville.
The chants were getting repetitive – and my legs were getting tired – so I left and walked over to the E train stop on 7th Avenue for the ride back to Queens. I walked by the Ed Sullivan Theatre where at that exact moment, Steven Colbert was taping a program that would include an interview with the Mooch and a two song performance by Liam Gallagher.
Later in the evening, I watched Colbert’s opening monologue as it aired just after the 11 PM local news. If it weren’t for the howls from cookie cutter libs and Colbert’s reliance on a bad impersonation, the sum of what he said was the perfect rebuke.
While the office of the US Presidency is largely immune to resistance for a term’s length, at least we’re seeing occasional authentic displays of displeasure from the citizenry and press when Trump trips the alarm.
Pick your biggest frustration: off-the-cuff nuclear threats, dismantling of US commitment to clean air and water, vilification of immigrants, demanding specific sexual identity among our volunteer armed forces, inability to have basic adult interaction with world leaders (and spouses), a troubling inner circle and a seeming obsession with undoing the modest but humane effort to make health care accessible to the sick, middle class and lower.
He’s done or attempted all of it with help from those in his party – and ultimately with the advanced blessing of those who voted him in.
The resistance – weak as it’s been really – is all there is right now between this President and worse to come in whatever time he has left.
Those behind the barriers on Fifth Avenue Monday night sounded only half into it when they chanted: “This is what Democracy looks like.”