Chomsky: Why the Resistance Against Trump Will Continue to Build

"The institutions look powerful but they collapse as soon as the population becomes engaged."

Photo Credit: Andrew Rusk/Flickr

Two months into Trump's presidency, Noam Chomsky delivered a Starr Forum lecture at MIT Center for International Studies praising the Bernie Sanders campaign as a model for the resistance movement. For Chomsky, Sanders' grassroots coalition is the silver lining following a presidential election year of billion-plus-dollar loss

"Back in 1895, there was a great campaign manager named Mark Hanna, and he was asked once what's necessary to run a successful political campaign," Chomsky began.

Hanna said, "You need two things: the first one is money, and I've forgotten what the second thing is."

Through the entire last century, this held true. 

Then "somebody comes along who nobody ever heard of and he uses a scare word, 'socialist,'" Chomsky said of Sanders. "He had no funding, nothing from the corporate sector... the media [was] totally against him, almost either ridiculing and/or dismissing him."

Sanders, Chomsky believes, "could have easily have won the Democratic Party nomination if it hadn't been for the party shenanigans to keep him out."

What Sanders' success in the Democratic primaries showed is that "the institutions look powerful, but they collapse as soon as the population becomes engaged," Chomsky noted. "They're basically very weak."

According to Newswhip, a social analytics measurement company, left-leaning social engagement is on the rise.

This year in particular, such activity has proven successful in fueling small-dollar fundraising efforts by progressive politicians, from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff.

"The same Facebook tactics used by conservatives to fuel an anti-establishment movement during the election are now being used by the left to fuel an anti-Trump movement," Sara Fischer reported for Axios on Tuesday. 


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Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.